Friends of the Gamble House Members Only Event
Isabelle Greene Home and Garden Tour, Santa Barbara
Saturday, June 27, 2015 • 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Join us as we visit the Santa Barbara home and garden of renowned landscape architect and granddaughter of Henry Greene, Isabelle Greene.
Afternoon included: Garden & home tour | Talk by Isabelle Greene | Light refreshments
Friends of the Gamble House Annual Meeting
The Lanterman House, La Canada
Sunday, June 14, 2015 • 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
The FoGH Annual Meeting will include a docent led tour of the Lanterman House, the meeting program, presentation by guest speaker Jennifer Trotoux and lunch on the terrace.
About the house:
Completed in 1915, the Lanterman House (or “El Retiro,” as it was then known) was built by the second generation of La Cañada’s founding family, the Lantermans. Dr. Roy Lanterman commissioned architect A. L. Haley to design a fireproof bungalow of reinforced concrete for his family.
There are many arts and crafts elements to the U-shaped house, including 32 pairs of french doors, which provide natural light and heat and make all the rooms accessible to the interior patio and trellis-shaped perimeter walkway. The house retains its exquisite original interiors and furnishings, including elaborate hand-painted wall and ceiling ornamentation.
The house’s entire second floor is devoted to a grand ballroom, and the interior of the house retains its original furnishings and is elaborately decorated with detailed plant and flower motifs, represented in painted ornament, wallpapers, and light fixtures.
About the speaker:
Jennifer Trotoux is an associate with Architectural Resources Group, where she has worked as an architectural historian and historic preservation planner since 2006. A native Pasadenan, she was educated in art and architectural history at Scripps College and the University of Chicago and later taught architectural history at Woodbury University.
House description courtesy of the City of La Cañada • Photo by Douglas Keister, courtesy of the Lanterman House
Louis Sullivan: The Struggle for American Architecture
Thursday, March 12, 2015 • 7:00 p.m.
Louis Sullivan: the Struggle for American Architecture marks the first time that the life and career of Louis Sullivan has been brought to the screen. Aside from several films that presented certain parts of Sullivan’s career such as his skyscrapers and banks, there has never been an in-depth exploration of him as an artist and what he tried so hard to do for American architecture.
After months of research that began in early 2007, director Mark Richard Smith began traveling throughout the Midwest and East Coast to view first hand most of Sullivan’s surviving works. The experience shaped his commitment to presenting as vividly as possible the stirring, profound beauty of Louis Sullivan’s architecture. Much of the footage is made up of moving shots that trace building details and ornamentation not readily seen by the naked eye.
But this film aspires to present a lot more than just great photography. Sullivan’s quixotic belief in the unbreakable connection between social values and architecture is closely examined, as are the cultural forces at work at the end of the nineteenth century that made it impossible for Sullivan’s aesthetic to take root in the American consciousness. The film presents him as an artist who never felt completely comfortable in either the vanishing world of nineteenth-century romanticism or the unsentimental and mechanized one of the twentieth century. Yet he understood both like no other artist of the period. Out of this conflict came incomparable works of architecture that vividly captured the end of one age and the dawn of another.
Taliesin East and West
Lecture by Sean Malone
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 • Lecture: 7:00 p.m.
Built on land whose beauty would inspire Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural philosophy, Taliesin (1911) is perhaps the most personal of Wright’s works. Taliesin served as Wright’s main residence and the summer home of the Taliesin Fellowship until 1937, when Wright built his oasis in the Arizona desert, Taliesin West, to serve as his winter residence.
Join us as we look at these two Wright masterworks, Taliesin East and West, and discuss their relationship to the unique natural environments in which they were built, the distinct design elements that are their hallmarks, the culture that thrived at each site and the journey to restore these masterpieces.
About the Lecturer: Sean Malone is President and CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. During Malone’s tenure, the Foundation has performed such mission-critical work as establishing a joint stewardship of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives between the Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library; an in-depth Preservation Master Plan program to define how Taliesin West will be preserved for generations to come; and much more.
Valentine’s Day Twilight Tour for Couples
Saturday, February 14, 2015 • 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Evening including a champagne & hors-d’oeuvre reception on the terrace followed by a twilight tour of the Gamble House. Special performance by Los Angeles composer Galen Wilkes.
FOGH: Holiday Gathering
Sunday, December 7, 2014 • 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
The Gamble House has a certain twinkle this time of year, making it the perfect place to kick off the holiday season with friends old and new. Join us as we gather in the beauty of the house to share good cheer with edibles in the warmth of the kitchen and the glow of the dining room, and holiday libations on the terrace accompanied by a jazz trio! We look forward to celebrating with you at this special members-only event.
STORIES IN STONE: Lecture and Tour at Mountain View Cemetery
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 • Lecture 6:00 p.m. | Tour 7:00 p.m.
Douglas Keister, who has been called “America’s chief tombstone tourist” by CBS Sunday Morning correspondent Rita Braver, will be giving an informative and entertaining lecture illustrated with photographs of cemeteries and funerary art from around the world.
As a special bonus, Doug will guide a limited number of guests on a candlelight tour of Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena. The tour will feature funerary architecture, secret societies, cemetery symbolism and even a unique hollow tombstone. We’ll end the tour by visiting the resting place of George Reeves, the original Superman.
About the Lecturer: Doug Keister gives annual nighttime Halloween cemetery tours at his hometown cemetery in Chico, California and has been honored as a co-tour director at the famous Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York. Doug has authored six books on cemeteries, from his seminal work on funerary architecture, Going Out In Style to his latest cemetery-centric book, Stories In Stone Paris. Doug has spoken at dozens of venues across America including the Smithsonian Institution and the Cooper Union in New York. In March, 2014 he spoke at the Gamble House on Storybook Style architecture.
PIONEERS OF MODERNISM: The Arts & Crafts Movement in Australia
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
This presentation will explore the ways in which the architecture of the Australian Arts and Crafts movement was influenced by concurrent movements, and how it informed the development of Modernism in Australia. Of particular interest will be the resonance between the California bungalow and Australia’s own version of the typology.
Harriet Edquist is Professor of Architectural History and Head of the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT. She is the author of a number of books including Harold Desbrowe-Annear: A Life In Architecture, Pioneers of Modernism: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Australia, and numerous other titles related to architecture and design of the Victorian period forward.
THE ESTHER McCOY COLLECTION: Tour of the McCoy Collection at the Greene & Greene Archives
Saturday, May 3, 2014 • Choice of 10:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.
The Esther McCoy Collection at the Greene and Greene Archives contains McCoy’s library, including over 500 books, at least as many periodicals, and numerous copies of her own publications. McCoy can be credited with introducing Greene and Greene to a wider audience with her book Five California Architects (1960). Her library collection focuses on early 20th century architecture; many of the books are autographed gifts to McCoy by their authors, a testament to her wide-ranging friendships in the field. She was not only an authority on Southern California architecture, but also on Mexican and Italian architecture of the period.
For this display at the Archives, items will be selected to illustrate McCoy’s friendships in the world of architecture as well as to show unusual or rare examples of architectural publications. To brush up beforehand, attend the lecture on April 29th and consult the Archives of American Art which holds the papers of Esther McCoy
ESTHER McCOY: Piecing Together LA
Lecture by Susan Morgan
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
Esther McCoy (1904–1989) was one of the foremost architectural writers of the twentieth century. A gifted literary stylist and keen social critic, her work recognized the genesis of American modernism, witnessed the birth of mid-century design, and ignited public awareness. McCoy’s book Five California Architects (1960) has long been acknowledged as an indispensable classic. As Reyner Banham declared, “No one can write about architecture in California without acknowledging her as the mother of us all.” Throughout her sixty-year career, McCoy worked variously as an author, editorial scout, lecturer, screenwriter, architectural preservationist, and exhibition curator; her life charted the progressive edge of American idealism from the utopian spirit of Jazz Age Greenwich Village through the radical evolution of post-war architecture.
Susan Morgan: Susan has written extensively about art, design, and cultural biography. Her work has been featured in exhibition catalogues, artist’s monographs, and mainstream publications ranging from the New York Times to the World of Interiors. A former contributing editor for Interview, Mirabella, and Metropolitan Home, she is a contributing editor forAperture and www.eastofborneo.org, the collaborative online art journal and archive. With support from the Graham Foundation, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, Morgan has been researching the life and work of writer Esther McCoy. She is editor of Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader (2012), the first McCoy anthology, and cocurator (with Kimberli Meyer) of Sympathetic Seeing (2011), for the MAK Center at the R. M. Schindler House, West Hollywood, CA.
STORYBOOK STYLE: Whimsy in LA
Lecture by Douglas Keister
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
Storybook Style, the rambunctious evocation of medieval Europe in American housing, was born in the early 1920s and almost forgotten by the late 1930s. It took its inspiration from the Hollywood sets that enthralled Americans of the period and that still appeal to our jaded modern eye. Half-timbered and turreted, pinnacled and portcullised, these houses owed their fanciful bravura to architects and builders with theatrical flair, fine craftsmanship, and humor.
Douglas Keister: Douglas has authored and co-authored thirty-nine critically acclaimed books. He also writes and illustrates magazine articles and contributes photographs and essays to dozens of magazines, newspapers, and books. His twenty-five books on architecture include America’s Painted Ladies, Victorian Glory, The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow, Storybook Style, Going Out in Style, Classic Cottages and many more.
HEARST RANCH: Family, Land, And Legacy
Lecture by Victoria Kastner
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 • 7:00 p.m.
The Hearst Ranch is the stunningly beautiful 82,000-acre cattle ranch surrounding William Randolph Hearst’s legendary Hearst Castle. Much of this spectacular landscape is still privately owned and has never been seen by the public. Through historical images from the vast Hearst archive, and full-color photography commissioned for her recent book, Victoria will show us the Hearst Ranch and its many century-old ranch buildings and residences designed by Julia Morgan, revealed for the first time. A favorite lecturer from past presentations, Victoria delivers engaging and insightful tales of the Hearst family, of the talented Morgan and her staff, of the many colorful ranch employees, and of the countless Hollywood movie stars who joined Hearst and Marion Davies as they went roughing it out on the ranch.
Victoria Kastner: Victoria, Hearst Castle’s historian, has written and lectured about Hearst Castle and San Simeon’s land and buildings for nearly 30 years. She is the author of Abrams’ Hearst Castle and Hearst’s San Simeon.
ARCHITECTURE IN LA
Presentation by Charles Phoenix
Sunday, November 24, 2013 • 4:00 p.m.
Pop culture humorist Charles Phoenix leads a fun-fueled whirlwind adventure tour extravaganza exploring undiscovered and underrated mid-century architectural gems past and present.
With his trademark enthusiasm, gracious wit, and keen eye for odd-ball detail, the Southern California in the 50s author shares spectacular space-age drive-ins, coffee shops, bowling alleys, strip malls, shopping centers, extreme homes, dingbat apartments, fast food stands, theme parks and much more all in glorious color!!!
This live slide show performance will also celebrate Pasadena area landmarks, Googie, mid-century mod, themed-environments, and more!
Prepare for your local pride to swell! Festive dress is encouraged but not expected!
Charles Phoenix: Charles Phoenix is a performer, humorist, chef and author. In his live shows, videos, media appearances and books, the self-proclaimed “retro daddy” explores America’s classic and kitschy pop cultural past and present, and predicts retro-inspired future trends. Fans enjoy his unique spin and genuine reverence for all things Americana, trust his guide to attractions from coast to coast.
The Gamble House Celebrates The Celtic Roots Of The Gamble Family
Sunday, June 2, 2013 • 4:00-7:00 p.m.
A family fun-filled afternoon featuring:
• The Premier Celtic Fiddler Jamie Laval
• Pasadena Scottish Pipes & Drums
• Highland Dancing by Erin Swanson
• Irish Folk Singer George Cavanaugh
• Celtic Food by Real Food Devotee
• Activities for Children
• Craft Brew Tasting from Craftsman Brewing Co.
• Artisan Sodas
• Tours of the Gamble House
Lecture by Leslie Williamson
Saturday, March 9, 2013 • 6:00 p.m.
There have been many studies of mid-century interiors but few explore the intimate settings of the artists, designers and architects homes they’ve created for themselves. Leslie Williamson will discuss her compelling collection of photographs that show the homes of now-iconic personalities such as Jerome and Evelyn Ackerman, Charles and Ray Eames, Wharton Esherick and Albert Frey who, like Charles Greene and William Morris, employed their deep knowledge of fine art, traditional craft, and design, to create detailed and rich private spaces in which they chose to spend their lives.
Leslie Williamson: Leslie was born and raised in San Jose, California and educated at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Since graduating she has pursued both fine art and commercial photography, which have garnered her numerous accolades including being a Surface Magazine “Avant Guardian” and featured in Communication Arts Magazine. Her latest book, “Handcrafted Modern Europe,” will be available early 2014.
Handcrafted Modern: Eames House And Office
Saturday, March 9, 2013 • 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
You won’t want to miss this intimate tour of the Eames House and Office. We will gather at 10:00 a.m. in Pacific Palisades for a private visit to the iconic Eames House (Case Study House #8), where our group will be met by staff with deep knowledge of the house, its landscape, contents, and inspirations, all of which represent the Eames’s unique and engaging approach to life and design. The tour of the house will be followed by a break for lunch on your own in Santa Monica, and, at 2:30, a guided visit to the world-famous Eames Office on Pico Boulevard.
Designed by husband and wife design team, Charles and Ray Eames, their radically different and colorful hillside home became a symbol of post-war Modernism in California the moment it was completed in 1949. Widely published ever since, it has inspired generations of design students and practitioners, especially those who value the elegant intersection of function and aesthetics. Last fall, a highly prized collection of objects from the Eames living room was installed in a replica of its original space at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the temporary exhibition California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way. This spectacularly successful exhibit has moved on, but we will be able to appreciate the beautiful collection in situ. (Note that the Eames House interiors are viewed from the garden through large plate-glass doors and windows.) After lunch at a nearby restaurant of your choice—three great recommendations offered by the Eames staff—our tour will continue at 2:30 with a visit to the Eames Office on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica. Here, the Eames staff will introduce us to the professional side of the Eames partnership and we will hear about the Eames’s method of approaching design problems as opportunities to enhance function and beauty. This exclusive tour is a rare chance to learn about two of California’s most famous industrial designers.
Bertram Goodhue’s Legacy: A Tour of The Caltech Campus
Saturday, February 9, 2013 • 10:30 a.m.
Join us for a one-hour tour of Bertram Goodhue’s sublime architectural legacy on the Caltech campus, where original buildings provide a rich display of an innovative design vocabulary that followed Goodhue’s ground-breaking work at the Panama-California Exposition in San Diego (1915). Accompanying us on our walking tour of the campus will be Romy Wyllie, historian, lecturer in this year’s series, and author of definitive monographs on Bertram Goodhue and the architecture of the Caltech campus. Indeed, Ms. Wyllie is the developer of Caltech’s architecture tour programs, which have won acclaim for decades.
Bertram Goodhue’s Arts & Crafts Legacy
Lecture by Romy Wyllie
Saturday, February 2, 2013 • 6:00 p.m.
We are privileged to have author and historian Romy Wyllie deliver a presentation entitled “Bertram Goodhue’s Arts and Crafts Legacy.” Goodhue was a gifted polymath of the Arts and Crafts movement. Architect, typographer, and graphic designer, Goodhue’s career spanned several movements, including Arts and Crafts, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Art Deco. Ms. Wyllie’s acclaimed 2007 book, Bertram Goodhue: His Life and Residential Architecture, provides many new insights into a complex career, and forms the basis for our understanding of the architect today.
Romy Wyllie: A native of Yorkshire, Romy Wyllie holds an MA from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and is certified as an interior designer. She taught architectural history and interior design at the Herrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago, and served as managing editor of the University of Chicago’s Journal of Geology. Since 1985 Ms. Wyllie has led Caltech Architectural Tour Services as its co-founder and chairman. Her published works include Caltech’s Architectural Heritage: From Spanish Tile to Modern Stone, (2000, Balcony Press) and most recently, Bertram Goodhue: His Life and Residential Architecture (2007, W.W. Norton)
Los Angeles Central Library: Art, Architecture and Archives
Saturday, November 10, 2012 • 3:00 p.m.
Join the Friends of the Gamble House for a special additional tour, related to two of the Sidney D. Gamble Lecture Series lectures on artist Frank Brangwyn (Saturday, November 3, 2012) and architect Bertram Goodhue (Saturday, February 2, 2013). Participants will be taken on a docent-led tour of the art and architecture of the Los Angeles Central Library, focusing particularly on the rotunda murals by Dean Cornwell (who had trained with Frank Brangwyn in England) and the original 1926 library building designed by Goodhue, with its Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival influences. Our tour will end with a visit to the Art Department, where library staff will share unique drawings and other items from the collections related to the library building and its design elements. Join us for this unique opportunity to learn more about a remarkable local landmark!
The Works of Frank Brangwyn
Lecture by Tim Solliday
Saturday, November 3, 2012 • 6:00 p.m.
California Art Club member Tim Solliday will present a lecture on Frank Brangwyn, one of England’s most talented artists of the Arts and Crafts era. Brangwyn was a muralist, oil painter, watercolorist, draftsman, lithographer, engraver and designer of interiors, furniture, carpets, ceramics and stained glass. Solliday’s passion for Brangwyn’s work brings to life this ‘artist’s artist’.
Tim Solliday: California landscape and figure painter Tim Solliday was born in 1952 and was inspired by his artist-father to begin painting. In the late 1980s he studied with early California Impressionist, Theodore N. Lukits (1897-1992). Solliday’s paintings have appeared in numerous prestigious group exhibitions and his work is frequently featured in national publications.
Dard Hunter And His Graphic Works
Lecture by Lawrence Kreisman
Saturday, October 6, 2012 • 6:00 p.m.
Lawrence Kreisman will speak on Dard Hunter and his graphic works. Hunter is perhaps best known for his book designs for Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters, but Kreisman will also delve into how Hunter’s work was influenced by European ideas, including avant-garde German Jugendstil and Austrian Secession concepts. Kreisman’s insights on this fascinating book-designer, printer, typographer and papermaker will be appreciated by anyone interested in the graphic designs of the Arts and Crafts movement.
