The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art acquired the archive related to the artist Judith F. Baca’s monumental mural The History of California (1976–84), popularly known as The Great Wall of Los Angeles. Created in the Tujunga Wash, a flood control channel northwest of downtown Los Angeles, the half-mile-long artwork traces a history of California, from prehistory through the mid-twentieth century. The mural depicts well-known historical narratives as well as often-overlooked events such as the displacement of Indigenous communities, the internment of Japanese American citizens, and the expulsion of Mexican Americans from Chavez Ravine. The mural is epic in scale and was epochal in impact, representing an important shift in determining whose stories are told publicly and who gets to tell them.
In a virtual conversation with Sandra Jackson-Dumont, director and CEO of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, the museum’s chief curator and deputy director of curatorial and collections, Baca discusses her art practice and plans to extend her monumental mural.