By the 1880s, historian Henry Splitter assures us, Los Angeles was 

recognized as a musical city, and the response to both amateur and professional 

performances during that decade supports his claim.  Local choral groups and a 

predecessor to the Philharmonic orchestra emerged in the 'eighties, and touring 

professionals discovered that appearances in Los Angeles were met with full 

houses, enthusiastic audiences that sometimes numbered in the thousands and a 

profitable gate.  By the last years of that decade, according to Harold Swan in 

Music in the Southwest, musical performances were of "a standard acceptable 

anywhere in the nation."

    While many programs still took place in churches, the city was well endowed 

with halls.  The first theater, built by John Temple, opened in 1860 over a 

market on Main Street.  Although Swan described it as "small and stuffy," 

Harris Newmark remembered that use of the private boxes located on either side 

of the stage became the ambition of every Los Angeles gallant.

    Several other auditoriums were available before 1880 for theatrical 

performances, concerts, lectures and other assorted purposes.  Stearns Hall, 

for example, had not only held a dance school but also served as the meeting 

place in 1870 for the vigilantes who lynched murderer Michael Lachenais.  The 

Merced Theater, adjacent to the Pico House, opened on New Year's Eve, 1870.  By 

1875, when it was known as Wood's Opera House, it had degenerated into a 

raucous song-and-dance hall.  The Germans' Turnverein Hall, once considered to 

be the best auditorium in town, also opened in the early 1870s.  The other 

significant site, Mott's {or Armory} Hall, accommodated many major performers 

of the 'eighties.

    During that decade the construction of several additional facilities 

reflected the growing interest in musical and dramatic productions in the city.  

Ozro W. Childs opened his 1800-seat Opera House, the first auditorium of real 

consequence built in Los Angeles, in 1884, and before the end of the decade 

Hazard's Pavilion {1887}, the Tivoli {1887} and the Los Angeles {1888} offered 

the area's residents a variety of cultural choices.


    Temple's auditorium had been equipped with armchairs and raised benches to 

give those farther from the stage a less obstructed view, but the other early 

halls had level floors.  Since attendance at concerts and dramas was as much a 

social as a cultural event, there developed a conflict between those who wanted 

to be observed in all their finery as opposed to those who came to see the 

stage.  A point in contention was the wearing of multi-layered {"seried," in 

the language of the day} hats during a performance.

    This issue was never more elevated than at the 1887 Los Angeles appearance 

of the noted diva, Angelina Patti.  Newmark remembered that Childs' Opera House 

would have been the appropriate site for such a concert but was already taken 

and the Patti concert was relegated to Mott's Hall, an auditorium, like 

Temple's, located upstairs over a Main Street market.  Unfortunately it had a 

level floor, evoking pleas that those planning to attend should not wear hats.

                          {Times, Jan. 7, 1887, p. 3}

                                    A HINT.

              Pasadena, Jan. 6.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  Now 

         that it is definitely settled that Patti will appear in Los 

         Angeles, would it not be a benefit to a long suffering public 

         if the ladies were to follow a custom now growing into favor 

         in New York and some other Eastern cities, of removing their 

         hats or bonnets during the performance.  This would be of 

         especial value in this instance, where the audience will 

         labor under the disadvantage of occupying seats that are not 

         in tiers.  Please urge this.                      


                         {Times, Jan. 15, 1887, p. 3}

                                   HATS OFF.

              Los Angeles, Jan. 14.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         The management of the Patti concert, which is to be in a 

         large hall, the main floor of which is almost perfectly 

         level, owe it to their patrons to insist that tall hats shall 

         not be worn at the concert.  People who pay $7.50 to hear and 

         see the great diva will not patiently submit to the outrage 

         of having their view of the stage entirely cut off by seried 

         rows of two and three story hats.  Whether these hats belong 

         to men or women, they will have to come off or there will 

         surely be disturbance.  People behind them will be very apt 

         to cry out, "Hats off in front!" or they will stand up to see 

         over them, and then those still further in the rear will 

         mount their chairs--and then "the circus will begin"--for 

         people who pay a big price to see the greatest of living 

         lyric artists--and pay it willingly--are not going to be 

         fooled out of seeing her because sundry self-styled ladies, 

         regardless of other's rights, take a notion that they want to 

         display a three story bonnet!   Let the real ladies of this 

         city do as they are doing elsewhere: leave their high hats at 

         home, or take them off at the door and deliver to ushers, or 

         hold them in their laps when seated.

