UCLA’s Adelbert Bartlett Collection has superb, hi-resolution images from the work of a commercial photographer who lived from 1887-1966 and worked in Southern California in the 1920s through the 1960s.
It was a time when this state was considered the pinnacle of glory, a place where aviators, sportsmen, golfers, movie stars, and athletes played and worked in brilliant sunshine under smog-free skies; swimming, water skiing, boating and hiking through deserts, mountains and parks.
As we endure cataclysmic natural disasters and allow unnatural disasters, such as homelessness, to overtake our state, we have to look back to how the Golden State operated when economic conditions were truly bleak.
We have brought ourselves, by our own powers, to a time and place of our own creation, and our California is a product of our human strengths and weaknesses, a society which can go up or down, in a natural environment which is now turning deadly as it is heated up by carbon.
Way before people understood that our planet might perish by our own hand and not God’s, California took stock of its good fortune and erected a real place out of fantasy.
How did such phenomenal architecture, science, sports and innovation happen here in the early and mid 20th Century? What can we do to restore the optimism and leadership that once made California the envy of the entire world?
Can we bring back the pristine, polished, glimmering, spotless world that once existed?