Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959 – 1971, I: West Coast, East Coast
Pamela M. Lee, Osgood Hooker Professorship in Fine Arts, Stanford University. In 1969 Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson collaborated on their first video together, East Coast, West Coast. Clocking in at twenty-two minutes, the video featured the two artists playing the roles of East Coast intellectual and West Coast hippy respectively, trading perspectives on art and life as a series of bicoastal clichés. Virginia Dwan, Smithson’s most important patron, occupied a singular position relative to the art scenes of Los Angeles and New York. For the public symposium keynote address given on November 18, 2016, in conjunction with the exhibition Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959 – 1971 at the National Gallery of Art, Pamela M. Lee revisits the history of the Dwan Gallery as a negotiator of two distinct but converging art cultures and the formative role Virginia Dwan played in bringing them closer together.