A holiday gift guide for that history-minded Echo Park shopper

With the holidays lurking just around the
corner, Echo Park shoppers find themselves faced with that yearly
dilemma: just what will I buy my history-minded loved ones this year? Fortunately, the EPHS has a few ideas. Starting today, we will share some of them!

In today’s gift-buying installment, we suggest one of the more extravagant gifts on tap for our neighborhood: Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream, a gorgeous 280-page appraisal of the noted architectural photographer.

Maynard Parker made
a long and successful career showing off idyllic scenes of residential
California in the postwar era. The longtime Echo Park resident produced
sumptuous images of domestic perfection for House Beautiful, Sunset, Architectural Digest and other publications, depicting of tidy gardens, ranch-style homes and mid-century modern designs.

Edited by Jennifer A. Watts, the book starts with Parker’s early work, including photographs of art deco buildings that graced L.A. in the 1930s. Soon it offers many samples of Parker’s signature residential photography, produced during  World War II and
afterward: a backyard barbecue in Encino, a gleaming kitchen in La
Canada Flintridge, a model home in rapidly growing Pacoima.

The book gives full-page treatment to the 1943 cover of House Beautiful that showed off the Parker family home on Lemoyne Street in Echo Park, right off Cerro Gordo. There’s a short essay by author Charles Phoenix on Parker’s home movies, accompanied by stills of the Echo Park residence — built by Parker himself.
Here’s a fabulous mini-video to whet your appetite
for the topic, courtesy of the The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

Published by Yale University
Press in tandem with The Huntington Library, this hardbound edition can
be ordered from such booksellers as Stories in Echo Park, Skylight Books in Los Feliz and
Hennessey & Ingalls in Hollywood. At $65, it also can be purchased
online from The Huntington Library, which houses the Maynard L. Parker Collection. It’s definitely a treat!
You can buy and order books through our local book stores and online: