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Things That Aren't There Anymore: Harwell Hamilton Harris' Lek Residence (1942) in La Jolla

Saturday January 24, 2015

Akin to Harwell Hamilton Harris’ Birtcher House (Los Angeles, 1942) and his Solar House for Libbey-Owens-Ford (1942), the Dr. & Mrs. Lodewijk Lek House of the same year, began as the US entered WWII. Within the structure’s L-shaped plan, Harris devised ways to control the sun by reflecting it, filtering it, intercepting it, harnessing it, and absorbing it – including a continuous band of clerestories as well as a hinged fin rotating with the sun to extend the afternoon’s duration of shade. The house was Published in Pencil Points 24, May 1943. Shortly prior to the demolition by an insensitive buyer, the home was completely restored by Harris mentee Robert Mosher.

Architect Jack V. Matteson passed away recently. Jack started working with Lloyd Ruocco and Homer Delawie in the late 1950s where he specialized in project renderings. Jack remained with Lloyd Ruocco following Delawie’s departure from the firm – at which time he took clients, projects and staff with him. Jack later worked alongside John Henderson for Delawie & Macy during the early 1960s.

Gerry Casale is selling Richard Neutra's Joseph Kun House (1936) following its recent restoration. Read more HERE.

Wright has posted the next 'American Design' auction - and boy are there some great items for sale! Check it out HERE.

Rago has posted four upcoming auctions. Check out the upcoming 'Mid-Mod', 'Early 20th Century', 'Modern Ceramics/Glass' and 'Modern Design' auctions HERE.


The Salk Institute by Louis Kahn. Photograph by Julius Shulman taken in 1966.

Wednesday January 21, 2015

Thank you all for coming out to last week's presentation for the Friends of San Diego Architecture. On February 21, friend of Modern San Diego, Dirk Sutro, will present 'Modernism Transformed: From the Salk to the Geisel and Beyond'. The full calendar of lectures is HERE.

Please support The La Jolla Historical Society this year. I am working with them on a new show The Taliesin Architects of San Diego: the Legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright - an exhibition that explores the work of San Diego architects who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright in his Taliesin Apprentice program. Please donate to the organization so we can build a world-class show and publication on this topic HERE.

A new book, Saarinen Houses, focuses on both the work of Finnish-born architect Eliel Saarinen and his architect-son Eero Saarinen. The book covers the architects' residential work in both Europe and America, spanning 17 projects over six decades starting with Eliel's work in the late 1890s. Though both Eliel and Eero Saarinen are best known for their public works, like the elder Saarinen's Helsinki railway station and Eero's TWA Building at JFK Airport, it is through private residences they crafted for friends, family, and clients that readers will gain new insights into the men and their work. Learn more HERE.

Put February 4 in your calendar. On this date Los Angeles Modern Auctions' online catalog for their next show will be posted online HERE.

Steve Aldana continues to post his finds from his vagabonding around our fair state (and Arizona) HERE.

Tomorrow, January 22, Rago will be posting their online catalogs for several upcoming auctions HERE.


As I write Sim Bruce Richards' story, I continue to come across great photos.
I have yet to identify the project pictured above or its photographer!

Sunday January 11, 2015

Next Saturday morning, January 17, I am presenting on local mid-century modernism. More information is HERE.

On February 14, head up to Palm Springs to attend a presentation and book signing with Jerry Ackerman. More information is HERE.

Friends of Modern San Diego, Angela & Joe, were profiled in San Diego Magazine recently. They live in the John Dirks Residence (1948) in Mt. Helix. Check out the article HERE.

If you discount Kelly Bennett's points under the banner 'A Great Failing for San Diego' where she attempts to maintain the idea that the Timken is somehow in jeopardy, read an update on the museum HERE.

I continue to ask myself 'when modernism began and ended'...and here's yet another excursion down that path. Check out two apartment interiors recreated by the MAK museum in Vienna - one by Adolf Loos and the other by Josef Hoffmann - HERE.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art just launched a new show 'Reimagining Modernism 1900-1950'. If you find yourself in New York soon, check out the new exhibition featuring Paul Klee, Arshile Gorky, Jean Arp, Jean Dubuffet, Marsden Hartley, Morris Hirshfield, Kandinsky, Brancusi, O'Keefe and more. Read more HERE.

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