Tag Archives: Malcolm Margolin

A Berkeley magazine celebrating native culture turns 25

Native California
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Ohlone artist Linda Yamane has spent the last three years weaving 20,000 stitches and thousands of feathers and beads into a traditional tribal basket. Yamane is the first artist to follow the Ohlone basketweaving tradition in over 150 years, and her work displays just the enthusiasm and dedication to Indian culture that the magazine News From Native California celebrates.

This magazine, which was started in 1987 by Malcolm Margolin, author and founder of Berkeley’s Heyday Books, features articles, artwork, and a calendar of events dedicated to the native culture of California. The magazine’s 25th anniversary, along with the unveiling of Yamane’s basket, will be celebrated this Saturday at the Oakland Museum of California.

The anniversary party will include a welcoming speech by Yamane, conversation with Margolin, and traditional Indian singing, dancing, and music. Many artists and basketweavers will also display their work and have a chance to teach the public about their art. … Continue reading »

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Book explores impact of Berkeley Art Museum’s Peter Selz

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When Peter Selz arrived in Berkeley in 1965, the university only had a small art gallery to display its modest collection of art. Selz had been recruited from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to oversee the construction of a new, contemporary museum, the Berkeley Art Museum on Bancroft Way.

He did that and more. With Selz at the helm, the Berkeley Art Museum redefined many aspects of modern art and brought overdue attention to California artists.

Selz was already “something of a star,” when he arrived in Berkeley, according to Paul J. Karlstrom, whose new book, Peter Selz: Sketches of a Life, has just been released by UC Press. He had been one of the first curators to trumpet the work of Mark Rothko. His star grew even brighter in Berkeley after he put on groundbreaking shows such as “Directions in Kinetic Sculpture,” an exhibition of the Surrealist René Magritte, and Funk!, which showcased ceramicist Peter Voulkos, Bruce Conner, and other California artists. Selz, who had fled Germany during the Nazi regime, also created the Pacific Film Archive. … Continue reading »

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Snapshot: Malcolm Margolin, Founder, Heyday Books

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By Frances Dinkelspiel and Pete Rosos

“Hierophantic,” was how the noted historian Kevin Starr described Malcolm Margolin, the publisher of  the Berkeley-based Heyday Books, in a 2004 article in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Manifesting sacred power, a power larger than life, a savant. There’s something rabbinical about him.”

When Berkeleyside approached Margolin about being featured in our “Snapshot” series, he was completely uninterested in answering our questions about himself (as you can see below) and effectively declined to do so. But don’t think that means Margolin doesn’t have any opinions. In fact, he has so many ideas and notions that any casual meeting with the man with the trademark white beard is often the occasion for a torrent of ideas.

Margolin has lived in Berkeley since 1970 when he moved from New York with his wife, Rina. He started Heyday in 1974 with the self-published The East Bay Out, a guide to the East Bay Regional Parks. The success of that book launched a company that has significantly contributed to the understanding of California.

Margolin’s own The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey-Bay Area shed light on an important part of the state’s history. The non-profit Heyday has published hundreds of other tomes that illuminate the state’s culture, history, ecology, literature and art. … Continue reading »

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The night Pablo Picasso heard the UC Berkeley fight song

Alice B. Toklas and Harriet Lane Levy in Fiesole, Italy in 1909. Phot: Bancroft Library
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In 1908, a Jewish woman from San Francisco named Harriet Lane Levy was invited to a supper in Montmartre to honor the painter Henri Rousseau. This was no ordinary supper: its hosts were the painter Pablo Picasso and his lover, Fernande Olivier.

Levy was well acquainted with the artists, painters, poets, and writers who lived in Paris in the first decades of the 20th century and came to be known as The Lost Generation. In 1907, she and her neighbor, Alice B. Toklas, left San Francisco to visit Paris. On their first day there they went to see a good friend, Sarah Samuels, who had married Michael Stein. In the room was Michael’s sister, Gertrude Stein. The love match between Stein and Toklas is one of the most famous couplings in history. … Continue reading »

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