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11/26/2010

One year ago: Avery Clayton

November 26, 2010 |  6:00 am

Avery 

Avery Clayton grew up paying little attention to the bits of African American history his librarian mother, Mayme Clayton, enjoyed collecting.

It wasn't until later that he realized the significance of what she had amassed.

"Her part was to assemble the collection. I really believe my part is to bring it to the world," Avery Clayton said, explaining his intention to establish the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum in Culver City.

The collection features rare books, manuscripts, photographs, films and other documents and artifacts. Some of the items were displayed at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino in an exhibit called "Central Avenue and Beyond: The Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles,"  which opened last year.

"Most African American history is hidden," Avery Clayton, who co-curated the exhibit, told The Times in 2007. "What's exciting about this is that we're going to bring it back and show that black culture is rich and varied."

Clayton, a 62-year-old retired art teacher, died suddenly on Thanksgiving Day, one year ago. Read the complete Times obituary, and to learn more about the Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum, visit its website, http://www.claytonmuseum.org/.

-- Claire Noland

 

Photo: Avery Clayton in 2009 at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, where the exhibit "Central Avenue and Beyond: The Harlem Renaissance in Los Angeles" was on display from October 2009 to February 2010. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

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