Posts by Shelly Kale

Lawrence Halprin, Design for Los Angeles Library Garden, date unknown Lawrence Halprin, A Life Spent Changing Places (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2011)

Visions of Los Angeles: Landscape Architect Lawrence Halprin Transforms a City



“Great cities are not made by automobiles, freeways and high rises. Basically, they are made by open spaces and the people who use the open spaces.”
—Lawrence Halprin, c. 1987

It started in the 1950s with plans to … Read more

Lawrence Halprin, Self-Portrait before Leaving Israel, 1998 Courtesy of Anna Halprin

Lawrence Halprin: Landscape Architecture in Israel

As a teenager, the land of Israel captivated Lawrence Halprin (1916–2009). In 1929, at 13, he marked the ritual transition into Jewish adulthood and responsibility (bar mitzvah) in Jerusalem (then British-governed Palestine Mandate), where he and his family … Read more

Anna Halprin Surrounded by Dancers in Circle the Earth, c. 1980s Courtesy of the Museum of Performance + Design

Anna Halprin: Dance as a Healing Art

Before I had cancer, I lived my life in service of dance, and after I had cancer, I danced in the service of life. – Anna Halprin

The pioneer avant-garde dancer Anna Halprin knows a thing or two about the … Read more

Peace Dove, 2014 Photo © Sue Heinemann

Anna Halprin: Dance for the Ages

At Anna Halprin’s workshop at Moa Oasis, an ecological retreat in the southern Israeli desert, participants from all over the world created a ritual for peace, followed by a spontaneous dance of joy.

 Martha Graham used to say … Read more

Anna Halprin in Her Work Madrona, c. 1954 Photographer unknown; Anna Halprin Papers, Museum of Performance + Design

Celebrating the Legendary Dance Pioneer Anna Halprin

As 2015 comes to a close, so, too, does the year-long, worldwide 95th birthday celebration for the postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin. National and international tributes have brought a renewed focus to Anna’s contributions to performance, choreography, and dance education.… Read more

Lawrence Halprin, Yosemite Studies, 1970, watercolor over photocopy on paper; courtesy of the Halprin Family Archive and Edward Cella Art + Architecture “Studying the granite formations, rivers, lakes, and waterfalls [of Yosemite] and their evolution has formed the basis of my design philosophy.” —Lawrence Halprin

Yosemite—Protected Wilderness

On October 1, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation establishing the country’s third national park at Yosemite. Congress had recognized Yosemite as worthy of protection since 1864, when in the midst of the Civil War it granted the magnificent and … Read more

Stern Grove: “Mystical” Gift to San Francisco

August 16, 2015, concludes the 78th Stern Grove Festival—the annual outdoor performing arts event sponsored by the City of San Francisco—at the historic Sigmund Stern Recreation Grove south of Golden Gate Park.

As the season closes, we recall the history … Read more

Arson and Street War, Life magazine, August 27, 1965 Courtesy California ephemera collection, UCLA Library Special Collections

The 50th Anniversary of L.A.’s Watts Riots: Anna Halprin and the Studio Watts Workshop

Fifty years ago, from August 11 to 17, 1965, a community was shattered. A city was torn apart. Property was destroyed. Lives were lost.

The Watts Riots in Los Angeles—to some a riot, to others a rebellion—were set off by … Read more

Anna Halprin; photo by Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Choreographing the Environment

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Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., U.S. Secretary of State and chairman of the U.S. delegation, addresses the 16th Plenary Session on June 26, 1945. President Harry S. Truman is to his left.

70 Years Ago, a City Embraced the Future


It was late April 1945 and the war in Europe was nearing an end. On April 29, German forces surrendered in Italy. The next day, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. A few days later in Berlin, Soviet forces captured the German … Read more