Merle Armitage and Fred S. Lang

Published: January 8, 2010

The Clark has two new Los Angeles-related finding aids now posted to the Online Archive of California, thanks to volunteers Jamie Henricks and Ashley Johnston.

The Merle Armitage Collection

Gathered over the years by the Clark and added to by donations from others, this collection contains material related to book designer, art collector and impresario Merle Armitage.  Armitage was the art director of Look magazine, a founder of the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association, the manager of the Philharmonic Auditorium and the author and/or designer of over 100 books.  The collection contains correspondence, ephemera and a large number of clippings, magazines and theatrical programs.  A nice tribute to Armitage by art history professor Roy H. Behrens is here.

Fred S. Lang Company Archives

This collection, given to the Clark Library by Mrs. Fred S. Lang shortly after her husband’s death in 1945, contains invitations, prospectuses, pamphlets and other ephemera printed by The Fred S. Lang Company of Los Angeles. A framed photograph of Mr. Lang as well as awards for excellence in printing are also parts of the collection.  Seven wood blocks (from which printed reproductions were made for an exhibit held in Mr. Lang’s honor by the Rounce & Coffin Club after his death) were also included as part of the original gift to the Clark Library. The variety of companies and events for which Mr. Lang printed, from the Los Angeles Grand Opera Association to the World Premiere of Walt Disney’s FANTASIA, illustrate his role in the developing cultural landscape of Los Angeles.

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