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Wednesday June 8, 2010

I am presenting a lecture/presentation on local architect Sim Bruce Richards at the San Diego History Center. Serving as an additional installment of their ‘Historic Places’ series (I gave a similar presentation months ago on Homer Delawie), the lecture will explore his work as a WPA artist, Taliesin Fellow and his San Diego area projects. Please join me on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 between 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Thornton Theatre at San Diego History Center in Casa de Balboa, Balboa Park RSVP by calling 619-232-6203, ext. 129, or send an email to gabe.selak@sandiegohistory.org to register. Additional information can be found HERE.

If you're not already checking out this site, the Southern California Architectural History blog has posted a great overview of Harwell Hamilton Harris' early career HERE.

While the retrospective of Greta Grossman's career at Stockholm's Arkitekturmuseet has come down (read more HERE) and the new book, 'Greta Magnusson Grossman: A Car and Some Shorts' is available for purchase HERE. Her San Diego work seems to be glossed over...

Tuesday June 8, 2010

Dave Hampton / Objects USA and Priscilla Spitler of the Paula Hocks Archive, announced a weekend-long sale of approximately one hundred works on paper by Fred Hocks (1886-1981). A large body of work, including paintings on paper, watercolors, drawings and monoprints, all from the collection of Hocks' late ex-wife, artist Paula Rohrer, will be available for sale and viewing for the first time in decades. After years in storage out of state, the entire collection returns to San Diego for one weekend only.

No artist embodies San Diego's early avant-garde more than Fred (Ferdinand) Hocks, a German-born painter who settled in San Diego in the 1930s after studies at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco and the Art Students League in New York. Fellow painter Dan Dickey credited Hock's in 1947 with "opening up pathways for future, more enlightened generations (of artists)," and predicted that Hocks would be "esteemed a master."

During the post-war years Hocks was assistant director of the San Diego School of Arts and Crafts, a private art school in La Jolla, and was instrumental in keeping affordable artist's studios in Spanish Village. Along with modern architect Lloyd Ruocco, Hocks co-founded the dynamic Allied Artists Council with Belle Baranceanu, Everett Gee Jackson, Dan Dickey and John Olson. The event will take place at Ronis Fine Art on Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th from 10am to 4pm.

Monday June 7, 2010

For the first time in 55 years, Philip Johnson's first commissioned residential home is up for sale. The Booth House’s  (circa 1946) floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding woodlands was a precursor to Mr. Johnson's iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Conn., built in 1949. The home belongs to former architect Sirkka Damora and her late husband, Robert. The couple rented the home before purchasing it in 1955 for $23,500. "We were intrigued by it because it was a modern house and we were both in architecture," Ms. Damora said. "We knew it was Philip Johnson's house but the name didn't mean much at the time." Mr. Damora, an architect and architectural photographer, renovated the basement of the three-bedroom home to include more living space and added an entire wall of glass. He also completed the home's kitchen and bathroom, which Mr. Johnson never finished. Ms. Damora is moving to Boston to be closer to her two children. The home was listed in April with William Raveis Real Estate for $2 million. Part of the money from the sale will go toward archiving a portion of Mr. Damora's photographs, which captured the development of mid-century modern architecture. See the slideshow HERE.

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