Skirball Cultural Center, April 7 - October 30

2701 North Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Just in time for the Dodgers baseball season opener, the Skirball Cultural Center is presenting a new exhibition titled "Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American", which reveals how a game that is considered America's "national pastime" has also served as a pathway for many immigrants and minority communities to "become American" through the community spirit of sports. More than 130 pieces of baseball ephemera illuminate how players like Sandy Koufax, Ichiro Suzuki, and Joe DiMaggio became role models for minority communities from American Jews and Italians to Asians, Latinos and African-Americans.
The exhibition is organized into four key sections as visitors take a tour of baseball’s storied history, as well as its impact on not only the immigrant and minority communities, but its role in integrating communities and establishing new personal meanings for generations of baseball fans. Of course, the main attractions of Chasing Dreams are the numerous displays of baseball memorabilia, ranging from Jackie Robinson’s Rookie of the Year award from 1947, Joe DiMaggio’s uniform from his rookie season in 1936, Sandy Koufax’s rookie jersey from 1955, home plate from the past New York Giants game at the Polo Grounds in 1957, and many other must see exhibits including an illustrated timeline of notable events in baseball history. Interactive displays feature a touchscreen database that allow fans to create their All-Time All-Jewish dream team, as well as a mound for kids to try their hand at pitching. Visitors will also enjoy visiting The Dugout, a baseball-themed hangout for kids and fans of all ages. Inside the dugout, fans can dress up in baseball gear and snap a “baseball card” photo, design a pennant, play games, as well as check out baseball magazines and books past and present. This is a Major League hit among families. The dugout will be on display through September 4th. Another must see for every baseball fan is The Unauthorized History of Baseball in 100-Odd Paintings: The Art of Ben Sakoguchi. In this exhibit, L.A. artist Ben Sakoguchi (b. 1938) shows his display of baseball from both a historical and humorous point of view, putting his artistic talent on vintage orange crate labels. Unauthorized History will be on display until September 4th. Do you have kids who have an artistic talent beyond the diamond? Check out the Family Art Studio, where the whole family can create one-of-a kind art projects themed around Skirball exhibits, as well as its current baseball exhibits. One thing the whole family will enjoy is making personalized baseballs using ping-pong balls to be placed along the wall of Skirball All Stars, lined of course with baseball cards of various MLB players from the 80s and 90s. Also, while at the Skirball Cultural Center, check out their main exhibits as well. The Skirball, opened in 1996, has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions, celebrating discovery and hope. The Skirball is filled with numerous and ongoing activities that go beyond their featured exhibits, including musical and artistic performances, summer concerts, panel discussions and movie screenings, just to name a few. The museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 12:00-5:00 P.M., Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00p.m. General Admission is $12, $9 for Seniors 65 and over as well as for F/T Students with ID, and Children over 12, $7 for Children 2-12. Admission is free on Thursdays.