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Mayme Clayton Library and Museum still Looking for Permanent Home

Image is the outside of the old Mayme A. Clayton Library and Museum

The Mayme Clayton Library and Museum is currently storing most of it’s collection at the West Los Angeles College after being evicted from its previous spot within the Culver City Real Estate area.  The library and museum, which has more than two million books, films, and artifacts related to African-American culture, was forced to move from it’s previous location when it lost its lease last year.  It is still looking for a new permanent space.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, notes that the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum had occupied the former Culver City Courthouse since 2006.  However, L.A. County made the decision to end the museum’s lease in 2018, despite multiple petitions and rallies against the announcement.

The museum’s board has stated that it believes it is within the museum’s best interest to stay in the greater Los Angeles area since the museum’s collections have close ties to Culver City.  Many organizations around the area have already helped the museum by providing temporary space for the large collection, with West Los Angeles College being one, but finding a permanent space is the end goal.

According to a press release by President of West Lost Angeles College Dr. James Limbaugh, “West Los Angeles College is acutely aware of the importance of the Clayton collection, and we’re glad that we can be good neighbors and provide the necessary space to store the museum’s artifacts and archival materials while a search is conducted for a permanent location.”

Image is the outside of the Wende Museum of the Cold War.The Wende Museum of the Cold War, an art museum and educational institution with a focus on Soviet Union and Eastern Europe during the Cold War, is currently partnering with the Mayme Clayton Library and Museum and has put forth a proposal to Culver City to use a nearby vacant building as a “creative cultural space” that the museum would have full access to for showcasing some of its collections while the search for a permanent home continues.

Justin Jampol, executive director of the Wende Museum, stated, “As neighbors, friends, and fellow collectors of important historical artifacts, the Wende is thrilled to join with the MCLM to keep this vital institution in Culver City forever, ensuring diverse constituents from our community will continue to be represented here. Innovative, strategic partnerships like this will serve as a powerful model for equitable access to knowledge, culture, and history.”

Local listing agent Martin Feinberg was surprised to learn that the Mayme Clayton collection holds the largest collection of African-American literature, memorabilia, and artifacts west of the Mississippi River.