In 1970 CalArts hired John Baldessari to teach what became his legendary post-studio art class. LACMA's Unframed blog has reminiscences from Baldessari and famous students. For a completely different take on early CalArts, check out this incredible 1964 video. Walt Disney was trying to raise funds to build his dream school of the arts, then proposed for a site opposite the Hollywood Bowl. He did a short promotional film, The CalArts Story, that was presented at the premiere of Mary Poppins. The titles alone are jaw-droppers. The echt-plummy voice of Sebastian Cabot ("Mr. French") leads the viewer on a survey of L.A.'s cultural meccas, existing and planned. There's the pre-Disney Hall Music Center, the not-yet-open "County Art Museum" ("it will attract to its galleries the finest of the world's art treasures"), the never-opened Hollywood Museum, and of course, CalArts. The students' retrosexual outfits are as amazing as Cabot's ruminations on art and society. "The well-trained artist is a decidedly useful member of society."… "Our treasure is talent—a natural resource as precious as diamonds, as valuable as rubies."
Whatever happened to that annual CalArts fashion show?