For those of you keeping score at home, it’s official—summer has arrived at LACMA. Beginning this weekend, Late Summer Hours are in effect. On Fridays in July and August, LACMA stays open till 11 pm, with free access to galleries and exhibitions on the west side of campus for all LA County residents, including: The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, Hans Richter: Encounters, Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It, Ends and Exits, and Metropolis II. During these nights the James Turrell exhibition and his Perceptual Cell Light Reignfall will also be on view but will require paid admission (advanced reservations are highly recommended).
Visit LACMA this weekend and you’ll be treated to the debut of Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in the Hammer Building, LACMA’s meaningful foray into African art. On display you’ll encounter figurative thrones, elegant scepters, ancestral figures, and other emblems from this prominent Central African kingdom. Marked by their refined beauty and elegance, the pieces in Shaping Power are multi-layered in their concepts of history and spirituality. The twenty-six objects in this inaugural exhibition have never been on view in Southern California until now.
For an intimate overview of Shaping Power from Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts, the exhibition curator and professor at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, you can attend a FREE lecture on Sunday at 2 pm in the Brown Auditorium. Roberts will discuss, among other things, the importance of female figures in Luba depictions. If you’re here with children on Sunday, make sure to come by to Andell Family Sundays on the North Piazza for a hands-on exploration of famed artist Hans Richter. Andell Family Sundays are free with museum admission and last from 12:30–3:30 pm.
Film-wise, LACMA has a full schedule queued up with The Hitchcock 9 film series, presenting for the first time ever, all nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s surviving silent films digitally restored. On Friday evening see The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog at 7:30 pm and Downhill at 9:30 pm—the former an atmospheric thriller described as “the first true Hitchcock movie” by Hitchcock himself, the latter recognized as the director’s first pass at a “wrong man” plot. On Saturday the series continues, beginning at 5 pm with Champagne, a comedic tale of a spoiled heiress, followed at 7:30 pm by The Ring, in which two boxers fight for one woman. These two special screenings also feature live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla. Purchase tickets by phone 323 857-6010 or online.
The final weekend of the traveling LACMA9 Art + Film Lab in Redlands is also this weekend. Visit the studio designed by Jose Pardo at its current University of Redlands location to participate in Oral History Drop-in sessions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. From 12–3 pm on Saturday shoot footage and create you own movies in the free Instant Film workshop. Learn about shot size, depth of field, composition, quality of light, and camera movement in the free Composition workshop from 1–4 pm on Sunday. Finally, after you’ve exercised your creativity and learned techniques from professionals, enjoy balmy summer evenings while watching Smoke Signals on Friday at 8 pm and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial on Saturday at 8 pm at the lab’s outdoor big screen. After Redlands, the LACMA9 Art + Film Lab will travel about a dozen miles west and park in San Bernardino from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, August 25.
Lastly, enjoy FREE music all weekend long. Jazz at LACMA presents Larry Nash & The Jazz Symphonics on Friday at 6 pm in front of Urban Light; Latin Sounds features Costazul on their 25th anniversary tour on Saturday at 5 pm; and Sundays Live hosts cellist John Walz and pianist Robert Thies performing works from Myaskovsky and Prokofiev on Sunday at 6 pm. Yes, summer is the sweetest of all seasons.