Larry Kreisman: Since 1997, Kreisman has been the program director of Historic Seattle. He is known for bringing public attention to the Northwest’s architectural heritage and its preservation through courses, tours, exhibits, lectures, articles and books, and program development. Kreisman holds master’s degrees in architecture from the University of Washington, and in English literature from the University of Chicago.
Herkimer Gardens Tour
Grand Opening & Open House
Friday, June 15, 2012
Herkimer Gardens is a 4-unit affordable housing, first-time homeownership development in Pasadena. It includes the 1912 Herkimer Arms (a.k.a. Mary Maud Earl apartments), one of the only multiple-unit buildings ever designed by Greene and Greene. The development is a public/private partnership between the City of Pasadena and non-profit developer Heritage Housing Partners (HHP). Learn more about Herkimer Gardens, including how to apply for affordable homeownership opportunities at: www.herkimergardens.org.
411 North Raymond Avenue Pasadena CA 91103
Herkimer Gardens is located just north of the corner or Maple Street & Raymond Avenue.
Restoration of The Huntington’s Japanese Garden
Tour with Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, AIA & Kendall Brown
May 12, 2012
Kendall Brown and architect Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, AIA lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic Japanese Garden at The Huntington Library.
History and Restoration of the Huntington’s Japanese Garden
Lecture by Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, AIA & Kendall Brown
May 12, 2012
Japanese garden expert and Asian art professor Kendall Brown along with architect Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, AIA will discuss the much anticipated restoration of the historic Japanese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Kendall Brown is a well-known authority on Japanese style gardens, and is the lead author of a book on the history of the Japanese gardens at the Huntington (scheduled for release in 2012). He has written extensively on the subject in his book Japanese Style Gardens of the Pacific West Coast and has published books and articles on Japanese art. Brown is associate professor of Asian Art History at California State University Long Beach.
Kelly Sutherlin McLeod, AIA, founded her Long Beach-based firm in 1988. A graduate of the USC School of Architecture, and a Gamble House Scholar-in-Residence, she resided in The Gamble House during her senior years. McLeod was the Project Architect during the Gamble House exterior conservation project, completed in 2004, and has worked on other Greene & Greene projects, including the Tichenor, De Forest, Jennie Reeve and Pitcairn houses. McLeod is overseeing the rehabilitation of the Huntington’s historic Japanese house.
April 22, 2012
A rare opportunity not to be missed! Join us Sunday April 22 for “Arroyo’s Edge,” when six private Greene & Greene properties will open for touring to benefit The Gamble House.
Along the edge of Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco, these houses are almost never open for public touring. Thanks to the generosity of the six homeowners, participants will tour five Greene & Greene interiors and a beautiful garden that remain largely unknown, even to devotees of the Arts and Crafts movement.
The tour includes the incomparable Duncan-Irwin house (1906-08), the Mary Ranney house (1907), F. W. Hawks house (1906), Van-Rossem Neil house (1903-06), S. Hazard Halsted house (1905-15), plus the beautiful garden of the James Culbertson house (1902-14).
Post-War Modernism and the Legacy of Greene and Greene
Lecture by Ted Bosley
March 10, 2012
European influences, American ingenuity and the optimism of the era all contributed to the rise of new design ideals for domestic, commercial and industrial construction in post-war United States.
Gamble House Director Ted Bosley will examine the influence of Arts and Crafts masters Greene and Greene on Post-War Modernism, and how the architectural style reconciled craft traditions with industrial technology. In the 1940s and ’50s, House Beautiful magazine vigorously promoted the Greenes as legitimate forerunners of American modernism, sparking a political debate that went far beyond the design world.
Director of the Gamble House since 1992, Ted Bosley has since published and lectured widely on The Gamble House, Greene and Greene, and the American Arts and Crafts Movement. With Anne E. Mallek, Gamble House curator, he co-edited A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene, and co-curated the exhibition of the same name which toured the United States in 2008-2009.
Curator’s Tour of “California Design” Exhibit at LACMA
With Wendy Kaplan, LACMA curator
February 4, 2012
Wendy Kaplan, Department Head and Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) since 2001, will lead an in-depth and personal tour of the exhibition. A leading expert on late nineteenth- to mid-twentieth-century design, Kaplan has authored, co-authored, or edited many books on the subject such as The Arts & Crafts Movement in Europe and America: Design for the Modern World (2004), Leading “The Simple Life”: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, 1880-1910 (1999), and Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1996), to name a few, and has organized major exhibitions. She is currently co-organizing the exhibition and has edited and contributed to the exhibition catalogue.
California Modern Design
Lecture by Bobbye Tigerman
February 2, 2012
California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, LACMA’s first major exhibition on mid-century California design, is a comprehensive study on how California became the world center for design innovation sparked from the minds of such iconic designers as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, Sam Maloof and more.
Bobbye Tigerman, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is co-curating this exhibition along with Curator, Wendy Kaplan. Her lecture will delve into the details of their five years of research and discuss the appeal of this era of California creativity which resulted in new designs for all the decorative arts.
Where Britain Meets America: The Arts and Crafts House of Lewis Merritt
October 1, 2011
To compliment the Sept. 27th lecture, we offer a first look home tour of this Pasadena architectural gem that hasn’t been opened to the public since its recent restoration.
Reservations are required. No tickets will be available at the door. Directions and map will be available with your payment and reservation.
Located on Pasadena’s famed Millionaire’s Row, this stunning 1908 estate home was designed by William F. Thompson for Lewis J. Merritt who, after navigating a successful career in the mining business in the Midwest, came to retire in the warmth of Southern California.
The Lewis house is a wonderful blend of influence from both American and British Arts and Crafts. Exotic wood — including mahogany, koa wood and bird’s eye maple — mingle with stained glass, tile work and two hand-hammered copper fireplaces.
In addition, the use of clinker brick and Arroyo stone gives the home a distinct Pasadena feel. In keeping with the SoCal tradition of Arts and Crafts, indoor/outdoor living is the norm with a pergola, a veranda and an exterior fireplace.
This is the first public tour of the house which recently underwent a massive restoration. More than a dozen rooms on two floors will be open for viewing, including a printing shop and a textiles studio which will display a selection of British textiles.
Known affectionately as Manor Del Mar when the estate was acquired by Ambassador College in 1956, the house had been used as a student dormitory until the present owners bought the property in 2009 and began the meticulous renovation project which is still ongoing today.
Special FoGH lecture co-sponsored by the Royal Oak Foundation with related house tour!
Archibald Knox: In the Ministry of the Beautiful
Lecture by Liam O’Neill
September 27, 2011
Archibald Knox’s (1864-1933) unique style made him one of the foremost artist/designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for his more than 400 metalwork and jewelry designs he “ghosted” for Liberty & Co. (London and Paris). While working as a designer, he lived an almost monastic life in the isolated village of Sulby, on the Isle of Man in the heart of the British Isles.
The natural beauty and traditions of his homeland were his inspiration for Knox’s art. The rapid growth of the tourist industry brought many British industrialists to the Isle of Man where they built their summer homes, many of them in the Arts and Crafts style. Knox was an elusive, ephemeral character whose genius lay in his inner imagination and individuality. His life is simply described on his grave stone, “Archibald Knox, artist, humble servant of God in the ministry of the beautiful.”
Educator and lecturer Liam O’Neill founded the Archibald Knox Society in 2006 to promote the legacy of Archibald Knox both nationally and internationally, presenting the Isle of Man as an “Island for an Art Lover.”
Tours of 6 Eichler Homes
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Balboa Highlands, San Fernando Valley
Enjoy a rare opportunity to tour 6 private Eichler homes in Balboa Highlands. As noted on BalboaHighlands.com, “This neighborhood of roughly 100 homes was built by renowned developer Joseph Eichler between 1963 and 1964 and is located at the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley. It is the only Eichler tract in Los Angeles County.”
Between 1950 and 1974, Joseph Eichler’s company, Eichler Homes, built over 11,000 homes in nine communities in Northern California and homes in three communities in Southern California.
Joseph Eichler and His Architects: The Men Behind Eichler Homes
Lecture by David Weinstein
Friday, May 13, 2011
The last Series lecture features David Weinstein presenting an overview on the work of famed builder Joseph Eichler who is best known for developing distinctive residential subdivisions of Mid-Century modern style tract housing in California.
Joseph Eichler (1900–1974) was a 20th century post-war U.S. American real estate developer. He was one of the influential advocates of bringing modern architecture from custom residences and large corporate buildings to general public availability. His company and developments named “Eichler Homes” remain in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles regions.
David Weinstein is a well-known journalist and author who writes about modern architecture for CA Modern magazine, published by the Eichler Network.
The Transcontinental Bungalow: From Pasadena to Australia
Lecture by Erika Esau
March 12, 2011
California and Australia have always had strong similarities and significant connections, most of all in terms of their architecture. Erika Esau’s lecture reports upon the research for her new book Images of the Pacific Rim: Australia and California, 1850-1935. She is concerned with exchanges between California and Australia, especially in the early years of the twentieth century. But the special relationship dates from the time of the gold rushes, when the first frame house in California was built of wood from houses brought from Tasmania. Esau has discovered much else about the travels of Australian architects to California, and about the means by which Californian developments were disseminated in Australia.