    The flap over hats at the Patti concert resulted in a victory for those who 

wanted to see the performers, not the latest millinery style, and altered the 

uniform of the day for future artistic performances in Los Angeles.  The Times 

seemed more concerned about the break with tradition than the performance 

itself, noting that most women left their hats at the door and sat throughout 

the evening: 

         crowned only with the chiefest glory of woman....  The ice 

         was well broken last night, and there is good prospect that 

         one of the most inexcusable barbarities connected with 

         amusement-going will be a thing of the past in Los Angeles.

Yet when tragedians Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett came to Los Angeles early 

in 1888 for performances at Childs' Opera House, one correspondent, still 

unsure about proper etiquette regarding the wearing of hats, sought the 

editor's advice.

                         {Times, Feb. 26, 1888, p. 6}

                                  Hats or No?

              Los Angeles, Feb. 24.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Will you kindly inform a lady subscriber of your esteemed 

         paper whether the Booth-Barrett season is expected to be a 

         full-dress affair, and whether ladies are supposed to wear 

         hats or not, as in other cities of the world, and kindly 

         settle a dispute?                      

              [Doubtless a full-dress affair, without hats, as a rule; 

         though, as is usually the case in large audiences, the 

         gathering will probably be somewhat mixed.  The tendency in 

         Los Angeles, within the last year or so, has been in the 

         direction of expatriating the sombrero alto.--Ed.]

    While the issue of hats may have been settled, Angelenos had other 

complaints.  Concert patrons of another generation would recognize the 

crassness regarding ticket sales and seating assignments cited by "Drama 

Lover," while the unsigned grievance about disturbances caused by late arrivals 

at the reading of Charles Dickens' works by his son also spans the decades.  

    Future Los Angeles impresario Lynden Behymer, arriving in 1886, started his 

local career as one of the ticket scalpers denounced by "Drama Lover."  Behymer 

hired boys to be first in line when unreserved seats at Childs' Opera House 

went on sale, and then resold at curtain-time the blocks of tickets they had 

purchased, profitably marked up.  Behymer also served as artistic critic for 

the Herald and may have been the target of letter writers later in this 


                         {Times, Feb. 24, 1888, p. 6}

                                  "I Object."

              Los Angeles, Feb. 21.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  

         Failing to get any satisfaction at the ticket-window of the 

         opera house for certain abuses fostered there, allow me, 

         through your columns, to focus the attention of theater-goers 

         upon two of the worst.  For instance!  For special 

         attractions prices are raised.  The public might not kick if 

         they were raised more, if they could have fair access to the 

         ticket-window.  But at once a line of loafers is formed, and 

         a gentleman (a clerk, say,) who feels that he can afford to 

         pay $1, in the limited time he can spare, attempts to buy a 

         reasonably choice seat.  He must buy out of the line (often a 

         long one), at often a high price, one of the loafers, who at 

         once takes his place at foot of line again, to sell out.  The 

         young man has chosen, say, a front seat in the 

         balcony--perhaps takes his wife or best girl.  The seats 

         there are seldom reserved by numbers, and there ensues, on 

         opening the gates, a rough and tumble scramble which leaves a 

         well-behaved gentleman crowded back by the roughest elements, 

         and a lady--simply nowhere.  The simple and fair plan of 

         numbering all reserved seats and hiring a few more ushers 

         does away with all this uncivilized scramble and gives people 

         of ordinary good means a fair show, which they can't get now 

         without extraordinary expense.  The first nuisance can also 

         be abated if the management care to do it, and there is a way 

         to save money by it too, as well as a clearer conscience.  

         For many others and myself, I protest.

                                            DRAMA LOVER.

                          {Times, May 18, 1888, p. 6}

                          An Unpardonable Annoyance.

              Los Angeles, May 16.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         attended the readings of Mr. Dickens at Armory Hall last 

         night, and, in common with the rest of the audience, suffered 

         an annoyance which it seems might be easily remedied by a 

         small expenditure and a little forethought.  I allude to the 

         disturbance and noise made by late arrivals.  The reading 

         advertised for 8 o'clock really began at twenty minutes past, 

         and yet for long afterward there was a thin stream of 

         arrivals, just frequent enough to distract the attention and 

         noisy enough to drown the speaker's voice.  The timepieces of 

         a great many persons must have been out of order, for of 

         course they would not deliberately commit such a breach of 

         good manners.  A few strips of matting would be useful in 

         deadening the sound which echoes through the hall from every 

         careless tread, and a rule prohibiting the ushers from 

         showing people to seats in the body of the audience while the 

         reading is progressing would be a reasonable one to enforce.  

