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California Design, 1930–1965

LACMA presents first major retrospective of midcentury Californian design...

California Design, 1930–1965

The title references a quote from Swedish designer/architect Greta Magnusson Grossman – who brought with her a very Scandinavian minimalist approach when she arrived on the United States’ west coast in the late 1930s...

Installation view
© 2011 Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com)
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art – LACMA to you and I – recently unveiled a mammoth exhibition celebrating Californian midcentury design – the first of its kind, with some 300+ objects representing all areas of design. Appropriately named – California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” – the title references a quote from Swedish designer/architect Greta Magnusson Grossman – who brought with her a very Scandinavian minimalist approach when she arrived on the United States’ west coast in the late 1930s – and, in doing so, lays the foundations for the unique sun-kissed Scandi-style that iconic designers like Charles and Ray Eames became so famous for.

Whereas European countries so easily slip off the tongue when prompted for celebrated design aesthetics, the ‘sunshine state’ may not be as instantly synonymous; but – as this exhaustive collection so effortlessly reveals – California’s glamorous fusion of classical design conventions with its own fresh, bold and inimitable style deserves its dues as an iconic international design philosophy in its own right…

California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” runs at LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion until June 3rd, 2012

California Design, 1930–1965

Installation view
California Design, 1935-1960. ‘Living in a Modern Way’
October 1, 2011-June 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© Airstream, inc. Reproduced by permission
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Richard Neutra, Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, 1946.
Photo by Julius Shulman, 1947
© J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive.
Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (2004 R.10)

California Design, 1930–1965

Mary Ann DeWeese (1913-1993, active Los Angeles)
Catalina Sportswear (Los Angeles, 1907-93)
California Lobster Bikini, Man’s Shirt and Trunks, 1949
Lastex, cotton
Collection of Esther Ginsberg/Golyester Antiques
© 2011 The Warnaco Group, Inc. All rights reserved. For Authentic Fitness Corp., Catalina Sportswear
Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Charles Eames (1907-1978, active Venice)
Ray Eames (1912-1988, active Venice)
Herman Miller Furniture Company
ESU (Eames storage unit), c. 1949
Zinc-plated steel, birch-faced and plastic-coated plywood, lacquered particle board, rubber
69 x 47 x 16 in. (175.3 x 119.4 x 40.6 cm)
LACMA, Gift of Mr. Sid Avery and Mr. James Corcoran
© 2011 Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com); Herman Miller. Inc.
Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Installation view
California Design, 1935-1960. ‘Living in a Modern Way’
October 1, 2011-June 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Installation view
California Design, 1935-1960. ‘Living in a Modern Way’
October 1, 2011-June 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Straub & Hensman Buff
Recreation pavilion, Mirman House, Arcadia 1958
Photo by Julius Shulman, 1959
© J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography
Archive. Research Library at the Getty Research Institute

California Design, 1930–1965

Installation view
California Design, 1935-1960. ‘Living in a Modern Way’
October 1, 2011-June 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Installation view
California Design, 1935-1960. ‘Living in a Modern Way’
October 1, 2011-June 3, 2012
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Photo © 2011 Museum Associate/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Charles Eames (1907-1978, active Venice)
Ray Eames (1912-1988, active Venice)
Molded Plywood Division, Evans Products Company (Venice, 1943-47)
Elephant, 1945
Molded plywood
16½ x 30¾ x 16¼ in. (41.9 x 78.1 x 41.3 cm)
Eames Collection, LLC
© The Eames Foundation. Courtesey Eames Office LLC (eamesoffice.com)

California Design, 1930–1965

Carlos Diniz (1928-2001, active Los Angeles)
Ladd & Kelsey, Architects (Pasadena, 1958-80)
Monarch Bay Homes, Laguna Niguel (outdoor dining terrace). 1961
Screenprint
20 1/8 x 26 in. (51.1 x 66cm)
LACMA. Gift of Gilbert Ortiz and Edward Cella Art + Architecture
© Carlos Dinz Archive
Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

California Design, 1930–1965

Paul Lâszió (b. Hungary, 1900-1993, active Beverly Hills)
Paul Laszio’s European Group textile, 1954 or before
Rayon, cotton
105 1/2 x 48 5/8 in. (268 x 123.5 cm)
LACMA, Gift of Peter and Shannon Loughrey
© Paul Lâszió Estate/ADAGP, Paris/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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