California historian and author Kevin Starr will deliver the keynote address for the Laguna Art Museum’s first symposium at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.
In “Art, Nature and the American Landscape: Pioneer Pathways Towards Defining California,” Starr will speak about nature’s role in shaping California’s identity and the importance of John Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist and advocate for wilderness preservation, said the museum’s executive director Malcolm Warner. “Appreciation of nature is central to being Californian,” he said.
Starr, best known for his series of books titled “California and the American Dream,” will present his ideas on how perceptions of nature helped shaped California’s history and identity as a state and its culture.
A Harvard Ph.D. and California resident since 1974, Starr’s multi-faceted resumé includes his position as state librarian between 1994 and 2004. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger along with his wife Maria Shriver inducted Starr into the California Hall of Fame in 2010.
His latest volume, “Golden Dreams: California in an Age of Abundance,” earned him the 2009 Los Angeles Times book prize for history. Three years earlier, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by then President George W. Bush.
Starr has taught at UC Berkeley and Stanford University, and his work inspired John Adams to compose “City Noir.”