         When the public pays a dollar admission for such an 

         entertainment as that of last night it has a right to the 

         undisturbed enjoyment of it.            

                            B) EVERYONE'S A CRITIC

    While reporters assigned to cover fine arts on the other three Los Angeles 

dailies in the late 1880s were the subject of much criticism themselves, the 

caliber of reviews printed in the Times was markedly superior.  Swan wrote:  

              Fortunately for Los Angeles, the constant stream of 

         commendation and reproach which appeared in the Times came 

         usually from the pens of reporters who possessed sound 

         musical intelligence.

    Since articles by Times staff members did not carry a by-line in the 1880s, 

who wrote artistic criticism remains a mystery.  The only Times writer known to 

have written critical reviews was Dr. Dorothea Lummis, a stockholder in the 

Times and wife of city editor Charles Lummis, but conceivably others on the 

staff wrote reviews as well.  Eliza Otis was certainly qualified to handle that 

assignment, and her biographer, Midge Sherwood, contends that Mrs. Otis at one 

time or another performed nearly all the editorial functions at the paper.

    For a town that was so recently a symbol of the wild west, with its 

lynchings, frequent murders and numerous saloons, Los Angeles of the 1880s 

seemed to contain a disproportionately large number of would-be fine arts 

critics.  Throughout the decade letters flowed to the Times complaining either 

about the quality of the critics reporting in the city's other papers or 

offering their own criticisms of recent performances or exhibitions.

    While Los Angeles may have been a musical city by the 1880s the press was 

apparently not quite ready to properly assess it, or so "Music" suggested in an 

attack on the Herald's review of an 1883 concert.  Both this criticism and the 

one by "Another 'One Who Was There'" must be read not only as comments on the 

performances in question but as part of a large number of letters printed by 

the Times attacking competing papers.  In this case the Herald was the object 

of these correspondents.  

    The editor's postscript to "Music's" letter needled those who failed to 

follow his rules for submitting letters to the editor.

                         {Times, Nov. 24, 1883, p. 3}

            Music and Music Critics--Music from One of the Latter.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  It is very seldom that 

         I intrude upon the valuable time of an editor, but, when 

         patience ceases to be a virtue, I deem it my duty, in behalf 

         of every musician in Los Angeles, to protest most decidedly 

         against the words of eloquence, shaped into sentences and 

         then dished out as criticism to an unsuspecting and perhaps a 

         too indulgent public.  Take, for instance, the two concerts 

         of this week: one at the Methodist church, the other at 

         Turner Hall.  One critic, speaking of Tuesday night's 

         concert, says: "The opening number was an organ solo by Mrs. 

         Mellis, the organist of this society!"  Question: What 

         society?  Next, the same man goes on to say, in speaking of 

         Mr. Stone: "This song delighted the many critics in the 

         audience!"  It seems to me a real live, genuine music critic 

         is a scarce article in this vicinity.  Another man then 

         claims that "the instrumental trio, consisting of violin, 

         'cello, and piano accompaniment," &c.  This is not fair!  

         Give the little miss her share; she did not play an 

         accompaniment.  Then the other man claims that "Miss Smith 

         was but little larger than her instrument" (the violin).  Mr. 

         Critic must have had a back seat.  I did not notice anything 

         inflated, as regards the size of the instrument.  I agree 

         with him as regards Miss Peabody, but as to the organ: No, 

         thank you!  The surprise was not an agreeable one, I'm sure!  

         Then both men went astray on the same thing, namely, Miss 

         Winston's ballad.  "Guess I won't, would you?" is nice 

         enough, but the genuine title, "Supposing," reads better.  We 

         are again reminded of the house full of critics, in Miss 

         Binford's notice.  We could easily swallow this without 

         wincing; but the Herald man must have gone out to see a 

         friend just about then, for I find not even a mention of her 

         name in his article.  Mr. Francisco was treated in the same 

         style!  Mr. Herald, brace up!  Give us a full account nor 

         none at all.  So much for Tuesday night.  Now we come to 

         something really good.  "Countrymen, lend me your ears."  

         Speaking of Wednesday night's concert, the Herald man 

         commences thus:  "It is needless to say that these talented 

         vocalists and musicians gave an entertainment of rare 

         excellence."  I fully agree with him, and I am only sorry he 

         did not convince himself that it really was needless to 

         criticise a performance when he himself was perhaps a half 

         dozen Los Angeles blocks distant from the scene.  Miss Collin 

         will no doubt be surprised, when she has been informed in 

         this morning's article, that "she acquitted herself with 

         great credit in recitation and in solo singing!"  I think 

         there is a mistake somewhere.  His remark in regard to Miss 

         Harris "delighting the audience with a  selection from 

         Moszkowski's Tarantelle" is very original, but alas! I am 

         afraid his musical education has been most woefully 

         neglected.   Prof. Dorrego was conspicuous for his absence, 

         and yet we are gulled into believing that he played 

         excellently, notwithstanding that he was sick abed at the 

         time.  Perhaps he had telephone connection with the hall, and 

         thought to give us something new in the way of a solo.  If 

         so, the telephone must have been out of humor, for I failed 

         to hear a single note of the selection.  Then Mr. Finlayson 

         comes in for a deal.  Mr. Herald claims that "Mr. F. appears 

         once a week as an organist."  Mr. F., how is it?  Take it all 

         in all, the criticism of the Herald takes what young America 

         calls the cake; in fact, the whole bakery and a dude or two 

         thrown in as a chromo.

              Now, Mr. Editor, why can we not have a man really able 

         to criticise a concert?  The waste of words in trying to 

         describe the performance of Mr. So and So, and Miss This and 

         Miss That, is something wonderful.  Recollect Los Angeles is 

         rapidly advancing in music, and I would like to see some 

         advance made so far as our critics are concerned.  Thanks for 

         your indulgence.    Truly yours,


              Los Angeles, Nov. 22.

              [Let the writer of the above sail right in as a musical 

         cricket and polish off the amateurs according to scientific 

         rules.  He writes well (on both sides of the sheet) and makes 

         it lively for the other crickets on the journalistic 

         hearth.--Ed. Times.]

                         {Times, Dec. 23, 1885, p. 2}

                        How is This?--Concerning Puffs.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Your reporter's notice 

         of the Kindergarten Benefit is attacked by a correspondent of 

         the Herald in a singular letter, which constrains me to utter 

         a word of protest from the standpoint of a subscriber to your 

         paper expecting accurate news.  The correspondent referred to 

         makes the absurd proposition that notices of entertainments, 

         if given for a philanthropic purpose, should always be 

         flattering.  Without stopping to discuss such an asinine 

         idea, I will only say that the public has a right to expect 

         from the papers some information upon which they can rely 

         outside of the puffs contained in paid advertisements.  The 

         entertainment in question was given, as I understand, by 

         professionals, who took half the proceeds for their pay, 

         which arrangement was perfectly right and proper.  The public 

         paid their money for admission, and it is also right, under 

         such circumstances, that a newspaper critic shall be at 

         liberty to express his opinion of the performance, without it 

         being construed into an attack either upon the performers or 

         upon the charitable object in view.

              I listened to the entertainment, and while I would 

         refrain from criticising, can only say that there seemed to 

         be room for another opinion besides that of fulsome praise, 

         which the Herald correspondent affects.

                                  ANOTHER "ONE WHO WAS THERE."

    Charles Day, a leading figure in the city's music establishment in the late 

19th century, was both a director and an impresario.  In 1878 he organized and 

directed the biggest musical event to that time in Los Angeles, featuring the 

first local concert band and the first performance of Handel's "Hallelujah 

Chorus."  In addition to his musical activities, he served on the board that 

wrote the new city charter in 1889 and was a member of the school board.

    "Tonic's" review of the choral concert Day conducted must have been 

satisfying to the performers and director, but it also reflects the view that 

such an outstanding performance by local artists was somewhat unexpected in a 

city so close in time to the violence of the 1870s.

                         {Times, Mar. 18, 1886, p. 2}

                              The Chorus Concert.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Some place in the 

         history of the past it is written "Westward the star of 

         empire takes its way."  If there be one especial thing a 

         person who follows the aforementioned star to the west finds 

         out, it is that ability and culture do not remain behind when 

         the journey from the east is undertaken.

