West by Midwest

Mason Williams

decade


1930s

1938

Mason Williams is born in Abilene, Texas.

decade


1940s

1940s 1945

Mason Williams grows up dividing his time between living with his father in Oklahoma City and his mother in Oregon.

decade


1950s

1956

Mason Williams graduates high school in Oklahoma City.

1956

After graduating high school, childhood friends Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams head to California on historic Route 66 in a 1950 Ford sedan.

1956

Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams share a room at Mrs. Steer’s Boarding House near downtown Los Angeles.

1956

Mason Williams attends Los Angeles City College but quits his major in math after spending more time at jazz clubs than studying. He decides to become a musician.

1957

Mason Williams moves back to Oklahoma to major in music at Oklahoma City University.

Group oral history interview conducted by Andrew Perchuck and Rani Singh, featuring Jerry McMillan, Ed Ruscha, and Mason Williams, Jan 23, 2007. Part of "Modern Art in Los Angeles : Okies go west," Getty Research Institute, 2007.

decade


1960s

cannot locate find/attachment/5bc7bf0b6fe3d002a5d15352

1964

After leaving the Navy in 1963, Mason Williams returns to Los Angeles and lives with Ed Ruscha.

1964

Jerry McMillan photographs Mason Williams in Los Angeles.

1964

Mason Williams occasionally helps Ed Ruscha lay out Artforum.

cannot locate find/attachment/5bc7706dda2d5a02b82137c8

1967

Patrick Blackwell, Ed Ruscha, and Mason Williams turn what they called a “caper”—improvised actions or “goofy things,” in Williams’s words—into an artist book called Royal Road Test, which documents the remains of a typewriter hurled out of their car.

1968

Ed Ruscha designs an album cover for Mason Williams.

cannot locate find/attachment/5bc7c3676fe3d002aad15378

1969

Jerry McMillan photographs Mason Williams in Los Angeles.

1969

Ed Ruscha and Mason Williams collaborate on the artists’ book Crackers.

decade


1980s

cannot locate find/attachment/5bc7706dda2d5a02b82137c8

Related tags


Patrick Blackwell Jerry McMillan Ed Ruscha California Los Angeles Los Angeles City College Oklahoma Oklahoma City Artforum

cannot locate find/attachment/5bec951cda2d5a029c84a5c4

Stories

Okies in LA

READ MORE

Related tags


Billy Al Bengston Larry Bell Patrick Blackwell Joe Goode Jerry McMillan Ed Ruscha Jim Shaw Mason Williams Art Institute of Chicago Chouinard Ferus Gallery Huysman Gallery La Cienega Los Angeles Oklahoma Oklahoma City Students Five War Babies