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A Seat at the Table: Dining and Deliciousness in 1960s Gay Literary Los Angeles

June 6 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Los Angeles has long been a refuge for gay writers and artists, and, in the years after WWII, it was home to an especially dynamic group of literary figures. At the center was British émigré Christopher Isherwood and his lover, artist and native Angeleno, Don Bachardy. Some in this cohort, like Jack Larson and Jimmy Bridges, were firmly ensconced in the film industry, whereas others, such as Gavin Lambert and Gore Vidal, merely dabbled from time to time, instead focusing their ambitions on historical novels, biographies, and Hollywood roman à clefs. Along with poets and playwrights, these men formed an evolving artist colony—marked by creative kinship, gossip, and affairs.

Travel back in time with our group of expert panelists—friends of these legends, those who studied their work, and writers today who were inspired by them—for a scintillating conversation about what it might’ve been like to sit at the table amongst these literary giants.

Matt Tyrnauer is a celebrated documentarian and journalist whose feature films include Valentino: The Last Emperor, Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood, Where’s My Roy Cohn?, the 4-part Showtime series, The Reagans, and many other notable films. Matt was a longtime friend of Gore Vidal and served as the literary executor of his estate.

Kate Wolf is a writer and freelance editor based in Los Angeles. She is one of the founding editors of The Los Angeles Review of Books, where she’s currently Editor At Large and co-host and producer of its weekly podcast, The LARB Radio Hour. Her short fiction, criticism, interviews, and essays have appeared in exhibition catalogues, anthologies, and publications, including Bidoun, Bookforum, Art in America, n+1, East of Borneo, Frieze, X-TRA, Night Papers—an artists’ newspaper she created and edited with the Night Gallery in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2016—and The Nation, which published her essay on Gavin Lambert’s novel The Goodby People last year.

Liz Brown is the author of Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire. Her writing has appeared in 4Columns, Bookforum, Design Observer, Elle Decor, London Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, New York Times Book Review, Slate, T Magazine, and other publications.

Rafael Fontes is a preservationist and urban planner seeking to combine a professional commitment to the built environment with a love of history. In addition to work experience in architectural design, drafting, and project management, time spent volunteering abroad proved formative. He has both a Master of Heritage Conservation from the USC School of Architecture and a Master of Planning from the Price School of Public Policy at USC. His graduate thesis, Gaining a Foothold: Conserving Los Angeles’ Queer Eden(Dale) focused on the ways that landmarking can both affirm and overlook LGBTQ heritage in urban settings. As a Planning Associate working for the city of Los Angeles Planning Department, Rafael assists with preservation standards review for existing landmarks, in addition to National and California Register districts.

Michael Childers, born in North Carolina, studied at UCLA Film School before launching his photography career under mentors Robert Heineken and Edmund Teske. Notably, he contributed mixed media work to the off-Broadway hit Oh! Calcutta! and was the sole American photographer invited to Sir Laurence Olivier’s National Theater. He was a founding photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview as well as After Dark magazine and created photographs for the world’s great ballet companies in his New York and London studios. His prolific portfolio spans 200+ magazine covers, 150+ album covers, and film posters for major studios. His retrospective exhibitions have been showcased worldwide, including at the Palm Springs Desert Museum and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Author Author, featuring Childers’ images of celebrated authors, playwrights, poets and screenwriters, was exhibited in a dozen major U.S. libraries, including the Beinecke Library Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University and the Monroe C. Gutman Library at Harvard University in 2019. His works are featured in prestigious collections globally, and recent accolades include a Best Short Documentary Film Award for I Knew Andy Warhol. Currently represented by Melissa Morgan Fine Art, Palm Desert, CA, his latest exhibition, “AI Photography,” opened in spring 2024.

About FORT: LA
Friends Of Residential Treasures: LA is an award-winning nonprofit dedicated to bringing people together by celebrating the history and influence of residential architecture. Our organization has developed four interlocking programs in pursuit of our mission: An online mapping system for self-guided tours of the exteriors of architecturally significant homes developed by experts in the field (FORT Trails); a fellowship to foster new knowledge (FORT Fellowship); a series of virtual experiences to provide interior access and understanding (FORT Frames). We have been covered by the LA Times, KCRW, KCAL, NBC: LA, Spectrum News, Los Angeles Magazine, Time Out Los Angeles, American Way, and other outlets. Our organization is also the recent recipient of an LA Conservancy Preservation award and a California Preservation Foundation Design award. FORT’s newsletter announcing its free monthly content reaches over 8,700 subscribers per month.

For ADA accommodations, call (213) 228-7430 at least 72 hours prior to the event.

Para ajustes razonables según la ley de ADA, llama al (213) 228-7430 al menos 72 horas antes del evento.

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Los Angeles Central Library
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