Date of Award


Degree Type

Restricted to Claremont Colleges Dissertation

Degree Name

History, PhD


School of Arts and Humanities

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Joshua Goode

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Janet Farrell Brodie

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Dan Lewis

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Rights Information

© 2020 Bridget D Lawlor


Artist homes, Authenticity, House museums, Los Angeles

Subject Categories



In the early 1990s, authenticity become a buzzword in the heritage tourism industry as the characteristic that sets historic sites apart from other tourist attractions such as amusement parks. Scholars have examined–with much skepticism–sites such as Colonial Williamsburg and other east coast institutions that tout the presence or recreation of authenticity. However, in Los Angeles, research into authenticity, while focusing on various forms of tourism, excludes heritage sites such as historic house museums. In this dissertation, I will argue that this absence in the literature is due to the city’s reputation for being future focused. Additionally, the sites that have avoided the wrecking ball are primarily recognized for their artistic or architectural merits––emphasizing an advantage that artists’ homes have when it comes to preservation in the area. To fill this gap, I will examine the concept of authenticity in the historic house museums of three artists in the Los Angele area: the Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for the Arts and Crafts, the Eames House, and Will Rogers State Historic Park.