LAVA Sunday Salon September 2013

Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber’s Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.

On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another.If you’re interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.

Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton’s Cafeteria here.

The Salon will be broken into two distinct presentations each lasting about 45 minutes. You are encouraged to arrive early if you wish to order food and beverages from the counter downstairs, and bring your meal upstairs. 

Presentation One

Aggie Underwood: Crime Reporter. The wicked in Los Angeles have had few peers, and their stories have been so outlandish that they demanded to be told by people who were up to the task. One of the reporters who proved time and again that she was the match for any wayward youth, homicidal wife, husband, or monstrous child killer was Agness “Aggie” Underwood. Over nearly two decades as a reporter, Aggie acquired a reputation as a woman whose gut feelings were as reliable as those of any cop; and as a journalist who would go to great lengths to scoop her competition. Join writer and social historian Joan Renner as she explores the life and work of Agness “Aggie” Underwood.

Read Joan’s tribute to Aggie in July’s Los Angeles Magazine blog.

Presentation Two

Heavenly Bodies, the Skeletons in the Roman Catacombs. Dr. Paul Koudounaris (author of the goth cult classic Empire of Death, the first study of bone-decorated religious sanctuaries) presents a talk with slide show on his soon-to-be-released volume, Heavenly Bodies, the story of skeletons discovered in the Roman Catacombs in the late sixteenth century. Largely anonymous, they were nevertheless held to be the remains of Early Christian martyrs, and treated as sacred. Sent to Catholic churches and religious houses in German-speaking Europe to replace holy relics that had been destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, the skeletons were carefully reassembled and richly adorned in jewels and precious costumes by teams of nuns. Intended as flamboyant devotional items, they also turned out to be the finest works of art ever created in human bone. Once part of the spiritual life of many people, as time passed the faith in these sumptuously decorated skeletons wavered, and they were cast out during the Enlightenment as remnants of a superstitious and embarrassing Catholic past. Largely forgotten in the annals of religious history, Dr. Koudounaris gained unprecedented access to religious institutions where the surviving decorated skeletons are held. His photographs are the first that were ever taken of many of them, and the images which will accompany his lecture are bizarre, moving, and beautiful.

The Salon will be followed by a free tour of South Broadway–The Flaneur & The City: Broadway on My Mind walking tour #3.