Friday, July 21, 2017

Marciano Art Foundation

Scottish Rite Temple aka Marciano Art Foundation

Today we visited the Marciano Art Foundation in the former Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard in Windsor Park...just east of the Miracle Mile. I've admired this building for decades, being an admirer of its designer, Millard Sheets. We been on extensive Sheets building and art tours over the years, so I was super interested in seeing the inside of this building. There are very few windows in the Temple, alluding to its air of mystery. The Masons are a "secret" society...more mystery!

3rd Floor Gallery

Yes! The art inside is fabulous! There were duplicate pieces and modern artists that we saw yesterday at The Broad Museum. The building is rather large. The main auditorium seated over 2,000 people at one time! Everything, the seats, stage, etc. has been removed to provide space for the art collection. 
There were paintings done on the various stage backdrops. These were mammoth installations!
Painting on existing stage back-drop by Jim Shaw

My new fave, Wonder Woman!

Artist, Jim Shaw, re-imagined the "Wig Museum." Read about it HERE
Jim Shaw's re-imagined wigs

Now THAT'S a Bee-Hive Hair-Do!
Emma Diamond is a Visitor Services Associate at The Marciano! I know her folks.

After checking out more of the first floor, we zoomed up to the mezzanine to see the actual collections left there by the Masons. The Relic Room was fascinating. There were wigs, costumes, notebooks and records of the Free Masons in Los Angeles, as well as photographs. 
The Relic Room of the Free Masons

I spied one particular photo of the Masons of 1960. I thought I might recognize a name or two and I did! Over on the left side is the comedian and band-leader, Mickey Katz! (No relation to my Katz family), HOWEVER, I knew Mickey's wife, Grace. She was the aunt of my former boss at 20th Century Fox, Lee Zuckerman. I used to talk to Grace on the phone all the time. I even visited her once at her apartment in Westwood. Mickey Katz was the father of actor, Joel Grey. It's a small world!
Actor, Comedian, Band-Leader, Mickey Katz was a Member!
We proceeded to the third floor of the Museum to view the rest of the collection. WOW! This is quite an interesting place to visit. 
Painting by Takashi Murakami

Once again, we were most interested in the actual building and asked about a mosaic that designer, Millard Sheets had created. We found the mosaic of woodland creatures BEHIND a huge wall. I was sad that we could not get a great view of this work of art. Really, come on, Marciano Brothers, I know you have a big collection, but this permanent piece deserves some love!
Mosaic by Millard Sheets, 1961

After seeing a beautiful mural in the bookstore, also by Millard Sheets, we were ready to leave. 
Bookstore Mural by Millard Sheets

I definitely recommend viewing this museum!
Free Mason Mosaic by Millard Sheets on the east exterior of the building

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