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Idyllwild and the High San Jacintos (CA) (Images of America) Paperback – April 20, 2009
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Title: Idyllwild Arts Featured in New Idyllwild Book
Author: Staff Writer
Publisher: Idyllwild Arts Foundation
Date: Spring 2009
The early days of Idyllwild Arts Academy, known as ISOMATA then, are among some 218 photos in the Idyllwild Historical Society’s new book, “Idyllwild and the High San Jacintos,” by local writer and Associates member Bob Smith. This collection of previously unpublished photographs from 1880 to 1960 has several pages of very early photos of our Idyllwild Arts Academy.
“An Afternoon of Vintage Idyllwild” was held at the Rustic Theatre on Friday, May 1st. The afternoon included rare restored photos of 1920s Idyllwild, a special preview of the new book, book signing by the author, and Erich von Stroheim’s 1919 film “Blind Husbands,” a silent film-melodrama shot in Idyllwild with some hair-raising shots of Lily Rock. This was von Stroheim’s first film, and it made his career as actor, director, and producer.
Among the photos: ISOMATA’S opening day in summer 1950, with Lora Steere’s outdoor sculpting class. Others depicted: Max Krone; composer Meredith Wilson, who wrote much of “The Music Man” on our campus, and choral conductor Roger Wagner with board member Ernie Maxwell, and an astonishing photo of photographer Alfred Eisenstadt photographing Ansel Adams! Also, Bella Lewitzky, Harry Sternberg, and a young Michael Tilson Thomas as clarinetist in the Idyllwild Youth Orchestra.
About the Author
Robert B. Smith has forged a deep connection with the high San Jacintos over the past 70 summers. Retired from an academic career, he moved to Idyllwild in 2001 and serves on the Idyllwild Area Historical Society’s board of directors. With a unique background as scientist, administrator, nature writer, newspaper columnist, and amateur historian, he has mined chiefly the historical society’s archive to create this book.