'Museum Companion to Los Angeles' guidebook is back
We know that because Borislav Stanic, who probably keeps closer track than anybody as author and publisher of "Museum Companion to Los Angeles," says that in compiling the recently issued third edition, he encountered more than 30 institutions that didn't exist in 1998, when the guidebook last appeared.
While The Times' "L.A. Then and Now" feature lamented last year that the International Banana Museum's decamping from Altadena to the Salton Sea left Los Angeles "in danger of losing its reputation as the capital of offbeat museums," Stanic's survey of the scene suggests our county's collections collectively still have quirks to burn.
While it lifts one's spirit to inhabit a county whose museum walls enclose works by Rembrandt, Van Gogh and mighty geniuses from ancient Greece and Rome (here's where we take the opportunity to slap the Hammer Museum yet again for its incomprehensible decision 17 years ago to auction its prized Leonardo da Vinci manuscript -- a breach of public stewardship that's in a class of its own in L.A. and perhaps American museum annals), what truly leaves us awestruck is the "Museum Companion" entry on the Hathaway Ranch and Oil Museum, a historic site in Santa Fe Springs.
Among its artifacts is a 1939 International Harvester delivery truck that's said to have 1.25 million miles on it -- and still runs. Now that's a masterpiece.
For the story on the "Museum Companion to Los Angeles," click here.
-- Mike Boehm
Photo: "Museum Companion Los Angeles" cover. Credit: Borislav Stanic / Museon Publishing