At the end of summer 2009 I received an extraordinary email - LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) wanted to use one of my photographs on a tote bag they would sell in their gift shops and online store. The photo was an image that I had taken of Urban Light - Chris Burden's sculpture of 202 restored antique cast iron Los Angeles street lights from the 1920's and 1930's.
Although Urban Light was only installed at LACMA recently (2008), it instantly became an iconic site in our great City of Angels. Day or night, drive by LACMA and you are likely to see people strolling between the lamps and taking photos of themselves amidst the lights. It is literally one of the most photographed things in Los Angeles.
LACMA found my shot among thousands of other Urban Light photos seen in Google images. When they asked if they could use my photo, to say I was floored is putting it mildly.
I grew up at LACMA and the La Brea Tarpits. LACMA is truly nostalgic ground to me. Some of my favorite childhood memories were spent walking the grounds with my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Fritz, eating lunch at the cafeteria, tiptoeing across rocks in the meandering stream that cuts through the park, and climbing on the giant bear and sloth statues. Then as a 16 year old high schooler learning to use an SLR in Beginning Photography, LACMA became my muse as I took my first artistic shots of the architecture and galleries using a hand-me-down Canon AE-1 Program.
I may never have work hanging in the galleries of LACMA (it's not even something I aspire to), but to have my work sold there and represent Urban Light is a thrill.
My parents were longtime members of LACMA and I have been too. That the sales of my tote bag benefit the museum in any small way gives me great pleasure.
Nearly a year after first contacting me, the tote bag began selling in the gift shops. And this week, it's finally for sale in their updated online store. So after much anticipation and excitement, my tote bag "baby" is finally out in the world and I can share this great news.
And LACMA has created a special promo coupon code for me!
Use the coupon code LYDIA10 until January 5, 2011 to receive a 10% discount when purchasing the Urban Light tote bag from the LACMA online store.
LACMA members get their 10% discount in addition to this coupon if they enter their membership number in the comment box on the order form. The membership discount will not show up on the order - but LACMA applies it when they finalize the sale.
- Lydia Marcus
Urban Light Tote Bag
Member Price $25.20
This great tote is supersized to hold everything you could possibly want, including a lap top. The image on the front of the bag is a detail of the sculpture Urban Light, by Chris Burden, which can be seen in front of LACMA's entrance on Wilshire Boulevard. It has quickly become a must-see destination in Los Angeles.
We asked local photographer Lydia Marcus for permission to use her great image once we spotted it on the web. Marcus is a proud native Los Angeleno and self-proclaimed unapologetic Valley girl whose photographs have appeared in JPG Magazine, Light Leaks, and AOL City Guide Los Angeles. She uses antique Polaroid cameras and contemporary digital formats to capture L.A.'s car culture and vintage neon signage.
Bag is approximately 18 3/4 square with photo on front and solid black back
- Interior zipper pocket approximately 6 1/4 inches square
- Water resistant coating inside
- Sturdy 1 1/2 inch strap expands in length from approximately 28 1/2 inchs to approximately 54 inches
- Imported exclusively for LACMA