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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Historical Research


One very easy way to start your research is to look in online encyclopedias that will provide an overview of basic background information on a topic. For instance, eLibrary, an online database paid for by the Library, contains several encyclpedias and almanacs in its Referece section. Wikipedia is a very handy tool for getting definitions and creating lists of key words that can be searched elsewhere.

Otis Database

Vogue Archive This resources is perfect for historical research because it has every issue completely available going back to the late 1800s, including ads, articles, etc. All searchable by key word and date range.


There are books which you can browse which will be extremely helpful to you in learning about the cultural, social, and historical context of a particular time or period. 

20th Century Day by Day: 100 years of News Headlines and front pages of newspapers from 1900 through 1999. This should be your first stop to find out what else was going on for your time period. Ref.
D 422
This Fabulous Century
7 volumes
One volume per decade beginning with 1900-1950. Overview of the popular culture of the period. Mostly images. Ref.
E 161
American Century: Art & Culture 1900-1950 Based on a Whitney exhibition, this is an in-depth overview of art of the period. N 6512
American Decades
4 volumes
One volume per decade beginning with 1950s. Organized with chapters on world events, education, politics, lifestyles, media, the arts, etc. Ref.
E 169.12
Fashions of a Decade
8 volumes
Just fashion. We have the '20s through the '90s. Ref.
GT 596

Hulton Getty Picture Collection
6 volumes


One volume per decade. All pictures with captions. We have the '20s through the '70s. D 426

Websites of Interest

American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century The purpose of these pages is to present a series of web guides on the decades of the twentieth century. The pages are prepared by the Reference Librarians. Period pictures used.
Year by Year 1900-2001

This site describes historic events of the twentieth century by year and by decade.