Of Note: Summer of Thrills

This history of baseball in America, election-themed films, The Beatles, an ode to 20th century horror, and Guillermo del Toro's personal collection at LACMA

Yellow Submarine Time Machine at The GRAMMY Museum
Through September 5

On Friday, February 7, 1964, four lads from Liverpool deplaned at JFK Airport and America and its music history would never be the same. Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles! takes a comprehensive look back at the rock & roll empire of The Beatles from early 1964 through mid-1966 as their contagious act caused a pop culture revolution in the States. Pieces on display include instruments, posters, photographs, interviews, interactive displays, and an oral history booth in which visitors are invited to leave their own impressions of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Take a stroll down Penny Lane with the legends who left a legacy on fashion, art, advertising, media and music as it’s known today.


The Art of Election at The Hammer Museum
Through August 24

In light of the 2016 national race for presidency, UCLA’s Hammer Museum has voted to include a series of election-themed talks and screenings on its ballot of free summer offerings. The remaining talk, Predicting the Unpredictable: The 2016 Elections, will present  a lecture by UCLA political science professor Lynn Vavreck and American University political historian Allan Lichtman. The pair have correctly predicted every presidential election with inconceivable accuracy since 1984. Bets will be on as Vavreck and Lichtman will be staking the more than likely results of the November races. In addition to the talk, screenings will include a range of genre films featuring documentary Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed, realistic-fiction feature Medium Cool, the comedic styling of Swing Vote, and television drama Recount. For a detailed schedule, please visit the website.


Monster Mash at Los Angeles County Museum of Art
August 1 – November 27

Death, magic, monsters, horror: things of lucid dreams for film and artistic visionary Guillermo del Toro. Step inside the mind of the Cronos, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, and Crimson Peak director in the exclusive, self-titled exhibit Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters. Beyond his dark and fantastical works of film, Del Toro is internationally-renowned for his contribution to television and book projects partly inspired from childhood dreams. At Home With Monsters embodies the visionary’s distinct, often macabre style in a  collection of paintings, drawings, maquettes artifacts and concept film art organized thematically, rather than chronologically, inviting the viewer to journey through visions starting with death and the afterlife and arriving at innocence and redemption.


Demons on Display  at Norton Simon Museum
September 2-January 16

Artists are often described as tormented souls, but this assemblage of 20th-century macabre works elevates the phrase to a whole new level. Dark Visions: Mid-Century Macabre walks its visitors down the dark hallways of anxiety, depression, lust and murder as expressed by artists Edward Kienholz, Joseph Cornell, Claire Falkenstein among others. Macabre in the 1900s is considered a complex and often overlooked genre in comparison to its contemporary styles of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art or Minimalism. A glance is enough to reason why the comparison has been held to be starch and unapproachable — until now. Dark Visions’ sinister subjects range from paintings like Jack Stuck’s Self-Portrait rendering a profile of a man strapped into a gas chamber chair to woodworks such as Kurt Schwitters’ formerly lipstick-laden Lust Murder Box No. 2. Enter this visual collection of humankind’s grapple with death and life’s evils but only if you dare.


The Power of Pastime at Skirball Cultural Arts Center
Through October 30

Competition has always held the power to rally, inspire, and uplift. Sports in particular forge loyalties that supersede friendships — and  even nationality. Organized by the The National Museum of American Jewish History, Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American at the Skirball Cultural Arts Center takes a look at this profound power that became a game changer for Jewish Americans, immigrants, and other minority groups as they discovered what it meant to be American through its national pastime. The large-scale exhibit exhibit features over 130 artifacts, original films and interactive experience that explore themes such as identity, ethnicity and solidarity as it highlights the impact of everyone from greats like Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela, and Ichiro Suzuki to the coaches, media, scouts and fans who played an equal part in making American baseball and its culture what it is today.