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Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records, 1953-1989

Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts

Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records measure 0.2 linear feet and date from 1953-1989. The records include clippings, a transcript of the film The Towers, interview transcripts with the towers' creator Simon Rodia, materials related to the Watts Towers' false restoration, photographic material, and unpublished articles by Jeanne Morgan. The records were compiled by Jeanne S. Morgan, founding member, executive director, and chair (1978-1980) of the Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts.

Biographical/Historical Note

Simon Rodia (1879-1965), a native of Serena, Italy, created the unique sculptural assemblage of the Watts Towers in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Reaching over 100 feet each, the seventeen interconnected sculptural towers were assembled over a thirty-three year period (1921-1954). The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts was founded in response to plans by the city of Los Angeles to have the towers destroyed. For sixteen years the committee raised money, designed an engineering test to disprove the city's contention that the towers were unsafe. The members also ran an art center that offered free classes to the community. In 1975 the committee assigned the towers and art center to the city of Los Angeles.

Provenance

The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Jeanne S. Morgan in 1997.

Funding

Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Location of Originals

  • This collection contains photocopies of photographs and artwork. The location of originals is unknown.