Erica Esau is a native Californian who spent more than a decade teaching art history—including the history of Australian art—at the Australian National University, Canberra. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania. Her writings on Australian art and culture include Images of the Pacific Rim, Blue Guide Australia (with George Boeck), E.O. Hoppé’s Australia (with Graham Howe), and articles on the history of Australian photography.
Art, Architecture and California Culture: The Works of Kenton Nelson
Lecture by Kenton Nelson
January 29, 2011
American scene painting, Regionalism and the work of WPA artists of the 1930s inspires the current work of Pasadena-artist Kenton Nelson who offers insight into the connections between art, architecture and California culture.
Kenton Nelson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He attended Long Beach State University and Otis Parsons Art Institute, and for the last 35 years has had his art studio in Pasadena. He has been on the faculty of the Otis Parsons Art Institute in Los Angeles and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
Kenton Nelson Studio Tour
January 29, 2011
The artist will open his studio and grounds for public tours after the lecture.
Patterns for a Movement: The Arts & Crafts in England and Scotland
Lecture by Anne Mallek
November 6, 2010
Craftsman-designer William Morris wrote, “No pattern should be without some sort of meaning.” The Arts and Crafts Movement, which had its beginning in Great Britain, was inspired by the idea that objects (and architecture) could be imbued with a moral as well as functional purpose – that a kind of spiritual handshake occurred between the maker and user of a piece when it was handmade, or when care and attention were given to choice of materials and manner of production. This lecture will investigate the patterns and patternmakers of a movement that transformed the history of craft, and which in turn created a pattern for successors in America to follow.
Anne Mallek is currently the curator at The Gamble House. Previously, she worked at The Huntington Library, where she was responsible for cataloguing and researching their extensive collection of William Morris and Morris & Company material. In 2002, Anne curated the exhibition William Morris: Creating the Useful and the Beautiful at The Huntington, and also helped to research and prepare the 2004 exhibition The Beauty of Life: William Morris and the Art of Design along with its accompanying publication.
She received her BA from Lincoln College, Oxford, in English Language and Literature, and her MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, in nineteenth-century British art. Upon completion of these programs, she also worked closely with the collections of two Victorian house museums in London, Leighton House Museum and Linley Sambourne House.
BETWEEN SAND AND SKY: The Architecture of Palm Springs
September 25 & 26, 2010
Our guide, Robert Imber, is “the undisputed expert on midcentury modern architecture in Palm Springs” (Westways Magazine). Join us as Robert guides us through the totally boss and hip world of Palm Springs in the 50’s and 60’s.
Tour: Lloyd Wright Homes
Saturday, May 8, 2010 • 10am–4pm
Locations: 3 Lloyd Wright homes in the Los Angeles area.
Tour 3 rarely seen Lloyd Wright homes in the Los Angeles area: an exotic concrete block house with a mysterious past, and upscale version of a Usonian, and a hillside house with Native American themes.
Before Frank Lloyd Wright first built in Los Angeles, his eldest son, Lloyd Wright, moved to the city where he would practice architecture for the rest of his life. Lloyd Wright designed buildings and landscapes in the spirit of his father’s revolutionary ideas, but infused with the brash vitality of Southern California. From his spectacular houses of the 1920s to orchestral shells for the Hollywood Bowl to the celebrated Wayfarers Chapel, Lloyd Wright’s buildings are as theatrical as stage sets, yet his work remains under-appreciated today.
Lloyd Wright: Architect of Sunshine and Shadow
Lecture by Dana Hutt
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Before Frank Lloyd Wright first built in Los Angeles, his eldest son, Lloyd Wright, moved to the city where he would practice architecture for the rest of his life. Lloyd Wright designed buildings and landscapes in the spirit of his father’s revolutionary ideas, but infused with the brash vitality of Southern California. From his spectacular houses of the 1920s to orchestral shells for the Hollywood Bowl to the celebrated Wayfarers Chapel, Lloyd Wright’s buildings are as theatrical as stage sets, yet his work remains under-appreciated today.
Dana Hutt will highlight Wright’s efforts to create an architecture unique to Southern California, his experimentation with materials and new building technologies, and his most significant works in a career that spanned 6 decades.
Dana Hutt is co-author of Lloyd Wright: The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright Jr. (Harry N. Abrams, 1998). An architectural historian and writer, she is currently editor of SCI-Arc Press at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.
Rufus B. Keeler Home
March 20, 2010
This is a rare opportunity to tour the Spanish Colonial Revival home of Rufus B. Keeler, founder of both Calco and Malibu Tile. A key focal point is a magnificent fireplace, 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide, which was inspired by the main panel of the Temple of the Cross, at Palenque, and is a magnificent example of the Ancient Mayan Revival style popular at that time.
Everlasting Tile: The Life and Work of Rufus B. Keeler
Lecture by Brian Kaiser
March 13, 2010
Brian Kaiser will present the life and works of Rufus B. Keeler, founder, plant manager, and sole ceramist of the Calco (1923-1932) and Malibu potteries (1926-1932). Keeler’s mastery of the medium contributed to many historic locations throughout Los Angeles; such as the Natural History Museum; “Dias Dorados” in Beverly Hills, the home of Thomas Ince; “Ocean House”, the beach home of Marion Davies and William Randolph Hearst; City Hall; the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; The Mayan Theatre; and Rindge Castle in Malibu.
The primary emphasis of this lecture will be on Keeler’s own home, designed and built by Keeler himself in 1924 and made entirely of Calco tile. This Spanish Colonial Revival was meant to be a showcase for the use of clay products in home construction and decoration, and still stands as a magnificent example of Keeler’s artistry.
Brian Kaiser has owned the Rufus Keeler home since 1987. Kaiser has extensively researched Keeler’s life, conducted many interviews with the Keeler family, spending several years excavating the original Calco Pottery site and is responsible for the discovery and restoration of the original Malibu tile wall fountain in the blossom ballroom at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Roses and the Arts & Crafts Movement
Lecture by Tom Carruth
January 23, 2010
The arts-and-crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th century was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin and a romantic idealization of the craftsman taking pride in his personal handiwork. Present in works such as detailed William Morris textiles, stylized Charles Rennie Mackintosh furnishings and the “cottage” garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll, the rose is the enduring symbol of the romantic notions of the movement.
Tom will discuss the roses found in the imagery of the arts and crafts movement, revealing their ancestry to the modern roses of today. He’ll share the secrets of the mechanics of rose hybridizing and give us a peek into the rose ‘future’. We all know of Pasadena’s history as the City of Roses. Tom will explain why our lovely climate is one of the best rose gardening areas in the nation and provide a list of low maintenance roses specifically selected for us.
Tom Carruth has worked in the rose industry in California since 1975, training under and working with the late Bill Warriner of Jackson & Perkins Co. in Tustin, CA (3 years) and Jack Christensen of the former Armstrong’s Nursery in Ontario, CA (7 years). He is currently in charge of the rose hybridizing effort as Director of Research at Weeks Roses in Pomona, CA. Tom has over 60 rose patents that bear his name as the inventor. Among those hybrids are ‘Betty Boop’, ‘Fourth of July’ and ‘Julia Child’.
adDRESSING Titanic: Appearance and Identity in 1912
Lecture by Kevin Jones
November 14, 2009
There are many stories about the 2,227 people who survived or perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912. Though they were joined together for this one ill-fated voyage, each passenger’s social identity was revealed by his or her sartorial appearance in a microcosm of European class-consciousness. This lecture will examine the 4 categories the passengers had to fit into: First Class, Second Class, Steerage, or Crew. The ship carried many individuals associated with the fashion world — from high society, to industry trade, to journalism — and some of the most well-known will be discussed, along with garments and accessories known to have been worn aboard, survived, or have been recovered from the wreck site.
Kevin Jones is curator of the FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles. Born in Ventura, California, Kevin studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and art history at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His fashion and social history expertise encompasses the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture
Special exhibit tour with curator Kevin Jones
November 14, 2009
This exhibition celebrates a donation of 125 haute couture garments given to the FIDM Museum over 30 years by International Best Dressed Hall of Fame icon Betsy Bloomingdale. Mrs. Bloomingdale, wife of Alfred P. Bloomingdale — an heir to Bloomingdale’s department stores and founder of Diners Club credit cards — purchased French haute couture from 1961 to 1996. Her couture wardrobe included designs by Marc Bohan and Gianfranco Ferré for Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain, Yves Saint Laurent, and André Courrèges, along with ready-to-wear by James Galanos, Adolfo Sardina, Oscar de la Renta, and Valentino Garavani. This exhibition includes 60 ensembles and describes the process of couture, showcases her favorite designers, and examines her personal style and lifestyle. The exhibition also includes hand drawn croquis (colored sketches with attached fabric swatches), contemporary photographs of Mrs. Bloomingdale at many international events (including the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana), as well as magazine layouts illustrating garments she ordered photographed by famed photographers.
A live comedy performance by the King of Retro sure to get you in the mood for all the holidays like you never have before!
Saturday December 5, 2009
At the Neighborhood Church, 301 North Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, California 91103
King of Retro, Charles Phoenix returns to spread holiday cheer with a slyly entertaining live comedy performance that celebrates mid-century holiday life and style. With his unstoppable enthusiasm and wry, eagle eye for the very best and most bizarre of his massive collection of found-Kodachrome slides, Phoenix supercharges the classic living room slide show into a hysterical/historical celebration of American holiday life and style. It’s a 1950s & 60s New Years, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas jubilee that’s sure to get you in the mood for the all the holidays like you never have before! IN COLOR!
