Bohemian of the Arroyo Seco: Idah Meacham Strobridge
Guest curated by Susan M. Anderson
September 30, 2023 – January 13, 2024
In 1891, Idah Meacham Strobridge, author and accomplished bookbinder, moved from a remote cattle ranch and mining operation in Nevada to a bungalow in the Arroyo Seco area of Los Angeles. There she operated a book bindery, Artemisia Bindery, and from 1905 to 1910, an art gallery called Little Corner of Local Art. Although brief studies have been done on Strobridge’s bookbinding and writings, Bohemian of the Arroyo Seco is the first exhibition to look at Strobridge’s Little Corner of Local Art gallery and to acknowledge her important contribution to the development of Los Angeles culture. Her gallery was a popular gathering place for the writers, artists, and craftspeople of the Arroyo Seco, and gave rising talents some of their earliest exposure.
Strobridge and the other bohemians of the Arroyo translated their lifestyles into art and literature, becoming “cultural entrepreneurs.” They contributed to the creation of Southwestern tropes that are now ingrained in the Western American art tradition, as well as ideas about the meaning of the Western landscape. The exhibition looks at Strobridge’s gallery and the work of artists in the Arroyo Seco within the context of the Arts and Crafts community, centering on their plein air paintings and the Southwestern themes they developed in their art.