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Los Angeles County Museum of Art Opens California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way.” An Exhibition open through March 25, 2012.

Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Bowl, 1943. Earthenware, 3 1/2 x 8 1/2. Gift of Rose A. Sperry 1972 Revocable Trust ©2007 Gail Reynolds Natzler, Trustee of the Natzler Trust Photo ©2011 Museum Associates/LACMA

The exhibition—the first major study of modern California design—examines the state’s key role in shaping the material culture of the country at mid-century. California Design features more than 350 objects in wide- ranging media, including furniture, textiles, fashion, graphic and industrial design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, architectural drawings, and film, as well as two period re-creations—most notably the living room from the home of renowned designers Charles and Ray Eames. The exhibition is organized by Wendy Kaplan, Curator and Department Head, and Bobbye Tigerman, Assistant Curator, of LACMA’s Decorative Arts and Design Department.

“Given that California became a world center for design innovation after 1945, it’s surprising that this exhibition is the first comprehensive study of the subject. While figures such as the Eameses, Richard Neutra,

and Rudi Gernreich are well known, we present new context for their work,” stated Wendy Kaplan. Bobbye Tigerman elaborated, “At the same time, we also introduce audiences to previously unheralded designers who played an integral role in the development of California design.”
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” is one of five exhibitions LACMA is presenting in conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, an unprecedented collaboration initiated by the Getty, bringing together more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene (beginning October 2011).

Since its inception in 1965, LACMA has been devoted to collecting works of art that span both history and geography and represent Los Angeles’s uniquely diverse population. Today, the museum features particularly strong collections of Asian, Latin American, European, and American art, as well as a contemporary museum on its campus. With this expanded space for contemporary art, innovative collaborations with artists, and an ongoing Transformation project, LACMA is creating a truly modern lens through which to view its rich encyclopedic collection.

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