Happy 241st Birthday Los Angeles!

“Los Angeles’s population has always been diverse, from the day that the Gabrieleño Indians watched 44 settlers of mixed Spanish, Native American, and African heritage found a new pueblo near the Gabrieleño village of Yang-Na in 1781,” Dolores Hayden.

In honor of Los Angeles’ 241st birthday today, here are just a few of the ways the city’s founding has been depicted and/or commemorated:

Barbara Carrasco’s beautiful mural “L.A. History: A Mexican Perspective” (1981) as seen at the Natural History Museum a few years ago. NHMLA has since acquired the historic mural for its Welcome Center that it plans to build.

The Pobladores as featured in Judy Baca’s amazing “Great Wall of LA” (1970s).
A close up of the “The Negro in California History – Exploration & Colonization” mural (1949) by artist Charles Alston. This mural was part of pair of amazing mid-century murals that hung in the historic Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. In these murals, artists Charles Alson and Hale Woodruff depicted the historically-overlooked contributions of African Americans to California’s history.

“The Founding of Los Angeles” diorama (1931) at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

The entrance of La Plaza de Cultura y Artes (2011).

This 1980 Westways Magazine was full of articles about Los Angeles history as the city had kicked off its bicentennial celebration in 1980.
For the city’s bicentennial, a number of prominent artists were commissioned to create commemorative posters for the 200th birthday of Los Angeles. With this week’s heatwave, I’m definitely feeling this one by Carlos Almaraz titled “Great L.A. Fire.”

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