Art of Decadence

Gallery Row presents:
The Art of Decadence
Thursday, September 21, 2006, 7pm-1am
Tickets, $60 in advance / $80 at the door

To be held at
The Oviatt Penthouse
617 So. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA 90014

You are cordially invited to The Art of Decadence, a Gallery Row Organization fundraiser. The event will be held at the historic Oviatt Penthouse, a masterpiece of Art Deco design located in Downtown Los Angeles.

The night includes appetizers from LA’s premier restaurants, such as Lost Souls, Pete’s Café & Bar, Pitfire Pizza, and Tres LA Catering. Entertainment includes a poker tournament, a cigar-rolling station, burlesque dancers, and live entertainment. A silent art auction features works by notable artists such as Jeff Gillette, James Dinverno, Matt Aston, William Wray, Renee Amitai, Richard McDowell, Mickey Kaplan, and many more.

All proceeds from this event will go toward Gallery Row Organization programs (listed below).


“A castle in the air!…A castle, architecturally graceful, luxurious in appointments, sumptuous in artistic adornment.” *
— Los Angeles Times, 1928

In 1906, at the age of 18, the talented and ambitious James Oviatt left his native Salt Lake City for Los Angeles, where he began a career in haberdashery at Desmond’s Department Store.

In 1925, on one of his many trips to Paris, Oviatt attended the landmark Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et
Industriels Modernes (from which the term Art Deco was derived). Instantly captivated by the beauty of Art Deco, Oviatt commissioned the leading European designers and craftsmen to ornament a magnificent building that would be the new home of Alexander and Oviatt.

The Oviatt Building, erected in 1927, was the first Art Deco building in Los Angeles. Designed by Albert Walker and Percy Eisen, it was lavishly embellished with French marble and more than 30 tons of Lalique’s art glass — the largest shipment of its kind ever to pass through the Panama Canal.

Hailed by Oviatt’s contemporaries as “a castle in the air”, the Penthouse was the site of legendary parties for decades. Oviatt and his wife Mary entertained lavishly, and signed photographs of their friends and clients — including John Barrymore, Errol Flynn, Leslie Howard, Charles Boyer and Howard Hughes — still grace the Penthouse walls.

By 1969 the era of Alexander and Oviatt was over. The haberdashery closed, but the Oviatts continued to occupy the Penthouse until their deaths in the early 1970’s. In 1978 the Oviatt Building was declared a cultural monument; and in 1983 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


The vision of Gallery Row Organization is to create a thriving, pedestrian-friendly , culturally abundant, urban neighborhood.
Gallery Row Organization will educate the public and facilitate cultural and economic revitalization.


DOWNTOWN ART WALK (DAW) Sponsored by Gallery Row Organization and Bert Green Fine Art, the Downtown Art Walk is a monthly, self-guided tour of the art exhibition venues in Downtown Los Angeles. Held every second Thursday of the month from 12-9PM, DAW brings hundreds of people to Gallery Row. Please visit www.downtownartwalk .com for more information.

LOOK WHAT WE CAN DO is designed by GRO to encourage new creative businesses to start in Gallery Row, Downtown Los Angeles.

WALK THIS ROW is an hour-long walk through the streets of Gallery Row, visiting the various galleries and venues in the district. With local Los Angeles residents acting as docents, each tour will be individualized and will express the interests of the resident tourguide.

GALLERY ROW READINGS (Grr!) Grr! introduces works by Los Angeles playwrights to a theatre-hunger public. Grr! will showcase a different theater company every month at LATC.