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OnJuly 23\, 1925 under the lea dership of William Nickerson\, Jr.\, Norman O. Houston and George Beavers\, Jr.\, Golden State Guarantee Fund Insurance Company began in a one room of fice at 1412 Central Avenue. Within three months they had outgrown that spa ce and moved to a storeroom at 3512 Central Avenue. Within three years the company had over 100 employees and branches in Pasadena\, Bakersfield\, San Diego\, and Fresno.

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In 1928\, using African Americans for design and labor\, they built the two-story Golden St ate Mutual Life Insurance Building at 4261 Central Avenue where the firm oc cupied the top floor while the main floor was rented to merchants. The comp any name changed to Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company (GSM) in 193 1 and expanded into Illinois in 1938 and Texas in 1944. In 1948 GSM commiss ioned African American architect Paul Williams to design the building that stands to this day as an historic landmark on the corner of Western and Ada ms Blvds.

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From the historic murals th ey commissioned for the lobby by artists Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff t o their willingness in 1965 to allow artist William &ldquo\;Bill&rdquo\; Pa jaud to curate what became the largest U.S. collection of corporate-owned A frican American art in this country\, GSM became more than just a business. We salute its founders and the activist role they took in promoting Africa n American culture and history for its employees and customers.

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This exhibition would not hav e been possible but for support we initially received from The Getty Founda tion for Places of Validation\, Art &\; Progression as part of The Getty&rsquo\;s initiative Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA: 1945-19 80. Loaned items for this exhibition came from the UCLA Library Specia l Collections\; the California State Insurance Commissioner\; Alden Kimbrou gh\, William Pajaud\, and other collectors who graciously shared their hist ories\, time\, art and artifacts to make this tribute possible.

DTEND:20140731 DTSTAMP:20140725T014152 DTSTART:20120404 GEO:34.0154369;-118.2870861 LOCATION:California African American Museum\,600 State Drive Exposition Par k\nLos Angeles\, CA 90037 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:The Legacy of the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company: More Than a Business\, Charles Alston\, Richmond Barthé\, Elizabeth Catlett\, H arvey Johnson\, Joseph Sims\, Hale Woodruff UID:223261 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR