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.

Melvin Edwards

Melvin Edwards, 1965

Melvin Edwards in January 1965. Image courtesy of Melvin Edwards

Melvin Edwards was born in 1930 in Houston, Texas, and moved to California to attend the University of Southern California and to play football. An early sports injury led Edwards to art, and by the mid-1960s he was teaching sculpture at Chouinard Art Institute. Edwards’s first solo exhibition was held at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in 1965, where he exhibited his major series, the Lynch Fragments, sculptures that consist of welded steel and other scrap metal, and which suggest the conditions of an oppressed or dehumanized body. Edwards has also created large-scale sculptures that employ traditional materials to form unconventional and evocative imagery.

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • Sonday

    Sonday, 1964, Melvin Edwards. Welded steel. 12 1/2 x 7 x 7 1/2 in. Collection of and © Melvin Edwards. Photo by Kristopher McKay

  • Inside and Out

    Inside and Out, 1964, Melvin Edwards. Welded steel. 12 x 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. Collection of Susan and David Lawrence. © Melvin Edwards

Explore the Archive

  • Video: Melvin Edwards

    Video: Melvin Edwards speaks about his work, July 2010