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.

Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps

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

Walter Hopps Hopps Hopps (1959) was the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in 1959. It both satirizes and pays homage to Kienholz’s former partner in the gallery, curator Walter Hopps. Adding Hopps’s trademark glasses and skinny necktie to a motor-oil advertising mascot known as the “Bardahl Man,” Kienholz represented his friend as a hustler hawking miniature works by Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, and Willem de Kooning out of his coat lining. The satire, deriding Hopps’s penchant for the New York School, is reinforced by the notes and lists housed in compartments on the rear of the figure—handwritten by Hopps at Kienholz’s request. One such list, “Major Artists I Want To Show,” consists not of those L.A. artists that the Ferus Gallery had championed, but rather of puns on the names of East Coast figures such as “Franz Climb” and “Willem de Conning.”

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Exhibition audio: More about this portrait of Hopps

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Exhibition audio: Compartments on the back of this sculpture

Historic Map Locations

Works of Art

  • 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 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.

  • Walter and Shirley Hopps

    Walter and Shirley Hopps at Ice Boxes in Malibu, California, 1955. Photo by Edmund Teske, gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 95.XM.86. © Edmund Teske Archives/Lawrence Bump and Nils Vidstrand

  • Edward Kienholz, 1958

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