Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Edward Kienholz

Edward Kienholz, 1958

Edward Kienholz in 1958. Image courtesy of Marvin Silver and Craig Krull Gallery. © Marvin Silver

Edward Kienholz (1927-1994) was born in Washington State and spent his youth on his family’s farm. His early skills in carpentry, metalwork, and auto repair would later shape his unique artistic vision. After spending seven years on the road, Kienholz moved to Los Angeles in 1952 and three years later opened his first gallery at the Coronet Theater in an effort to foster Los Angeles’s artistic community. In 1957 Kienholz and Walter Hopps started the now-famous Ferus Gallery and, in 1960, Kienholz had his first solo exhibition there. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s he produced large-scale tableaux from assembled and constructed objects that sharply criticized the politics of the period. View a period film on the Internet Archive: Kienholz on Exhibit is a short film about Edward Kienholz directed by June Steel in 1969.

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps

    Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps, 1959, Edward Kienholz. Paint and resin on wood, printed color reproductions, ink on paper, vertebrae, telephone parts, candy, dental molds, metal, pencil, and leather. 87 x 42 x 21 in. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Lannan Foundation. © Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Photo: Susan Einstein

  • The Future as Afterthought

    The Future as Afterthought, 1962, Edward Kienholz. Paint and resin on plastic and rubber doll parts with sheet metal, tricycle pedals, and wood. 54 x 21 x 16 15/16 in. Onnasch Collection. © Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Photo courtesy L.A. Louver, Venice, CA

Explore the Archive

  • Video: Edward Kienholz’s 1966 LACMA exhibition

    Video: Visit Edward Kienholz’s 1966 LACMA exhibition and watch people react to his 1964 sculpture Back Seat Dodge ’38. Excerpt from the documentary film Kienholz on Exhibit, 1969, directed by June Steel. © June Steel

  • Video: Lyn Kienholz on censorship

    Video: Arts advocate Lyn Kienholz talks about censorship in the L.A. art scene

  • Video: Edward Kienholz’s 1961 exhibition at Ferus Gallery

    Video: Attend the opening of Edward Kienholz’s 1961 exhibition at the Ferus Gallery. Excerpt from the television program Story of an Artist, 1962, directed by William Kronick. Licensed by Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

  • Ferus Gallery, Edward Kienholz installation

    Exterior view of the Ferus Gallery during the exhibition of Edward Kienholz's installation Roxy's, 1962. Photo by William Claxton. Courtesy Demont Photo Management, LLC.

  • Los Angeles artists at Culture Day at LACMA, 1968

    Several Los Angeles artists at Culture Day at LACMA (L.A. County Museum of Art), 1968. Photo by and © Julian Wasser.