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Pencil This In: Author Norman Rush at the Hammer, Photography Lectures, Exhibits and a JPL Documentary

crossinglafrontera640.jpg
In TASCHEN's Los Angeles: 'Crossing la Frontera' by Eriberto Oriol (Image: Courtesy of Carmichael Gallery)
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There are a number of art and photography events tonight in LA. So it’s time to get your culture on with historical war reportage photos from the 1849 siege of Rome; Carmichael Gallery hosts a signing for TASCHEN's Los Angeles; Norman Rush reads his works at the Hammer; and Caltech screens a documentary of JPL. Read on for all the details.

ART
The Italian Cultural Institute and the Getty Research Institute present a rare album with 41 photographs by Stefano Lecchi, which documents the 1849 siege of Rome, a key battle for the movement for Italian Unification. These photographs are an example of early war photo-reportage. Introduced by Murtha Baca, head of the Getty Research Institute, Digital Art, and presented by Isotta Poggi, Assistant Curator at the Getty Research Institute. At the Italian Cultural Institute with light reception at 6:30 pm, with the presentation beginning at 7:30 pm. Seating is limited. Free with RSVP. The list will be honored on a first come, first-served basis.

LA AS ART
Tonight from 6-9 pm, Carmichael Gallery in Culver City invites you to a signing of TASCHEN's Los Angeles, Portrait of a City, Rise and Sprawl: How Los Angeles Came To Be. The book, edited by Jim Heimann and featuring photographer Eriberto Oriol, is a pictorial history of and photographic tribute to LA. Both Oriol and Heimann will be on hand for the book signing and presentation. Free with RSVP.

PHOTO
Lyonel Feininger, a celebrated German painter of the 1920s, began using photography as a new canvas in 1928. Tonight in the talk Lyonel Feininger’s New Vision, Laura Muir, assistant curator at Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, will discuss Feininger’s photography at the Bauhaus and his avant-garde photographic techniques. The lecture is part of the programming for The Getty’s latest exhibition, Lyonel Feininger: Photographs, 1928-1939, which opened this morning and is on view through March 11, 2012. 7 pm at the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. Free, but reservations are required.

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TALK
The Hammer Museum holds the program Some Favorite Writers: Norman Rush tonight at 7 pm. Rush’s 1986 collection of stories, Whites, was nominated for a Pulitzer. His first novel, Mating (1991), earned the National Book Award. Author and event curator Mona Simpson will hold a discussion with Rush, following a reading of his work. Free. Reservations not accepted, RSVPs not required. Seats on a first-come, first-served basis.

FILM
There’s a free screening of the new documentary, The American Rocketeer at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium tonight at 8 pm. The never-before-seen film chronicles the early history of the Jet Propulsion Lab, which began in 1936 as a group of Caltech students conducted the first stand-up rocket engine test in a Pasadena gulch. This film is one installment of a three-part series that chronicles the early hisotry of JPL. All three installments will air on KCET Los Angeles in November.

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).