One man’s LACMA: a farewell 1
Ed. note: It is a sad time as LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, by dribs and drabs, closes down galleries — beloved spaces like the one that housed the museum’s fabled German Expressionist collection and also that for Pop Art. The art goes into storage and the walls and ceilings will meet ...
Flowers from John Lautner
Samuel’s Florist, 2017 photo: Adriene Biondo In October 2017 our friend the architectural historian Alan Hess, author of The Architecture of John Lautner, felt a frisson comparable to how ladies feel when receiving a big unexpected flower bouquet. The Architecture of John Lautner, author Alan Hess Ding dong, Alan’s architectural preservationist sidekick/friend, Adriene Biondo, was ...
Chuey House: artful home built for artists by an artist, Richard Neutra
Chuey House, at 2460 Sunset Drive in the Hollywood Hills, is on the market. At the same time the Los Angeles Conservancy has nominated the iconic house for designation as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). Neutra designed the glass-and-steel home in 1956 for Josephine Ain Chuey, a poet who’d been married to poet Gregory ...
‘Moonlit Modern’ photography captures eerie Palm Springs 1
It’s fun perusing night-owl photographer Tom Blachford‘s portraits of classic Palm Springs mid-century residential architecture. The cheerful pancake-flat homes when portrayed (normally) under a full splash of desert sun by moonbeam ray take on a somewhat cold and menacing aspect. Blachford, 27, not only injects a youthful spin in his “Moonlit Modern” series, but the ...
Let’s go bowling with Chris Nichols
These evocative photos speak reams to arts·meme friend Chris Nichols, a mid-century-modern architecture/culture expert and founder of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Modern Committee, the infamous “Modcom.” So much so that Chris has organized an entire museum exhibit to celebrate the design universe of bowling alleys … the show just opened at the A + D ...
The perils of Pauline Schindler 1
In an early letter, Pauline Schindler wrote, “One of my dreams, Mother, is to have, someday, a little joy of a bungalow, on the edge of the woods and mountains near a crowded city, which shall be open just as some people’s hearts are open, to friends of all classes and types… Surely the mother ...
Jack Cole, superlative night club dancer, 1940s 1
Photo of Jack Cole costumed for his seminal night club act (photo by Maurice Seymour). Like so much related to Cole, the pose is spectacular and unique. What other dancer would opt for this unusual, asymmetric position? With one leg turned out, and the other in parallel position? It was never seen before nor since. ...
Jack Cole’s mid-century-modern dance design 1
A lost Jack Cole dance sequence from DOWN TO EARTH (Columbia, 1947). [click on the photo for detail.] Called the “New York number,” it used to be part of the larger “People Have More Fun Than Anyone,” number before it was cut from the film. It was absolutely common in Cole’s Hollywood career that his ...
Julius Shulman’s 1936 shot of Griffith Observatory — and beyond
The other evening, touring the Pacific Standard show at the L.A. Municipal Gallery on Olive Hill, I was caught off guard by a four-inch square print of this precious, heroic Julius Shulman photograph dating from 1936. It almost made me cry: the two caps, shape of building [it was then only years old], hills and ...
Robert Brown’s “Harbor Theme,” historic mural from Beverly Hilton hotel, at New Puppy Gallery 1
Robert W. Brown was a prolific Los Angeles visual artist with a vast range of talents: a print maker, studio glass artist, professor of art, ceramicist, figure artist; there are few art forms he didn’t delve into, and he was generally a master technician at each. Brown completed Harbor Theme sometime in 1954 or 1955. ...