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P.O. Box 193307
San Francisco, CA 94119
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Our Exhibits

If you’re looking for a temporary exhibition that draws a crowd and is affordable and easy to install, Exhibit Envoy is your ideal resource! We offer exhibitions that reflect the richness of California’s arts, culture, and natural environment. Browse our list of available exhibitions and view our library of installation images. Then, give us a call to book your next traveling exhibition. For more info on how to rent from us, see our How To Host page.

Postcards from Mecca

AUDIENCE: General

RENTAL FEE: $2,500 + shipping for an 8-week booking

SIZE: 850 - 1,100 sq. ft.

SECURITY: Moderate

INSTALLATION IMAGES: View online here

Uncover the California Desert Photographs of the independent, adventurous, and spirited cousins Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves, taken between 1916-1936.

Susie Keef Smith was seeking escape from a troubled home life and the havoc of childhood polio when she and her cousin, Lula Mae Graves, set out to photograph the last of the prospectors, burro packers and stage stops in the remote desert east of California’s Salton Sea. They traveled by burro, foot and Ford though sandy washes and roadless canyons, armed with a .38 revolver and a large format camera. While making postcards for the PO spinner rack in Mecca, where Susie was postmaster, the women were remade in the wilderness and wound up creating an unparalleled portrait of one of the lesser-known deserts in the West.

Susie’s photos were nearly lost to history when–upon her death–they were tossed out by a county administrator. A savvy archaeologist jumped into a dumpster and rescued many of the photos you see here. This book presents portraits of a mysterious land along with the story of its heroic chroniclers, self-taught documentary photographers of the 1920s and ’30s.

Postcards from Mecca is based on the book edited by Ann Japenga and Warner V. Graves III, originated at the La Quinta Museum, and is traveled by Exhibit Envoy.

The exhibition includes:

  • 55 framed photographs by Lula Mae Graves and Susie Keef Smith, with suggested installations for highlighting 30-55 of these photographs (fit your gallery!)
  • Artifacts from Lula Mae Graves and artifacts representative of the times, including postcards and cameras
  • Didactic text panels and captions for each photograph
  • Reproduction photo album for visitors to flip through
  • A photo station representing the Mecca Post Office where Susie was postmaster
  • PDFs for printing postcards in your own museum
  • Exhibition press kit
  • An exhibit copy of Postcards from Mecca: The California Desert Photographs of Susie Keef Smith and Lula Mae Graves, 1916-1936 , edited by Ann Japenga and Warner V. Graves III


TOP: Susie Keef Smith photographed by Lula Mae Graves. MIDDLE and BOTTOM: Installation views from the La Quinta Museum, La Quinta, CA.

SCHEDULE & AVAILABILITY:

January 24, 2019 – May 11, 2019 La Quinta Museum, La Quinta
Through April 15, 2020 Preparation for Travel
May 3, 2020 – June 28, 2020 AVAILABLE
July 12, 2020 – September 6, 2020 AVAILABLE
September 20, 2020 – November 15, 2020 AVAILABLE
November 29, 2020 – January 24, 2021 AVAILABLE
February 7, 2021 – March 28, 2021 (7 weeks) AVAILABLE
April 11, 2021 – June 6, 2021 AVAILABLE
June 20, 2021 – August 15, 2021 AVAILABLE
August 29, 2021 – October 24, 2021 AVAILABLE
November 7, 2021 – January 2, 2022 AVAILABLE
January 16, 2022 – March 13, 2022 AVAILABLE
March 27, 2022 – May 22, 2022 AVAILABLE
June 5, 2022 – July 31, 2022 AVAILABLE
September 4, 2022 – October 30, 2022
Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley
November 13, 2022 – January 8, 2023
AVAILABLE


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