U Are Here: Roots of the California House
Saturday, October 24, 2009
As part of the Art & Ideas Festival, entitled “Origins,” Gamble House Director Ted Bosley joins Roberta Martinez and Dr. Robert W. Winter, discussing how Pasadena’s early settlers embraced a new generation of courtyard houses that promised to re-make the idea of “home” in California.
Little Journeys to Roycrofters, Rustic Camps, and Buffalo
The Arts and Crafts in New York
September 10–17, 2009
Join Ted Bosley, Director of The Gamble House, for an architectural study tour to explore the Arts and Crafts movement in upstate New York during its most beautiful season.
We’ll visit East Aurora, home of the Roycrofters, as well as nearby Buffalo, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin house, among other architectural gems, has just been lovingly restored. Next stop is Lake Placid and other towns in the Adirondack Park for visits to the rustic “camps” that were turn-of-the-century resort homes of the wealthy.
The Gardens of Hearst Castle
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Victoria Kastner will provide the first in-depth look at San Simeon’s landscape, examining the influence of the Arts & Crafts movement on its design. She will detail the garden’s history as well as discuss its wider meaning in early 20th century California. Specifically, she will:
- Analyze Julia Morgan’s unrecognized work as William Randolph Hearst’s landscape architect
- Discuss the contributions of Bernard Maybeck and other Arts & Crafts architects to San Simeon’s garden design
- Link San Simeon to other landscape-related events in California, including the University of California’s campus design, the restoration of the missions, the preservation of the redwoods, and the two 1915 California World’s Fairs
Victoria Kastner is the historian at Hearst Castle and author of “Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House” (2000) and the upcoming “Hearst’s San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land.” She has lectured nationwide on San Simeon.
TOUR: The Gardens of a San Rafael Estate
Led by Heather Lenkin, AIA, ASLA
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Indulge in the romance of a bygone era amid the restored grounds of a 1919 Reginald Johnson Mediterranean Revival estate along Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco in the San Rafael Hills. Landscape architect Heather Lenkin will share her insights into the designs, details and plant materials that make up the property’s cultivated spaces including a walled orchard, rose garden, spring garden, desert-inspired “inferno garden” and a delightful secret garden. Refreshments will be served.
Heather Lenkin, AIA, ASLA will discuss her landscape design, renovation and restoration of this 1919 Reginald Johnson designed mansion whose gardens were originally created by renowned landscape architect Paul Thiene. Thiene was responsible for many famous gardens in southern California including the Doheny Greystone garden, as well as the 1915 Panama-California World Exposition in San Diego.
President of Lenkin Design in Pasadena, Heather Lenkin is a two-time winner of the Golden Trowel Award from Garden Design magazine honoring excellence in creating “America’s Best Gardens.” Her own gardens were selected by Fine Gardening magazine as “One of the Ten Great Gardens in the United States,” and by Japanese public television as “One of the Great Gardens of the World.”
Prefab Housing: From Craftsman to Contemporary
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Leo Marmol will provide an overview on the history of prefab architecture and will discuss Marmol Radziner Prefab’s ongoing quest to explore the feasibility of creating modern, well-constructed homes within the constraints of a factory. Highlights will include:
- A look at the history of prefab architecture
- An overview of past Marmol Radziner Prefab projects from design to installation
- An exploration of the efficiencies gained by building homes within a factory
- Leo Marmol, FAIA, is the managing principal of the design/build firm Marmol Radziner + Associates. In 2005, the company launched Marmol Radziner Prefab to create green, modular homes that are built in its factory and delivered complete.
Charles Phoenix’s Southern Californialand!
Presentation by Charles Phoenix
Thursday, March 19, 2009
A slide show by “histo-tainer” Charles Phoenix celebrates how locals lived, shopped, worked, played and partied in the 1950s and ’60s. Charles’ spectacular collection of Kodachrome slides together with his informed commentary, quick wit and keen eye for detail are sure to give you a whole new appreciation for the place he calls Southern Californialand.
The Women of Tiffany Studios
Lecture by Margaret K. Hofer
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Margaret K. Hofer will discuss new groundbreaking research on the role of women in the design and manufacture of Tiffany Studios’ famous leaded-glass lamps. The recently discovered correspondence of Clara Driscoll has revealed that it was Driscoll who designed many of the firm’s iconic lamps, including the Wisteria, Dragonfly and Peony. Ms. Hofer will discuss how:
- Louis C. Tiffany believed that women had an innate sense of color and design and relied on the women’s glass-cutting department to select glass for many lamps and windows – and paid them on the same scale as the men.
- Rivalry between the men’s and women’s departments created tension at Tiffany Studios, resulting in a strike by unionized male glass cutters in 1903.
Margaret K. Hofer, curator of decorative arts at the New-York Historical Society, co-curated its 2007 exhibition “A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls” with Martin Eidelberg and Nina Gray.
From Britain to Russia: An International View of the Arts & Crafts Movement
Rosalind P. Blakesley
Friday, November 7, 2008
The Arts & Crafts Movement was one of enormous intellectual ambition, encompassing everything from menus in Moscow to chic domestic architecture in the United States. The lecture will:
- Examine some of the great British figures, including William Morris and Charles Robert Ashbee
- Follow the movement’s little-known but fascinating progress in Russia
- Provide a context for America’s unique contribution, not least The Gamble House
Dr. Rosalind P. Blakesley, senior lecturer in the history of art at the University of Cambridge, was a consultant for “International Arts and Crafts” (2005) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and is the author of several books including “The Arts and Crafts Movement” (2006).
A “New and Native” Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene
October 18, 2008 – January 26, 2009
At The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
The Gamble House, USC, in partnership with The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, created and presented the most comprehensive exhibition ever undertaken on the work of Arts and Crafts legends Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene — the first such exhibition to travel outside of California.
“A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene” opened at the Huntington on Oct. 18, 2008 and was on exhibit through Jan. 26, 2009. This landmark exhibition now travels to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. (March 13- June 7, 2009), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (July 14-October 18, 2009).
Seeing Greene & Greene: Architecture in Photographs
Pasadena Museum of California Art
September 28, 2008 – January 4, 2009
The exhibition interprets the architecture and landscape work of Greene & Greene through the lenses of 20th century photographers. Images, many being seen for the first time in public, span the century from soft-focus pictorialism, to architectural spatial relationships, to fine art photography. Photographers include Leroy Hulbert, Maynard Parker, Minor White, William Current and others.
Living Beautifully: Greene & Greene in Pasadena
Pasadena Museum of History
August 16, 2008 – January 4, 2009
This exhibition of personal objects, documents, and family photographs explores the lives of Charles and Henry Greene, and their collaborators. Drafting instruments, wood carving tools, shop drawings, and other artifacts of the partnership show how the Greenes worked with their craftsmen, including John and Peter Hall.
Aesthetes, Bohemians & Craftsmen: Artistic Dress, 1880s-1920s
Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising
May 20 – July 2, 2008
A second exhibition, curated by FIDM at their downtown Museum and Galleries, will explore the artistic dress movement over a forty-year time span of changing morals and attitudes relating to dress and positions in society. Examples of Greene and Greene decorative arts and others from the period will set the scene in the galleries. The exhibition will open on May 19, 2008 and continue through July 3, 2008.
Make Music Pasadena
June 21, 2008
Experience the city filled with music. Over 100 free concerts, six main stages, and other small and unusual locations. The Gamble House will feature two acoustic music groups on the rear terrace:
From 12:30 – 1:15 — Kaedmon
“Kaedmon plays sweet and grooving Celtic music with decided Beatle-esque, pop music influences. They craft precise harmonies and instrumental arrangements.” The band is made up of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists writing songs with a diverse range of instrumentation ranging from guitar and mandolin to box drum and pennywhistle . . . think Americana with a whistle.
From 1:45 – 2:30 — Banna Beag Mall
Banna Beag Mall is an eclectic Celtic-influenced acoustic band with local roots playing everything from Irish and Scottish music to Italian, Latin American, country and punk rock music. They play fast or slow as the mood strikes them, but always with feeling. Their musical styles cover a thousand years, from medieval harmonics to socially relevant hip-hop. They sing in six languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Cajun French and 2 dialects of Gaelic. There’s something for everyone.
Fashionable Dress in an Artistic Landmark
April 13 – June 8, 2008
For 6 glorious weeks, The Gamble House can be viewed both as an architectural masterpiece and as a private home. 12 mannequins dressed in 1908 fashions and accessories, representing David and Mary Gamble, their children, aunt Julia, household staff, Charles Greene and visitors will be on view inside the House.
This very unusual exhibition featuring the House as a family home, consists of mannequins located in several rooms and placed in vignettes. Mr. David Gamble is in the living room wearing a silk dressing gown along with Charles Greene in a pinstripe shirt with drawings under his arm. Mrs. Mary Gamble can be seen in the dining room wearing an exquisite afternoon frock and her sister, Julia Huggins, is seated in her bedroom in a wicker rocking chair in a slightly out-of-date dress. 2 of the sons are dressed for sport activity, there is a gentleman in the downstairs guest bedroom bathroom less than fully dressed, and a uniformed household member, to mention a few. The House feels as if the family is in residence.
