LACMA: California Design

written by:
June 9, 2011

As you might imagine, we inveterate modernists up here at Dwell are very, very excited for what will be one of the fall's best forays into modern design. On October 1, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is launching California Design 1930-1965: "Living in a Modern Way" which takes a good long look at how Californian design in the middle of the 20th century helped shape American material culture. I'm so thrilled to be talking with two of the shows curators Bobbye Tigerman and Wendy Kaplan at Dwell on Design on Friday June 24th to learn more about their research. But here's a sneak preview of 13 of the over 300 objects that will make up the show. Click on!

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  This earthenware bowl is by the Austrian-born team of Gertrude and Otto Natzler. It's from 1943.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    This earthenware bowl is by the Austrian-born team of Gertrude and Otto Natzler. It's from 1943.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  Dan Johnson's 1947 desk is a perfect example of how American modernism often split the difference between clean forms and the speedy streamlining of the era.  Courtesy of: Copyright 2007 LA County Museum of Art
    Dan Johnson's 1947 desk is a perfect example of how American modernism often split the difference between clean forms and the speedy streamlining of the era.

    Courtesy of: Copyright 2007 LA County Museum of Art

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  Mary Anne DeWeese designed this pair of bathing suits (a bikini for her, trunks and a t-shirt for him) for the Catalina Sportswear company in 1949. The lobster motif may evoke Maine, but it's hard to imagine too many bathing beauties on the rocky shores of South Portland.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    Mary Anne DeWeese designed this pair of bathing suits (a bikini for her, trunks and a t-shirt for him) for the Catalina Sportswear company in 1949. The lobster motif may evoke Maine, but it's hard to imagine too many bathing beauties on the rocky shores of South Portland.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  Kem Weber's 1939 desk and chair were shown at the Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1939.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    Kem Weber's 1939 desk and chair were shown at the Golden Gate International Exhibition in San Francisco in 1939.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  A classic of colorful Californian design, this storage unit by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller dates from the late 40s but it looks as good as ever today.  Courtesy of: Restricted
    A classic of colorful Californian design, this storage unit by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller dates from the late 40s but it looks as good as ever today.

    Courtesy of: Restricted

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  This iron and aluminum lamp by Greta Magnusson Grossman was manufactured in Burbank in the early 1950s by the Ralph O. Smith Manufacturing Company.  Courtesy of: Los Angeles County Museum Art
    This iron and aluminum lamp by Greta Magnusson Grossman was manufactured in Burbank in the early 1950s by the Ralph O. Smith Manufacturing Company.

    Courtesy of: Los Angeles County Museum Art

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  This album cover gets both the beachy vibe that California came to represent as well as the clan typographic treatment that marked so many great jazz albums of the 1950s. Robert Guidi designed this 1955 album.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    This album cover gets both the beachy vibe that California came to represent as well as the clan typographic treatment that marked so many great jazz albums of the 1950s. Robert Guidi designed this 1955 album.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  One of the great undersung disseminators of modernism was draftsman, illustrator, and renderer Carlos Diniz. This drawing of a home in Monarch Bay by Ladd and Kelsey Architects in Laguna Nigel is classic Diniz and is as good an ad for California at the start of the 1960s as anything.
    One of the great undersung disseminators of modernism was draftsman, illustrator, and renderer Carlos Diniz. This drawing of a home in Monarch Bay by Ladd and Kelsey Architects in Laguna Nigel is classic Diniz and is as good an ad for California at the start of the 1960s as anything.
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  Byron Wilson's silver, ebony, and ivory necklace from 1956 shows how modern design worked its way into jewelery as well.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    Byron Wilson's silver, ebony, and ivory necklace from 1956 shows how modern design worked its way into jewelery as well.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  Arline Fisch's 1962 peacock necklace is a lovely bit of mid-century design.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    Arline Fisch's 1962 peacock necklace is a lovely bit of mid-century design.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  Margaret De Patta's highly abstract brooch in silver and quartz hails from the late 40s or 50s.
    Margaret De Patta's highly abstract brooch in silver and quartz hails from the late 40s or 50s.
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  This textile design in rayon and cotton by Hungarian Paul Laszlo comes from his European Group collection from 1954 or before.  Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    This textile design in rayon and cotton by Hungarian Paul Laszlo comes from his European Group collection from 1954 or before.

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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  Bold dots and a matching jacket make this swimsuit by Margit Fellegi from about 1950 a poolside stunner.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu
    Bold dots and a matching jacket make this swimsuit by Margit Fellegi from about 1950 a poolside stunner.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    Courtesy of: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museu

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