Once upon a time, the Southern California landscape was notable for its orange groves, but as its population grew, its cities grew and in time, the lovely orange groves vanished.
All that’s left of them now is orange crate art, which got as much attention as the oranges. Clever, imaginative and beautifully rendered by some of the region’s top commercial artists and graphic designers, they were nothing less than small, elegant posters.
In the mid-50s, when cardboard cartons replaced wooden crates, these minor works of art disappeared. Today, they are collectors’ items.
About 400 of them can currently be seen in “Groves of Gold,” an exhibit of fruit box labels at the California Heritage Museum on Main Street at Ocean Park Boulevard (through August 18).
The exhibit, which includes historic photos and some original crates, was curated by author, historian and collector Gordon T. McClelland and staff curator Michael Trotter.For more information and museum hours, call (310) 392-8537.