              Upon the western slope, near the shore of the occidental 

         sea, even "Music, heavenly maid," appears in all her 

         loveliness.  The concert Tuesday night, with its audience of 

         3000 people, was, in important respects, a wonderful 

         performance.  Each selection was a gem, and the choruses were 

         from the great masters.  Any city would be justly proud of 

         local talent able to intercept music of so high an order.

              To the solos or individual numbers of the programme it 

         is not my desire to refer.  Each was rendered in a style 

         evincing study and application.  To do anything in the 

         musical line well enough to interest or please an audience, 

         requires work, hard, continued work.  The muscle for voice or 

         technical playing is made by the same process as the muscle 

         in the mechanic's arm.  Labor is the only culture.  The 

         singer or player who can find the way to the hearts of the 

         assembled thousands, as was done last night, finds it only 

         after a long search and studious application.

              There was, in the chorus concert, an evidence of 

         excellence deserving especial mention.  To take the great 

         works of Handel, Beethoven, Rossini, Gounod, Bellini and 

         Verdi and present them so intelligently to a mixed chorus of 

         singers, almost strangers to each other, and to so direct 

         them as to bring 400 voices together in the intricate 

         rendering, demands rare ability.  How well this difficult 

         duty was performed by Prof. Chas. E. Day, the success of last 

         night plainly tells.  To do this requires a thorough 

         knowledge of music, not only of notation and minor 

         characters, but of form and construction, in fact, to be 

         master.  It is but right, just and proper when one with a 

         life experience finds in his travels such talent, that 

         mention be made of it.  A great treat, indeed, it was, and, 

         it is confessed, a rather unexpected one, to hear in Los 

         Angeles such grand music, and to hear so good directing as 

         was done by Prof. Day.


    Henry Clay Wyatt, who's life had been in music since he served as a drummer 

boy in Confederate ranks during the Civil War, came to Los Angeles as a tour 

manager and, like so many others, decided to stay.  Wyatt took charge of 

Childs' {sometimes called Grand} Opera House in 1886 and by the end of the 

decade was also in charge of the Los Angeles Theater and opera houses in 

several other Southland cities.  

    One of his ensembles, "H. C. Wyatt's English Opera Company," was the 

subject of a letter to the Times.  "Baldy," although fearful that his comments 

might offend, offered this carefully worded criticism of the troupe and at the 

same time tweaked his fellow citizens for failing to give greater support to 

the company.

                         {Times, July 27, 1889, p. 4}

         POINTS FOR THE PLAYERS.--The following criticism has been 


              "Los Angeles, July 24.--[To the Editor of The Times.]  I 

         have followed the rise and progress of the opera company, 

         with which Mr. Wyatt has benefited our city, with a great 

         deal of interest.  The personnel is, I think, distinctly 

         above the average, the voices are all good in their way, and 

         the performances conscientious.  I have attended a number of 

         the representations, and would have been glad to have seen 

         larger audiences, for we certainly ought to make an effort to 

         sustain such a metropolitan enterprise.  Under the 

         circumstances, it may seem a little invidious to make any 

         criticisms and yet, if the effect of such criticisms is to 

         make what is good better, they may not be wholly undesirable.  

         I would like to say, in the first place, that the 

         orchestration is too loud for the voices.  The genial musical 

         director evidently has everybody very well disciplined, which 

         is, of course, immensely to his credit.  But we old fellows 

         who go to the opera for amusement would like to hear what the 

         singers are saying.  I have tried seats in different parts of 

         the house, to see if that would make any difference.  But the 

         result is always the same, plenty of music, but no song.  

         Please give the singers a chance, Mr. Musical Director.

              "Another more delicate subject of complaint is the prima 

         donna.  This lady is exceptionally prepossessing in her 

         makeup, has a sweet, pure voice, a good method and a 

         sparkling manner, but she quite wrecks one's enjoyment by the 

         deplorable habit she has of indulging in little aside 

         conversations, with much suppressed laughter.  These chats 

         are at the expense of the handsome tenor, the talented 

         barytone or the august basso, as the case my be.

              "It is all very bewitching of course, but it is not 

         business.  She is necessarily the figure of greatest interest 

         on the boards and an untimely giggle from her spoils the best 

         of work.  She can never hope to be a great artiste until she 

         devotes herself seriously and entirely to business as long as 

         she is on the stage.

              "In regard to this matter I think it only fair to say a 

         word in commendation of the other members of the troupe.  

         From my seat, well down in front, I have failed to intercept 

         any of those smiling glances of recognition with which it is 

         the custom of choristers and coryphees to greet their friends 

         in the boxes and parquette.

