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George Nakashima and daughter Mira in his studio.
Photo credit: NakashimaWoodworker.com

Wednesday April 30, 2014

The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex (Bucks County, Pennsylvania) was recently inducted as a new national historic landmark. Internationally renowned furniture designer and woodworker George Nakashima is recognized as one of America's most eminent furniture designer craftsmen. Nakashima's work expresses a worldview that is based upon a unique set of circumstances, including his formal education in architecture, his exposure to European Modernism, Eastern religious philosophy, and traditional Japanese craft traditions, including instruction from Issei carpenter Gentaro Hikogawa while both were confined at the Minidoka Relocation Center, one of 10 internment camps established for Japanese Americans during World War II (and whose site is today administered by the National Park Service). As a self-proclaimed "woodworker," Nakashima became an important voice for the artist craftsmen helping to create a new paradigm for studio furniture production in the postwar period. The George Nakashima Woodworker complex is significant for its innovative Japanese-influenced International Style structures designed by Nakashima and built under his direct supervision.

The San Diego Musem of Art will host ‘Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’ starting in October. The scope of the show begins in the late 1800s, featuring milestones of Post-Impressionism by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent Van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin, and extends to the mid twentieth century in America with Abstract Expressionists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, and Robert Motherwell as well as prominent Pop artists such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. Read more HERE.

The Glass House, architect Philip Johnson’s iconic Modernist structure has been wrapped in a poetic fog by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya, a sort of Christo of mist. Read more HERE.

Sunday April 27, 2014

'Climate Change; Midcentury Modern La Jolla' opens on May 4!This new show, at the newly renovated La Jolla Historical Society site, is curated by Dave Hampton. Make sure you see it again and again. Learn more HERE.

The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco recently opened 'Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism'. According to the institution, this isthe first “…exhibition to look at the contribution of Jewish designers, architects, patrons, and merchants in the creation of a distinctly modern American domestic landscape…” Learn more HERE.

Architect Lee F. Mindel, FAIA has teamed up with Phillips to host 'The Architect' auction on April 29. View the catalog of items designed by architects including Eliel Saarinen, Josef Hoffman, Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerrit Rietveld, Greta Grossman and many others HERE.

Darren Bradley shot Mark & Loretta's Ullman Residence by John Mock in Mt. Helix. Check out the photo shoot HERE.

In July, curator Dave Hampton will host ‘Spitting In the Wind: Art From the End of the Line by Richard Allen Morris, John Baldessari, Bob Matheny and Russell Baldwin’ at the Oceanside Museum of Art. This tribute to the long-standing friendships between these artists will rely on their work in the late 1950s and the 1960s, when they frequently saw each other's work and participated in the same exhibitions.  Learn more HERE.


Lynn Fayman, White Form, 1963, photograph. Private Collection.
Photo by Chip Morton.

Tuesday April 14, 2014

Fans of modernist design often trace lineages of their interests back to the Bauhaus, and those heartily influenced by it. Direct relationships from San Diego back to the Bauhaus are few and far between. While there have been émigrés that brought early Bauhaus furniture and furnishings to their San Diego homes, artists and architects harnessing these influences here in town are very few. Among them was photographer Lynn Fayman – who likely witnessed Bauhaus output during his time in Europe circa 1928. By the 1940s Mr. Fayman had turned his camera towards experimentation – work that directly references the work of Bauhaus instructor Lazlo Maholy-Nagy. His ideas about how the camera could create painterly work was likely furthered by his brief studies at the Art Center School in Los Angeles in 1943. Working from his La Jolla studio, Fayman’s work would be shown at Cannes and exhibited across the country by significant institutions. Come with us and explore this fascinating piece of ‘Modern San Diego’ by joining us on May 8th at 6PM at San Diego's Museum of Photographic Art. Point your browser HERE and RSVP with a $10 minimum donation (to MOPA) on the right hand side of your screen.

Esoteric Survey gave us the thumbs-up HERE.

Los Angeles Modern Auctions is getting ready for their May 18th sale. Follow their blog HERE.

Rago's next auction is June 15. Check them out HERE.

Wright is hosting a 'Scandinavian Design' auction on May 8. Look at the pretty pictures HERE.

Michaan's Auctions is hosting a really interesting '20th Century Design' sale on May 8. Check out the items HERE.


The Bobertz Residence by Craig Ellwood (designed 1953, built 1955)
Photograph by Darren Bradley.
Darren's full photo shoot of the Bobertz Residence can be viewed HERE.

Sunday April 13, 2014

RSVP now for Modern San Diego's special night at MOPA! In celebration of the final days of the exhibit Lynn G. Fayman: A Colorful Life join us on Thursday, May 8th starting at 6PM. We will gather for food and drink in the David C. Copley Atrium before adjourning to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Theater for an exclusive program. Our special guests will walk attendees through the curatorial process including an exclusive look at the treasure trove of Fayman photographs and films not included in MOPA's current exhibition. RSVP ASAP HERE.

Lucia Eames, the daughter of Charles Eames and his first wife Catherine, past away earlier this month. Read about her life and achievements to keep the legacy of Charles and Ray Eames alive HERE.

Darren Bradley traveled to Columbus, Indiana last week and snapped some amazing photos of the Miller House by Eero Saarinen HERE. He toured the town, which is arguably one of the most interesting places to witness modern architecture, and shares it with us via his photographs HERE.


Coming out this July - a new book highlighting Cape Cod Modern. Learn more HERE.

Tuesday April 8, 2014

Join us when we host Lynn G. Fayman: A Colorful Life, A Special Evening at the Museum of Photographic Arts on Thursday, May 8th. Starting at 6PM (sharp) we will gather for food and drink in the David C. Copley Atrium before adjourning to the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Theater for an exclusive program. Our special guests will walk attendees through the curatorial process including an exclusive look at the treasure trove of Fayman photographs and films not included in MOPA's current exhibition. I will post RSVP information shortly but please RSVP ASAP as seating will be limited.

Modern San Diego and the La Jolla Historical Society are proud to share the Mid-Century Modern Architecture Tour HERE.

Back in January, 2002 Tom Shess  gathered together architects R. Gary Allen, Robert Mosher, Hal G. Sadler, Homer T. Delawie, Ward Deems, John Henderson and Michael Stepner. In their discussion of post-War architecture Shess summed it up by writing “To quote Charles Dickens—it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Ward Deems, however, echoed the general mood of the era.  He said, “Architectural design during those years often struggled to achieve excellence, some of which was due in part to clients' reluctance to reach higher and to some architects reticence to push hard for exceptional solutions.” Read the full article HERE.

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