Shades of L.A.

Pictures from Ethnic Family Albums

A diverse photographic portrait of Los Angeles as seen through the city's family albums

“At last, without the whitewash, these magnificent family portraits are a rainbow arc full of laughter and tears to nourish the future. They remind us that the ordinary lives of Los Angeles are its redeeming miracle.” —Mike Davis, historian and author of City of Quartz

Shades of L.A., a collection of more than one hundred photographs selected from the family albums of eight different communities, makes available rare images of family life in Southern California. Taken not by outsiders reporting to the world, but by families recording their own history, these photographs are important cultural documents of the twentieth century. Together with a timeline of L.A.’s ethnic history, they offer a compelling portrait of life in one of America’s most diverse cities from the 1880s to the 1960s.