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McElmurry and Larrinaga family papers

 Collection
Identifier: 7122

Scope and Contents

A collection of family papers documenting two generations of the McElmurry and Larrinaga family. Mario Larrinaga immigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles and--in collaboration with his brother Juan Larrinaga--worked as a designer, art director, and painter of set backgrounds in Hollywood, working at RKO Pictures, Universal, and other major film studios. Larrinaga is most recognized for painting the set backgrounds for the original King Kong (1933) film. After retiring from his work in the film industry, Larrinaga moved to Taos, New Mexico, and co-founded Gallery A. Isabelle Larrinaga (née Verda Clark) came to Los Angeles from Iowa to work as a dancer. Isabelle most likely met Mario on the set of a film where she was working as a chorus dancer. Norma Larrinaga, daughter of Isabelle and Mario, was born in Los Angeles and raised in Bel Air. As a child, Norma was a competitive figure skater and concert pianist. Norma later taught piano and worked as a fashion illustrator in Santa Barbara. Charles McElmurry, Norma's husband, was raised in Venice, California, worked at Disney after high school, then served in the U.S. Marine Corps art department. Subsequently, McElmurry attended the Chouinard Art Institute with support from the GI Bill, which is where he met Norma. McElmurry later worked as a freelance artist for Jay Ward Studios in Los Angeles. The collection includes family photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, and certificates. The collection also holds some of Mario Larrinaga's sketches and illustrations for his work on various films and publications, including King Kong (1933) and Seven Wonders of the World (1956).

Dates

  • 1920 - 2005

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Department of Special Collections at specol@usc.edu. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

Finding aid description and metadata are licensed under an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.

Extent

4.35 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

A collection of family papers documenting two generations of the McElmurry and Larrinaga family. Mario Larrinaga immigrated from Mexico to Los Angeles and--in collaboration with his brother Juan Larrinaga--worked as a designer, art director, and painter of set backgrounds in Hollywood, working at RKO Pictures, Universal, and other major film studios. Larrinaga is most recognized for painting the set backgrounds for the original King Kong (1933) film. After retiring from his work in the film industry, Larrinaga moved to Taos, New Mexico, and co-founded Gallery A. Isabelle Larrinaga (née Verda Clark) came to Los Angeles from Iowa to work as a dancer. Isabelle most likely met Mario on the set of a film where she was working as a chorus dancer. Norma Larrinaga, daughter of Isabelle and Mario, was born in Los Angeles and raised in Bel Air. As a child, Norma was a competitive figure skater and concert pianist. Norma later taught piano and worked as a fashion illustrator in Santa Barbara. Charles McElmurry, Norma's husband, was raised in Venice, California, worked at Disney after high school, then served in the U.S. Marine Corps art department. Subsequently, McElmurry attended the Chouinard Art Institute with support from the GI Bill, which is where he met Norma. McElmurry later worked as a freelance artist for Jay Ward Studios in Los Angeles. The collection includes family photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, and certificates. The collection also holds some of Mario Larrinaga's sketches and illustrations for his work on various films and publications, including King Kong (1933) and Seven Wonders of the World (1956).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Eric Webster, May 14, 2021.

Title
Finding aid for the McElmurry and Larrinaga family papers
Status
Minimally Processed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States