The exhibition is curated by FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising Museum & Galleries from their collection of over 12,000 costumes. This exciting partnership is a 3-phase celebration of The Gamble House Centennial 1908-2008. Phase 2 is “Aesthetes, Bohemians & Craftsmen: Artistic Dress, 1880s-1920s. The 3rd phase of the celebration is a one-day Artistic Dress conference at FIDM on May 31. See details below.
To view The Gamble House and the family in their 1908 attire, join one of our regular docent-led tours, Thursday-Sunday from noon – 3 p.m. (last admission). For tour hours and fees, to arrange a private group tour or one of our special Behind The Velvet Ropes tours please visit the Tour page on this website.
Kevin Jones, exhibition curator, commented that the contrast between how the Gambles dressed and what the 30,000 or so annual visitors to the house often wear today serves as a reminder of the age of the House. In 1908 when the house was built by Charles and Henry Greene for David and Mary Gamble it was ahead of the times, but, judging from family photographs, he said, “their clothes were typical, conventional, not haute-couture, and quite comfortable. The Gambles would have found people wearing shorts and T-shirts quite shocking.”
Gerard Colcord: Hollywood’s Society Architect
Lecture by Bret Parsons
April 24, 2008
From 1924 through 1984, Gerard Colcord created a significant architectural legacy amid the Southern California residential landscape. He worked in a variety of styles including classic Tudor, Country French, Hollywood Regency, Spanish Hacienda and Monterey Colonial and, perhaps his best-known genre, the sprawling gentleman farmhouse.
Parsons will explore the:
- Tremendous architectural variety of Colcord’s work;
- Motion pictures in which his homes played a starring role;
- Anatomy of the beloved “Colcord farmhouse”;
- Keys to the architect’s success.
- The author of Gerard Colcord: Hollywood’s Society Architect, Bret Parsons spent 18 years in the architecture and design industry; many in the executive suite at Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. During that time he co-published three design trade books and wrote monthly architecture and design columns.
Tour it: Design for Elegant Living
April 26, 2008
Tour (self-drive) three classic Colcord residences in the Pasadena/San Fernando Valley area. These sprawling country estates feature lavish gardens, half-timbered walls and hand-carved detailing – all throwbacks to an era of style and panache. An elegant, country lunch (available for purchase) will be served in the garden.
Christine Casey, Irish Scholar, lectures at The Gamble House
March 27, 2008
Visit Dublin as an architect, tourist, or armchair traveller under the guidance of noted Irish scholar Christine Casey, as she reveals the City of Dublin’s churches, public buildings, streets, canals and private homes, at an illustrated lecture.
Casey’s views of Dublin from Gothic to 21st century will come to life in the setting of the 100-year old Gamble House in Pasadena. She will feature grand 18th century set pieces, Georgian cityscapes, commercial Victorian architecture, post-war buildings, and a new generation of Irish architects.
This special lecture is co-sponsored by the USC/Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, USC’s Institute for British and Irish Studies, and the Huntington/USC Institute on California and the West, with additional support from The Gamble House, Caltech and the Modern Language Society.
Dr Christine Casey is a senior lecturer in the School of Art History & Cultural Policy at University College Dublin and author of the critically acclaimed Dublin: The City Within the Grand and Royal Canals, and the Circular Road, with the Phoenix Park (Yale University Press, 2005). An honorary member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland she has served on the boards of the Irish Georgian Society and the Irish Architectural Archive and on the architectural committee of the Heritage Council.
Plein Air: From Giverny to the Arroyo
Lecture by Ronald E. Steen
March 20, 2008
Developed in late-19th century France by painters who defied convention as they carried their canvases outdoors to interpret everyday scenes shining in a natural light, the plein air technique quickly spread to the East Coast of the United States and on to Southern California.
Ronald E. Steen will chart the progress of the movement from:
- Monet and French Impressionism to
- William Merritt Chase and American Impressionism to
- Southern California’s plein air artists to
- The San Gabriel Valley and William Lees Judson.
- Ronald E. Steen, an art historian and educator, has been an instructor at California State University-Fullerton and lectured for the J. Paul Getty Museum Education Department. He is Curator of Exhibitions and Director of Programming and Education at The Judson Gallery of Contemporary and Traditional Art at Judson Studios.
Tour it: The View From Here
March 22, 2008
See Southern California through the eyes of present-day landscape and cityscape painters in this dynamic group exhibition at the Judson Gallery, 200 South Avenue 66, Los Angeles.
TOUR IT: LA MINIATURA
Cast in Concrete: Frank Lloyd Wright in Pasadena
January 26, 2008
Here is an extraordinary opportunity to tour Wright’s unique textile-block commission, La Miniatura (1923), originally envisioned as a Mayan ruin set in a jungle ravine. Rarely open to the public, this spectacular private home is a restoration in progress.
Tour the main house, a mysterious and exotic blend of wood, stone and ironwork, and Lloyd Wright’s studio building, added in 1926.
Frank Lloyd Wright said of this commission, “I would rather have built this little house than St. Peter’s in Rome” Join us for this singular opportunity.
Frank Lloyd Wright: The Southwest Legacy
January 25, 2008
Frank Lloyd Wright discovered the Southwest in the latter half of his life, its vast landscapes inspiring him to produce some of his greatest works. He developed the “Romanza” style, with its unique textured concrete block houses, for Southern California in the early 1920s. While in Arizona in 1929, the drama and beauty of the desert triggered what he called “a catharsis of his spirit” and his winter home, Taliesin West, was born.
Frank Henry will highlight:
- The climatic factors that affected Wright’s organic approach to architecture;
- The biological discoveries he made that spawned new structural concepts and uses of materials;
- The overall effect of his Southwest experiences on his later work.
- After meeting Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Henry decided to become an architect. He is currently the Studio Master at The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture and gives tours, lectures and conducts research on the architecture of the Southwest.
Pasadena Skin/Arts & Ideas Festival
October 10-31, 2007
The Gamble House, along with 21 Pasadena arts, science, cultural institutions and community organizations, will participate in the 2007 Pasadena Art & Ideas Festival—Skin, from October 10-31, Skin/Art & Ideas 2007 is a citywide cultural collaborative, issue-based arts festival, which will continue for three weeks throughout the city of Pasadena. The goal of the festival is to spark public debate around a theme, and provide multiple perspectives that are innovative and timely, as well as artistically and intellectually resonant to a diverse audience and a changing world.
Skin/Art & Ideas 2007, explores its specific theme, skin, through performances, exhibitions, films, presentations, and public conversations; commissioned, curated, and conceived by 23 of the city’s arts and science institutions and community organizations.
Among the Festival’s programs are: Art Center College of Design’s “In the Dermisphere,” which will study skin as camouflage, cultural symbol, and organ; the Pasadena Conservatory of Music exploring how human skin interacts with musical instruments; the Spitzer Science Center will demonstrate how different the world is when viewed by infrared light (all skin types look the same) with an outdoor, interactive display at One Colorado.
The Gamble House will explore and reflect on the idea of “Architecture as the Third Skin” with two lectures in the Sidney D. Gamble lecture series, sponsored by Friends of The Gamble House. “Like a Third Skin: The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister” by Chris Nichols on Saturday, October 13th, will review the larger-than-life, show-off, mid-century, Southern California and surrounding region architecture from Las Vegas casinos to Bob’s Big Boy drive-in hamburger stands.
“Skin and Body: The Ambiguity of Plane and Space in Vienna 1900 Interiors” on Tuesday, October 23, 2007, when Christian Witt-Durring from Vienna will present a curator’s view of the designs of secessionist architects who set the prerequisites for European Modernism 100 years ago. Their work was later linked to international Modernism, whose high priest, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe called his architecture “skin and bones.”
Vienna 1900: A Most Radical Reinvention
Lecture by Christian Witt-Dörring
October 23, 2007
Gustav Klimt. Otto Wagner. Gustav Mahler. Sigmund Freud. The explosion of art, architecture, music, philosophy and science caused many to refer to Vienna in 1900 as “the experiment at the end of the world.” Out of this fin de siècle creative chaos emerged a groundbreaking design vocabulary that would set the prerequisites of modernism.
Christian Witt-Dörring will examine:
- Joseph Hoffmann and Koloman Moser’s design process in architecture and the decorative arts;
- The debate between the modern style in Vienna (as created by Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos) and international modernism.
After more then 25 years as curator of the furniture collection at the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (M A K), Christian Witt-Dörring now runs a consulting business and is curator for decorative arts at the Neue Galerie New York.
A Place in the Sun: The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister
Lecture by Chris Nichols
October 13, 2007
Wayne McAllister was an iconoclast; an unlicensed, untrained designer who created an incredible series of hotels, restaurants and nightclubs that epitomized the chrome-and-neon mood of mid-century Los Angeles and defined a fledgling Las Vegas.
In his biography and pop culture history tour of Hollywood and Las Vegas at their most glamorous, Chris Nichols will:
- Reveal how a high school student was tapped to design a $2-billion dollar project;
- Detail how McAllister “invented” Las Vegas and created the first resort hotel in the desert;
- Visit his “Fred and Ginger” nightclubs, the Streamline Moderne drive-in restaurants and his cool modernism in the hot desert.
