Talks & Lectures



Talks & Lectures



Through the Viewfinder: Early Photographers of Los Angeles 

Sunday, April 8

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; advance registration is recommended. Click HERE to reserve your spot.
Phil Nathanson kicks off this three-part lecture series with a talk about Los Angeles' earliest photographers. A long-time collector of nineteenth-century photography, he specializes in early images of Southern California.


Curious Cases - “Hang Kewen: He’s the Head of the Firm”: Lawyers of Los Angeles, 1850-1875

Sunday, May 6

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; advance registration is recommended. Click HERE to reserve your spot.

Los Angeles' lawyers were not usually trained in law schools and ran the gamut in terms of education and experience, but some of them were certainly courtroom characters. 


Through the Viewfinder: A Visit to the Film Studios

Sunday, July 8 

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; advance registration is recommended.

Christina Rice, Senior Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection and the author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel, takes us back to the early days of filmmaking in Los Angeles as seen in the library's collection of over three million images!


Curious Cases - Family Feud: The King Family of El Monte and Personal Justice, 1855-1865

Sunday, August 12

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; reservations are recommended and begins June 29.

Southern chivalry was expressed in the extreme when the King family employed personal justice in gun battles in El Monte and Los Angeles, a decade apart, against fellow Southerners Micajah Johnson and Robert Carlisle. 


Curious Cases - “Shoot Away, Damn You!”: Judges of Los Angeles, 1850-1875

Sunday, October 21

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; reservations are recommended and begins September 7.

Like the town's lawyers, judges in Los Angeles spanned the spectrum of modern standards of professionalism, from Benjamin Hayes' sincere and solemn stances to William G. Dryden's often outlandish outbursts. 


Under the Oak Tree: Exploring Nature with the Kizh 

Saturday, November 3

• 10 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
• Free; advance registration is recommended. 


Through the Viewfinder: Frame by Frame - Photos Documenting the Transformation of Greater Los Angeles, 1870-1930

Sunday, November 4 

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free; advance registration is recommended.

The Homestead's director, Paul Spitzzeri, will share images from the museum's collection of 9,000 photographs and discuss why we collect them, how we use them, and the stories they tell.


Past Talks & Lectures


Curious Cases - Vigilantes and Vengeance: The Alvitre Family & Community Justice, 1853, 1861

Sunday, January 28

• 2 to 4 p.m.
• Free
• Free; advance registration is now closed.

The Alvitre family had three members lynched in less than a decade, one for an attempted assault on a member of the Workman and Temple families that epitomized local community justice.

Special Lecture!

Lady Tsen Mei/Josephine Moy: The First Chinese (American) Film Star presented by Dr. Ramona Curry

Sunday, March 25
• 2 to 4 p.m.

• Free; advance registration is recommended. Reservations are now closed.

Dr. Ramona Curry, Associate Professor of English and Media & Cinema Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will discuss the career and star image of Lady Tsen Mei, a now largely forgotten pioneering stage and screen entertainer who rose to prominence in the early years of film. The career of Lady Tsen Mei, born Josephine Moy, yields a particularly revealing history of the challenges for aspiring Chinese and other “racialized” entertainers in America of the early 20th century. Dr. Curry will present archival materials in conjunction with her talk, including surviving clips from Mei's film, Lotus Blossom (1921), which was filmed in Boyle Heights and premiered on Hill Street in Downtown Los Angeles.