Art & Artifact Collection (Archives)
 Office Information

The Art and Artifact Collection Office is open on Fridays from 9 am to 5 pm by appointment. Please note that AAC exhibits and collections are available year-round.

The phone number is 213-742-8351. The email address is

The AAC Office is located at 1330 W. Pico Blvd., Room 288, Los Angeles, CA 90015.

Venice High School, 1937-1938

The Compleat Housewife: or, Accomplish'd Gentlewoman's Companion, 1746

Comptometer, "Shoebox" Adding Machine, H-Model, circa 1920

Raymond Nott, California Landscape, detail, oil on canvas, circa 1924

Los Angeles Unified School District Map, detail, 1973-1974

Miguel de Cervantes. The History of Don Quixote, Illustrated by Gustave Dore, gifted to George Washington High School by Ernest Dawson in 1934

 Bulletin Board

Spotlight on...The LAUSD Art and Artifact Collection


News Flash: Grants Awarded to the LAUSD Art and Artifact Collection

The LAUSD Art and Artifact Collection has just been awarded a USC Neighborhood Outreach (UNO) Grant for its ARC Smart Program, a Social Science, Arts and Language Arts standards-based collaboration between LAUSD’s Art and Artifact Collection/Archives and USC’S Archaeology Research Institute. ARC Smart provides 6th grade LAUSD students with five school site lessons, including the opportunity to “get their hands on the past” by handling real ancient artifacts from LAUSD’s own Art and Artifact Collection. Students also learn how to access free, easy-to-use, powerful archaeology exploration tools via the Internet, including InscriptiFact’s Image Database Library, Google Earth and Google’s Virtual Building Warehouse to explore 3D digital reconstructions of ancient buildings and LAUSD’s artifact collections via a massively high resolution, interactive digital platform and various tools such as a “movable light” flashlight.

The UNO grant will enable the expansion of ARC Smart to include more 6th grade students who will be served by volunteer ARC Smart educators, well-trained USC undergraduate and graduate students. These wonderful USC students deliver one-to-two hour in-classroom “field trips.” Grant funds will also fund the creation of a pre-program assessment tool, ancient object handling supports, and a USC student assistant who provides logistical support, helps coordinate volunteers, equipment and supplies, and serves as a senior peer mentor to the ARC Smart educators.

We are also proud to announce a grant from the University of Southern California's International Museum Institute for the "I Dig Museums" program. A partnership with the USC Archaeology Research Center and Joint Educational Project (JEP) office, this project also funds the ARC Smart Program. USC Archaeology students serve as docent ambassadors in LAUSD classrooms. To view descriptions of ArcSmart activities and to learn about the critical intellectual skills that the program helps students to develop, strengthen, and review go to the Partner Programs 
tab.  A full list and text of California Content Standards which are met by the ARC Smart program can be found in the Appendix of the PDF.

Your Support is Needed

Your support of the Art and Artifact Collection/Archives during these challenging economic times is greatly appreciated. Please go to the Arts Education Branch website and follow the directions in the Fundraising section. Please indicate that your contribution is to support ongoing access to the Art and Artifact Collection.

Professional Development: Take Your Elementary Students on a Journey to the Past (Without Leaving The School Yard)... studying the history of their own school and surrounding neighborhood. Linda Kidd, NBCT, and Leslie Fischer, AAC Curator, lead salary point classes on methods and materials for Designing a Local History Project for Elementary Students.

Share the Treasures of LAUSD and Teach your Students about Local, Community History with a New, Free Traveling Exhibit

A new educational resource is available for teachers and students. The portable exhibit called "LAUSD: A Legacy of Learning" utilizes artifacts from LAUSD's Art and Artifact Collection to provide a hands-on learning experience. A Teachers' Guide that adheres to California state instructional standards complements the treasure chest. Use of the trunk includes a teacher training from the Art and Artifact Collection Curator and sample lesson ideas. Please email to sign up today!

