I am in Las Vegas, Nevada for ten days (I arrived Sunday, December 9, 2012). On the first morning, Monday, December 10, I met with curator and historian, Brian Paco Alvarez, and filmmaker and producer, Dan Garrison, at The Beat café in the Emergency Arts Center in downtown Las Vegas (Fremont and 6th). It is in the former J.C. Penney building, the store which donated clothing for Federal Civil Defense Administration tests at the Nevada Test Site in the early 1950s, and the site where the L.A. Darling mannequins, who experienced the force of nuclear blasts, were put on display for public viewing.
Emergency Arts, the former J.C. Penney building:
We discussed ‘The Evolution of Silence’ and the possibility for its premiere as an exhibition here in LV. Paco is working to establish historic designation for the former J.C. Penney building in downtown Las Vegas because of its role in the history of the Nevada Test Site.
I spent the afternoon at the Nevada State Museum Cahlan Research Library, looking at photographs, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, maps, and publications from various collections. I am returning tomorrow to finish looking at the clippings in the Patricia Lee collection and to search the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review Journal newspapers from 1953 on microfilm for pictures and articles about the mannequins on display.
Mannequins on display, before the ‘Annie’ nuclear test of March 17, 1953 (from the Las Vegas Review Journal, March 6, 1953):