Typically, the Annenberg Space for Photography closes in the early evening, but Saturday, July 21, Century City’s cultural destination kept its doors open for Annenberg After Hours. The evening event featured live music, drinks and an opportunity for attendees to see the current exhibit. In addition to screenings of the documentary “America’s Library,” guests also enjoyed live bluegrass performances by the New Historians.
Blair Bender, a representative for the Annenberg, told Century City – Westwood News, “Annenberg After Hours was created to give the public the opportunity to see our exhibit, ‘Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library,’ later in the day. We had a great response from our previous after-hours event so we’re happy to do this again.” A line began to form outside of the Annenberg at approximately 6 p.m., and music could be heard from the entranceway. Bender cited that during the after-hours event the doors remain open until 9 p.m., but early arrival is suggested. “[We] have live music and refreshments while guests enjoy the incredible photographs and original documentary that capture the stunning moments in American culture and history, in the first major West Coast exhibition from the Library of Congress collection,” said Bender. The documentary, “America’s Library” was a production of the Annenberg Foundation that included interviews with photographers featured in the exhibit and provided an inside look at the site and history of the Library of Congress, which more contains more than 14 million artifacts in its collection – from photographs to items.
Between screenings of the short documentary, the New Historians hit the stage and enchanted the audience with a repertoire of traditional and original Americana folk songs played with a bluegrass twang. Band members Marie Clare, John Metcalfe, Gian Trinidad, and Erte De Garces played multiple sets during which they sang songs about Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, the Oregon Trail and more. “We were contacted by the Annenberg Photo-space and I looked it up, and it sounded very interesting,” said Clare. “We’ve played a few shows that usually have to do with a historical faction, obviously because we do art history music, and this just kind of lined up; the Library of Congress had some cool stuff that some of our songs are about,” added the band’s guitarist John Metcalf. With the exception of Marie Clare, the musicians have all known one another since high school. “We found her in a garage reading a history book, and said ‘hey do you play any instruments,’” joked Metcalfe. Clare confessed that she actually plays classical violin and that it took some time to convert to bluegrass fiddle playing.
In addition to the live music and documentary screening, guests were also able to step into the Annenberg’s photo booth, as well as record an interview inside an Airstream trailer for StoryCorps. Attendee Lina Carr loved her evening. “Absolutely amazing photography exhibition… many facets and layers, yet emotional and joyful at the same time! A must to see,” she said. From the first photo of Harriet Tubman to photographs by Stanley Kubrick, Camilo José Vergara, and Sharon Farmer, the exhibit covers many aspects of America; architecture, sports, leisure and politics.
For more information, visit: https://www.annenbergphotospace.org