Provide Your Students with an Incredible Hands-on Classroom Experience Using Ancient Artifacts 

The Antiquities Road Show! The Art and Artifact Collection has an amazing teaching collection of ancient and classical artifacts, including Greek ceramics, Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets, Roman coins, Egyptian scarabs and even a pair of 2,000-year old booties. The AAC provides teachers and students with the rare opportunity to handle and learn from authentic artifacts without having to leave their campus. To see the lessons and projects that Moss Pike, teacher at Harvard-Westlake Middle School, has developed click here and scroll to Partner Programs. If you would like to schedule a free visit to your school, contact for information.

Come See Some Interesting Exhibits about the History of Teaching and Learning at LAUSD... the Beaudry Building headquarters 15th and 24th floors. Follow this link or click the Exhibits & Projects tab in the upper left corner of this site for more information.

The New Deal is the Real Deal at LAUSD

The Art and Artifact Collection is teaming up with "California's Living New Deal," a project of U.C. Berkeley and the California Historical Society, to research and document WPA and other New Deal-era buildings and works of art. LAUSD has wonderful examples of both, many of which were completed after the devastating Long Beach earthquake of 1933. If you want to know about how your own school might have been a part of this effort, or if you would like to become involved in the project, please email

Is Your School Celebrating an Anniversary?

The Art and Artifact Collection may have photographs, yearbooks or other memorabilia to loan or digitize to support your project. It can also help connect you with other schools that have organized comparable events in the past. And if you are digging up treasures through your own research at school-site museums and archives or with alumni, past faculty and students, the Art and Artifact Collection would love to get copies to preserve and share your work for future generations.

Granada Elementary School's Principal Cindy van Houten organized a celebration for the school's 80th anniversary.
Students, families, alumni and community members helped mark this occasion.

One great example of a coordinated, instructional school centennial celebration took place at Vine Elementary. 2nd grade teacher Kevin Savage led a series of school anniversary events during the 2009-2010 academic year, including the making of a DVD, classroom garden planters, and of course, hosting a visit of the “LAUSD: A Legacy of Learning” portable exhibit to the campus. The year’s exciting calendar culminated on June 16, 2010 when the school leadership dedicated and buried a time capsule on the school grounds. Over 200 parents joined the students, teachers and Principal Stehr in an international dance performance followed by the time capsule ceremony. Students and teachers wore centennial T-shirts and listened intently to the Principal’s inspirational remarks. Then many had the opportunity to shovel dirt into the capsule’s hole before the commemorative bronze plaque was laid on top. Click here to see what was in the time capsule and here for images.

Retired Teacher or Administrator? Extra Time on your Hands? Want to Get Back into the Classroom, or just Recall Fond Memories?

We can use you! The Art and Artifact Collection has many volunteer opportunities for meaningful re-engagement with the LAUSD community. Please contact the Curator at

 Curator's Picks

What the Heck is Sloyd?

If you're not from Scandinavia, or didn't happen to have graduated Los Angeles City Schools in, say, the 1890's, you may not have heard of this highly influential manual arts curriculum. First systematically developed as "Veisto" by the Finnish "Father of the Primary School" Uno Cygnaeus in a school reform proposal to Tsar' Alexander II (Finland belonged to Russia at the time) called Strodda Tankar (that's: Stray Thoughts on the Intended Primary Schools in Finland), based on his observations of Eskimos as a chaplain for a trading company in Alaska (yes, Alaska was theirs too), where he was temporarily exiled for certain improprieties, this integrated program of woodwork, paper-folding, weaving and needlework spread like lichen throughout the Arctic Circle, and the Swedes for some reason renamed it Sloyd. John Dewey's pragmatist pedagogy effectively replaced Sloyd in the palimpsest of American educational history, and most people since then have simply called it "shop."


Report Card from 1896-7, listing Sloyd as a subject (left, w/ magnified and rotated inset). Sloyd Worktable (right, image courtesy of Sherri Salmans)

 About the Art & Artifact Collection

Department Description

The AAC is part of the Arts Education Branch, a division of Instructional Support Services.

 Quick Links

LAUSD Resources

Non-LAUSD Resources

  • LA as Subject is an alliance of research archives, libraries and collections dedicated to preserving the history of the Los Angeles region.