              "With renewed wishes for the success of the company, I 

         am yours respectfully,


    Drama and art were also subjects of would-be critics, and like his 

colleagues covering music, the Herald's art critic won the enmity of Times 

readers as well.  While it is not possible to determine what particular 

painting "Brush" had in mind, his acerbic comments, though somewhat cryptic, 

clearly make their point. 

                         {Times, June 18, 1885, p. 2}

                           An Art Critic Criticised.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  It was with some 

         amusement I perused the criticisms of "ye critic" in Tuesday 

         morning's Herald, regarding a few of the prominent pictures 

         of the exhibit.  The article certainly claims more than a 

         passing notice, for the generous desire the writer expresses 

         in the effort to clothe his interest in unnoticed genius by 

         suavely admitting that the work of our "local" talent 

         possesses some attractive points.  How very kind!  Such 

         magnanimity is of such rare occurrence that it certainly 

         should receive the tenderest recognition from our local 

         celebrities, as well as the public of Los Angeles, who, 

         without the kind warning of one capable of instructing, as 

         our unappreciative American conservatism might forget to bow 

         the knee to English art; but since the matter has been so 

         prominently placed before me, I am happy to say it has solved 

         a much-mooted question.

              In looking over the anatomy of No. 25, knowing the 

         possessor to be the subject who sat for the genius of Inman 

         to immortalize, I could but fancy that perchance it was the 

         artist's mistake and not the unfortunate subject portrayed, 

         for before us glaringly lies the fact of a large crack in the 

         cranium boldly outlined by the artist's brush!

              Were it not for ye critics' assurance that the work is 

         irreproachable, and beyond the target of our uneducated 

         appreciation, we should certainly have accepted the deformity 

         of this formation of the skull, as well as the nostril on one 

         side of the face a quarter of an inch lower than the other, 

         as formations of the artist's inability, but with ye critics' 

         intimate acquaintance with the subject, we must defer our 

         physician course of anatomy and admit that even genius has it 

         limits in painting a portrait.


                               C) ART CENSORSHIP

    By the mid-1880s Los Angeles had reached a cultural level permitting those 

interested in serious art to mount formal exhibitions.  At the same time, the 

more devil-may-care attitude associated with the old Los Angeles had vanished 

in the face of a prudishness that accompanied this emergent culture, as "Nuda 

Veritas" discovered upon attending an exhibition at Opera Hall in June, 1885.  

{This was the same exhibition that caught the attention of "Brush."}

    The painting that was soon to become the infamous "Number 63" of the 

exhibition was by an American artist, W. F. Jackson, otherwise unidentified at 

the time.  Unfortunately, that era produced several Jacksons - two W. F. 

Jacksons and two W. H. Jacksons - all artists worthy of mention in biographical 

dictionaries, and the subsequent obscurity of the particular painting made a 

more precise identification a tedious task.  We now know that the painter was 

Sacramento artist and Crocker Gallery curator William F. Jackson.  The painting 

in question currently hangs in the private Sutter Club, a short distance from 

the state capitol.

    The hubbub generated by its removal from the exhibit brought greater 

attention than the piece would have otherwise received.  After the painting was 

taken down at the close of opening night, a Times editorial described in detail 

the errant picture, one of several on loan from the estate of the late French 

Consul in Los Angeles: 

              Number 63 is entitled "Suite of the Army," and 

         represents an apocryphal scene during the Franco-German war.  

         The artist is W. F. Jackson.  The "Suite of the Army" 

         comprises a half dozen women, young and old, who have sought 

         the seclusion of an open field for the purpose of taking a 

         bath.  The several members of the company are represented in 

         different stages of deshabille and one--a young and very 

         handsome woman--would be entirely nude were it not for the 

         fact that she is about to don a chemise.  It is hardly 

         necessary to say that only the young women of the group 

         appear in undress uniform.  The picture is French in its 

         theme and eminently French in its style of treatment.  Were 

         it not "high art"--and high art is said to excuse 

         everything--it might be voted salacious.