Author of The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister, Chris Nichols has helped create conferences and tours for the National Trust, California Preservation Foundation and the Los Angeles Conservancy, where he chaired the Modern Committee.
Gardens of Intrigue: Greenscapes of Magic and Mystery
Lecture by Heather Lenkin
Saturday, April 28, 2007
An architect, and landscape and interior designer, Heather Lenkin will explore the natural splendor found in 21 gardens that surround her 1923 Italianate home. For 18 years she has planted, renovated, restored and rehabilitated the distinctive gardens on the 1-acre, steeply sloping hillside site to complement the home’s architecture and interior design. Multiple outdoor seating and dining areas and water features are incorporated into this plant collector’s garden, which now has more than 1,000 plant species and 10,000 bulbs. Garden Design magazine has called her work “history in the making.”
Lenkin will share her passion and award-winning garden design principles, including:
- Considerations of scale;
- Enhancing existing architecture;
- Looking to historic sources;
- Linking the interior to the exterior;
- Choosing plants sympathetic to the climate;
- Using color, structure and light.
President of Lenkin Design in Pasadena, Heather Lenkin is a two-time winner of the Golden Trowel Award from Garden Design magazine honoring excellence in creating “America’s Best Gardens.” Her alma mater, the University of Arizona, has recognized her with its Professional Achievement Award and designated an area of the Norton School as the Heather Henricks Lenkin Honor Student Center.
California in a Container: Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House
Lecture by Daniel Gregory
March 23, 2007
You could call Cliff May the father of the suburban ranch house as more than 18,000 of them were built using his designs. The best of them managed to be both modern and traditional, celebrating a casually elegant, indoor-outdoor way of life that became synonymous with the California Dream. An early description in Sunset Magazine said it all: Cliff May’s houses “ramble almost to the point of departure, with lines as natural and satisfying as those of the hills.” In other words, the house was actually a landscape. You just had to add water.
Highlights of the lecture will include:
- Cliff May’s early career;
- His evolving brand of regional modernity;
- His inevitable discovery by the press;
- His perfection of what might be called the architectural palindrome.
Daniel Gregory is Senior Editor, Special Projects/Home for Sunset Magazine. He has contributed essays on William Wurster and Thomas Church to several books, and wrote the introduction for Greene & Greene by Marvin Rand. He is at work on a book about Cliff May’s ranch houses for Rizzoli.
MARCH 24, 2007
Additional tour: Designs on the Good Life
In a sylvan Brentwood canyon, just steps from busy Sunset Boulevard, Cliff May created what many believe to be the finest interpretation of the California lifestyle ever realized. Join us for a rare opportunity to enter this private world and experience the ultimate in “Ranch House Deluxe.”
Rudolph M. Schindler: Architect, Builder, Theorist, Utopian
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Rudolph M. Schindler left Vienna for the United States in 1914, working first in Chicago for Frank Lloyd Wright, then settling in Los Angeles. Schindler rejected not only traditional styles of architecture but also the dominant form of modernism of his day, the International Style. He believed in the continuity of architecture and life, in the relation between site and building, and in the blending of the indoors and outdoors.
In the lecture Meyer will:
- Examine Schindler’s own house and studio on Kings Road as the purest expression of his ideals and the most radical of his experiments;
- Discuss Schindler’s concept of “space architecture”;
- Explore his most important houses, all sculptural, efficient, sensual and attuned to the climate and the body.
Kimberli Meyer is an architect and the Director of the M A K Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles at the Schindler House. She is co-curator of the exhibition “The Gen(h)ome Project” (October 28, 2006-February 25, 2007) at the Schindler House in West Hollywood.
William Lees Judson: Craftsman at Heart, Painter by Trade
Lecture by David Judson
Thursday, January 25, 2007
From the moment his train pulled into Pasadena in December 1893, William Lees Judson knew he would never reside in another place. This pioneering painter came to Southern California to live out his days in a warm climate, only to be reinvigorated by the idealism and optimism of the day. A Civil War veteran, artistically trained in Europe, Judson would become known simply as “The Professor.” Though lesser known, this premier plein air painter would leave an artistic legacy that continues to this day.
Aspects of Judson’s life and career to be discussed include:
- His extensive travels that furthered his career as an art professor and painter;
- Judson’s role as author, professor, craftsman, activist and early environmentalist;
- His contributions to the art world of Southern California as the founder and first dean of U S C’s School of Fine Arts and the founder of the Judson stained glass studios.
Since 1997, David Judson, of the family’s fifth generation, has run the Judson Studios. He joined the firm by founding the Judson Gallery of Contemporary and Traditional Art. David has lectured extensively on Judson and stained glass and is currently working on Judson’s biography.
January 27, 2007
Additional tour: The Art and Craft of Light
The Judson Studios, founded in 1897, is the oldest stained glass studio in the United States still owned and operated by the same family. There artists continue to design, create and restore stained glass nationally and internationally. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
February 24, 2007
Additional tour: Art and Geometry
The 1942 commission for composer Jose Rodriguez in the Verdugo Woodlands of Glendale pays homage to Taliesin West. Dynamic, exposed roof rafters wrap around walls of glass. The house bridges the gently sloping lot, creating gardens that sweep up, around and beneath the structure, one of Schindler’s least-altered homes.
Modernism’s Auteur: L.A. Through the Lens of Julius Shulman
Saturday, November 4, 2006
Legendary architectural photographer Julius Shulman will discuss his body of work, including his recent project photographing the newly renovated Getty Villa in Malibu. Since 1936 Shulman has been the visual recorder of modern designs throughout 45 states of the country and internationally. His images promoted the work of numerous visionary architects worldwide.
Highlights of the presentation will include:
- The photographer’s relationship to the development of modern architecture in Los Angeles;
- The tactics, techniques and challenges of architectural photography;
- A question-and-answer session with Mr. Shulman.
Architects Conrad Buff III & Donald Hensman
Home Tour & Events: A Celebration of the Work of Architect Donald Hensman
October 15, 2005
Homes for the upcoming Conrad Buff III and Donald Hensman October celebration have been announced: four homes in Pasadena, and one in Altadena, will be on the tour while another Pasadena residence will serve as the locale for the opening night reception.
Sponsored by USC School of Architecture, the Friends of the Gamble House and the Pasadena & Foothill Chapter AIA, the October 15th tour is part of a larger tribute to Buff and Hensman with events that also include a symposium and an opening night reception. The home tour will feature some of the best work of Buff and Hensman who helped define the ultra cool California modern architecture scene of the 1950-60s, says Edward Bosley, director of the Gamble House.
“Before his death in 2002, Hensman personally selected these homes as outstanding examples,” says Bosley. “They are rich in history and for those interested in modern architecture; this tour will be a great lesson in how master designers worked with materials, the surrounding landscape and the client’s needs.”
Indeed, the influence of Buff and Hensman is significant, according to Barton Anderson, president of the Pasadena & Foothill AIA. “They helped define an era with dynamic designs that are evocative of the quintessential Southern California lifestyle,” he says, adding that Buff and Hensman played an important role in articulating a regional style of “beauty, grace and what have proven to be highly sought after homes.”
Tour Date: October 15, 2005
Scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 15th, the shuttle tour will take ticket holders to five private Buff and Hensman homes some never before open to the public.
Opening Reception, October 14
An opening night reception at Buff and Hensman’s Peck (Shiell-Shallack) House in Pasadena at 7:30 p.m. on October 14.
Homes on the October 15 Tour
The Moseley Residence
photo Situated on a Pasadena hillside, this house features a dramatic 180-degree view of the San Gabriel Valley. The one-story house takes full advantages of its modest size with flowing spaces connecting the rooms. From the motor court, an 8-foot, carved, sliding gate serves as the dramatic entrance to the interior reflecting pool and house
The King Residence
Under the historic Colorado Street Bridge that spans the Arroyo Seco, this sheltered hideaway is true Southern California living that takes advantage of an open atmosphere with no hallways or formal separations. Outside, pathways are defined by gravel, concrete and railroad ties and the terraces are surrounded by the remains of a river-rock wall.
The Hernandez Residence
Built for a large family, this Pasadena house with an imposing view, accommodates three children’s bedrooms each complete with a study, bath and large wardrobe area. Reached by a concealed spiral staircase is an office with a balcony that overlooks the first floor and the stunning views. A spline of tan limestone leads outside to a waterfall and reflection pool.
Bass Residence, Case Study #20
Using several, innovative and prefabricated Douglas fir plywood products as part of its structural concept, this newly restored Altadena house (built from 1958-60) is based on a structural grid module of steel columns and plywood box beams. All major rooms open directly into a garden court. Diffused and cove lighting are used throughout creating warm and intimate spaces.
Conrad Buff III (Zendle/Hanson) House
Built in 1977 for himself and his wife, Buff called this modest 1,600 square-foot house Rapor. Perched on a private knoll and with views of the entire San Gabriel Valley, the house is a peaceful, secluded retreat. Materials used here are simple but elegant: redwood, teak, stucco, glass and quarry tile. Natural and artificial light are essential components of the design that includes 75 light sources in the living room alone.
