David Walls

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Thesis



First Advisor

Peter Chametzky


The aim of this thesis is to analyze works of art originating in the state of California during the 20th century to better understand how sports and recreation were used as a subject matter to reflect upon the state’s changing cultural landscape. This changing landscape encompasses a wide range of social, cultural, economic, and political topics, however, the topics of race, migration, and economic strife are the most consistently reflected in the artistic production of this time and must be emphasized. Scholarship of art created within this region and timeframe has neglected the impact of recreational subject matter and its connection to California’s rapidly changing history. The significance of this thesis is that it reveals an overlooked oeuvre of art within 20th century California that informs our understanding of the state’s history.


© 2023, David Walls