                         {Times, June 11, 1885, p. 2}

                               The Nude in Art.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  On visiting the Art 

         loan collection at Opera Hall this evening, I found to my 

         great surprise that the painting, No. 63 in the catalogue, 

         which was one of the chief attractions of the exhibition last 

         night, had been taken from the wall and hidden away.  I 

         failed to get any satisfactory reason for this peculiar 

         action, the only reason alleged being that certain pious 

         visitors had objected to the nudity of some of the figures in 

         the painting.  Such squeamishness is highly out of place in 

         an art exhibition, and if the committee of management intend 

         to submit to such dictation there are two or three other 

         pictures which had better be immediately removed from their 

         walls, as they reveal an indiscreet amount of the female form 


                                            NUDA VERITAS.

    The Times devoted an entire editorial column to Number 63, concluding that 

the exhibition management was at fault for allowing the picture to be displayed 

at all.  "Modern society demands that people shall be clothed," wrote the 

editor, concluding that nudity did have a place in art: in pictures over five 

hundred years old!

              Nudity in art comes down to us from the ancient Greeks 

         and Romans.  The standards of society were then vastly 

         different from to-day.  What was quite allowable among those 

         ancient races would now be condemned as worse than savage.   

         In Rome, art flourished most when the Empire was given up to 

         luxury, debauchery and moral decay....  But the modern world 

         can and must rise to a higher moral plane in its own affairs.

    While Number 63 was withdrawn from the Opera Hall show, the complaint of 

another pious protester later in the year suggests that the standard for 

display in an enclosed hall was more strict than that required for the posting 

of photographs on a public street.  Whether "Decency" had objected to painting 

No. 63 is unknown.

                         {Times, Oct. 27, 1885, p. 2}

                              Indecent Pictures.

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  I wish to inquire 

         whether there is not a law to prevent the exhibition of 

         indecent photographs at the public crossings of our streets.  

         During the most of last week, when the city was thronged with 

         visitors, these vile pictures were exposed for sale at the 

         corner of Spring and First streets.  Does the seller (we will 

         not call him a man) have a license?  If so, who granted it?


    In late November, 1885 the Times noted without editorial comment yet one 

more act of censorship.  Headlined "Another Number 63," the paper reported that 

city councilman Hiram Sinsabaugh had urged that the picture of a nude woman on 

a council chamber wall be taken down.  Councilman F. R. Day protested that it 

was a work of art, belonged to a fire department company and had been in a 

window at Preuss and Pironi's Spring Street drug store, which often displayed 

art, for four months.  Ignoring Day, the council removed the painting.  

    This act inspired one more attempt at art censorship.  In the hot summer of 

1882 Harris Newmark, made aware that there were few drinking fountains 

available to the public in downtown Los Angeles, had given to the city an 

elaborate fountain, which he placed at the junction of Spring and Main, in the 

Temple Block.  Described by Newmark as a bronze "female figure of attractive 

proportions," the statuary was seven feet high, with water spewing forth from a 

lion's head beneath it.  Three years later, in the wake of art censorship at 

Opera Hall, Decency's complaint about filthy street corner photograph sales and 

removal of the nude from the council chamber, "G. W." lodged a complaint about 

Newmark's fountain.  

                         {Times, Nov. 26, 1885, p. 2}

                                   Cui Bono?

              To the Editor of the Times--Sir:  Noticing in this day's 

         Times that the City Fathers have decreed the removal of the 

         objectionable picture from their court-room, might I be 

         allowed to suggest the removal of the figure from over the 

         drinking fountain at the corner of Spring and Main streets.

              It surely cannot tend to the increase of local purity 

         among us, that youths and maidens have such figures 

         constantly before them.  Of course we all know that to the 

         pure all things are pure; but even the pure are not above the 

         attention and suggestions of the powers of evil.  I know that 

         whenever I see that figure I find that I have not yet lost 

         the youthful virtue of blushing.  Anyway, if the condemned 

         picture, in its comparative privacy, is not elevating to the 

         City Fathers, nude representations of art (so called) cannot 

         be desirable for their more susceptible children, in more 

         public positions.  What good use does it serve?  Yours truly,

                                                 G. W.

              Los Angeles, Nov. 25, 1885.

    Despite "G. W.'s" concern the fountain stood for several years before 

disappearing, removed, according to historian Arthur Chapman, "for no other 

reason, apparently, than that few people care very much for the sentiments of 

the past."  Harris Newmark's sons, in a revised edition of his reminiscences, 

put it this way: 

              Iconoclastic Los Angeles officialdom removed this 

         historical little fountain some years ago, reminding one of 

         the culpable tendency of California authorities to regard 

         with indifference, if not with contempt, age-old adobes and 

         long-honored names of persons, towns and streets.