About Conrad Buff III and Donald Hensman
Born in Nebraska in 1924, Donald Hensman graduated from Hollywood High School, served in the navy during World War II and entered USC School of Architecture on the GI Bill in 1948. At USC, Hensman met his collaborator of 40 years, Conrad Buff III. Born in Los Angeles, Buff also arrived at USC after wartime service in the Navy. Both were elevated to Fellowship in the AIA: Buff in 1980 and Hensman in 1982.
Like other architects who participated in the Case Study program of the ’50s and ’60s, Buff and Hensman were partial to post-and-beam construction, glass walls and floor plans that often served as elegant solutions to difficult sites. Producing an impressive body of work during their long partnership, Buff and Hensman contributed to the innovative and transformative architectural styles that were to define an era. They designed homes for many celebrities like Joan Collins, James Garner, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra and Paul Anka as well as the Governor’s Mansion for Ronald Reagan.
Hensman continued to work after Buff died in 1988, creating designs into the dawn of 21st Century. Hensman died in 2002 at the age of 78.
About James Steele
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Steele received his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He practiced architecture in and around Philadelphia prior to teaching in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 1980-1990.
Steele served as the Senior Editor at Academy Editions from 1990-1991 and has been an associate professor at USC since 1991. His publications include: The Complete Works of Hassan Fathy; Los Angeles: The Contemporary Condition, Architecture Today and Architecture and Computers.
Transylvania! Arts and Crafts Movement in Hungary?
Thursday, March 31, 2005
A Gamble House lecture by Anthony Gall, author and preservation architect specializing in the work of Kos and Hungarian Arts and Crafts.
The Gamble House will present a special lecture on March 31st, by Anthony Gall, on the inspired architecture of Hungarian-Transylvanian architect/craftsman Karoly Kos and the Hungarian Arts and Crafts movement.
Gall’s illustrated lecture will discuss works of major Hungarian architects and applied artists from this period as an introduction to the work of Kos who created some of the most important vernacular-inspired masterpieces of the Hungarian Arts and Crafts period. The Budapest Zoo Pavilions, Kos’s studio home in Transylvania, and other important projects will be presented in the context of Transylvanian folk architecture, which inspired it, and emphasis will be placed on the beautiful craftsmanship and detailing which resulted from this connection. Recent renovations of the pavilions of the Budapest Zoo will also be described
At the turn of the Twentieth Century, the twin-capitals of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Vienna and Budapest were significant centers of art and architectural production. The Viennese Secession and the Hungarian “Szecesszió” both describe a new beginning, and a break with the past. Exquisite examples of work from this period can be seen at the Los Angeles County Art Museum exhibition: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880–1920: Design for the Modern World
Lecturer Anthony Gall
Anthony Gall is a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Queensland and principal of Gall and Associates Architects in Budapest. An award-winning architect, he was Chief Architect for the Restoration of the Budapest Zoo and Botanic Gardens (a National Monument) and was awarded one of Europe’s most prestigious awards for Heritage Reconstruction (Europa Nostra) in 2000. His extensive monograph on Károly Kós, was published in 2002.
What Did They Hear?: The Musical Landscape of the Early 20th Century
Lecture by Charles McKnight
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The first decades of the 20th century were teeming with innovations in musical style. Russian, German, French and American composers sought to find new ways to express the dynamic nature of modern society. At the same time, many composers were taken with a nostalgia for the past. The variety of approaches to musical style, some of which will be sampled during this lecture, created an excitement about contemporary developments that is unparalleled in musical history.
McKnight will explore some of the styles and their affinities with the visual and literary arts including Impressionism, Expressionism, Primitivism, and Nationalism.
Charles McKnight is associate professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He holds degrees in music performance and music history from Stetson University, Yale University and Cornell University. A specialist in the history of Russian music, he has done extensive research on the interaction of music and politics in the early Soviet period.
Architecture and Identity in the Southern Pacific: The New Zealand Contemporaries of Greene and Greene, 1885-1915
Lecture by Ian Lochhead
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
At the beginning of the 20th century, progressive New Zealand architects, like their American contemporaries, were searching for ways in which to express an emerging sense of national identity. As they sought to break free from the twin shackles of a dominant English tradition and 19th century historicism, they discovered in the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement a means of expressing both national and regional identities. Drawing inspiration from the work of colonial architects as well as from their British and American contemporaries, architects such as Samuel Hurst Seager, Basil Hooper and James Chapman Taylor developed a regionally distinctive Arts and Crafts architecture as yet little known beyond New Zealand.
Issues to be examined include:
- Links and parallels with contemporary British and American architecture;
- Samuel Hurst Seager’s independent development of the timber bungalow from 1900 on;
- The use of motifs derived from indigenous flora and fauna;
- Architects’ attitudes toward the art traditions of the Maori.
Ian Lochhead is associate professor of art history at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. He has written extensively on the history of New Zealand architecture, with particular emphasis on the Gothic Revival and Arts and Crafts movements. In 2000 he was Laing visiting professor of architecture at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
The Color Woodcut and American Arts & Crafts
Lecture by David Acton
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
From the 1890s through the 1930s and beyond, the craft of color woodcut flourished in the United States as never before. Inspired by longtime European traditions, professional artists and amateurs explored the medium as a way to multiply their designs. In New England and in Northern California, others explored Asian printmaking, combining their techniques and styles with those of European art. Vivid in hue and consciously aesthetic in style, these works were immensely popular as decorative accents in Arts and Crafts-style architecture. The simplicity of their facture encouraged innovation, and the most skillful artists developed their own, highly individualized modes of working. Thus the diversity of this fashion made it distinctly American.
In a broad, lavishly illustrated survey of this period, Acton will discuss the art and its innovators:
- The technical rudiments of European and Japanese color woodcut;
- Intrepid female printmakers;
- Arthur Wesley Dow, Ernest Fenollosa and Japonisme;
- The Provincetown Print;
- Western dissemination of color woodcut;
- Gustave Baumann and the Southwest.
David Acton is curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts. Among his books are A Spectrum of Innovation: Color in American Printmaking 1890-1960, and monographic studies of Arthur Wesley Dow, Blanche Lazzell and Gustave Baumann.
Building for Nature: The Architecture of Walter Burley Griffin
Lecture by Paul Kruty
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937) was the most international of the early 20th century American Modernists, with careers successively in America, Australia and India. Surpassed only by Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright in importance among Chicago’s Prairie School, his achievement exceeded theirs in its great breadth. His organic approach to design, materials and the environment—as revealed in two of his most complete projects, Rock Crest/Rock Glen in Mason City, Iowa, and Castlecrag near Sydney, Australia—were remarkably ahead of their time and continue to serve as model solutions for many contemporary problems of context and sustainability.
Among Griffin’s achievements:
- Uniting architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning into a single discipline;
- Creating an alternative organic form of modern American architecture to those of Sullivan and Wright;
- Combining the Arts and Crafts values of materiality, craftsmanship and place with modern technology and systems of construction.
Paul Kruty teaches the history of Modern and American architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The author of Frank Lloyd Wright and Midway Gardens and Walter Burley Griffin in America, he has published numerous articles on the architects of Chicago’s Prairie School, including Wright, Griffin, Robert Spencer and George Elmslie. His lecture venues have included the Griffin Society of Australia, the Frank LloydWright Home & Studio Foundation and the Arts and Crafts conference in Perry, Iowa.
Organic Beauty: Japanese-Style Gardens for Arts & Crafts Houses
Lecture by Kendall H. Brown
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
In the first decades of the 20th century, Japanese-style gardens were built across North America. Popularized at world’s fairs and other commercial venues, these gardens were soon used residentially, adorning the great estates of the wealthy and the humble bungalows of the middle class. Yet nowhere did the Japanese garden find a more congenial setting than at Arts and Crafts houses, where Japanese aesthetics and motifs were integral to the design.
Characteristics of these gardens include:
- Integration of the garden with the residence;
- Dramatic use of architectural and ornamental elements;
- Emphasis on organic, “natural” features;
- Conception of Japanese culture as an antidote to industrialization.
Kendall H. Brown is associate professor of Asian art history in the department of art at California State University, Long Beach, and adjunct curator of Japanese art at the Pacific Asia Museum. He has published widely on the subject including the book Japanese-Style Gardens of the Pacific West Coast. He is currently a fellow in landscape history at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., where he is writing a book on the social history of Japanese-style gardens in North America.
Radical but Reserved: The Englishness of English Arts & Crafts
Lecture by Alan Crawford
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The Arts and Crafts movement got its start in England, with the writings of John Ruskin and the example of William Morris, and we often think of it as having spread from England to other countries. But, as the forthcoming Arts and Crafts exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will make clear, the movement was not simply an English export: It was Belgian in Belgium, Finnish in Finland, American in America. It was also peculiarly English in England, and Crawford will explore its main features there including:
- A vague but powerful anti-industrialism;
- An emphasis on method and substance in design, reacting against the superficiality of commercial decorative art;
- Love of the countryside;
- Close links with the upper and upper-middle classes.
Alan Crawford lives in London where he is a freelance historian specializing in British architecture and decorative arts in the decades around 1900. He is the author of C.R. Ashbee: Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist and Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and is currently working on a book about the Arts and Crafts movement in England.