Sep 22, 2017 - Jan 28, 2018

Myth & Mirage

Riverside Art Museum

Inland Southern California, Birthplace of the Spanish Colonial Revival

The Spanish Colonial Revival has been part of the aesthetic fabric of Southern California for 100 years.

While claiming ties to Colonial Spain and Mexico via their cultural and design traditions, the style was based largely on myth and invention.

Influenced by such diverse sources as the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and the popular Ramona novel and pageants, Californian architects and designers adapted Spanish Colonial, Mission, ecclesiastical, and native elements to create romanticized perceptions of California for a burgeoning tourism industry.

Explore Inland Southern California SCR landscape with its rich stylistic details and exoticized architectural forms, and discover how mythmakers from the 1880s through the 1930s fabricated a marketable past that was European and civilized to sell the mirage of wealth and paradise to Anglo settlers.

These images reveal how the role of ethnic Mexicans in SCR architecture has been largely omitted from the historical record, despite the integral part their labor and production of building materials were to the architectural history of the Inland Empire and Southern California.

Discover landmarks that are spectacular amalgamations of the historic and the imagined.

Credits: Story

Myth & Mirage is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. Major support for this exhibition and publication is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

All photos by artist Douglas McCulloh.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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