California Design: Living in a Modern Way

LA County Museum of Art showcases California design classics.

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  1. Airstream Trailer


    “California Design 1935-1960: Living in a Modern Way” is on view through June 3, 2012 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). The installation was designed by Hodgetts + Fung design and architecture studio, and the exhibit features 350 pieces from 141 California designers, craftspeople, and manufacturers.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  2. Eames Plywood Chair


    In addition to the recreation of Charles and Ray Eames’ living room, several Eames furnishings are on view, including the 1946 molded plywood classic, DCW (Dining Chair Wood), made by Herman Miller.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  3. Eames Storage Unit


    The free-standing ESU (Eames Storage Unit), a 1949 Eames design for Herman Miller Furniture Co., in bold primary hues, is constructed of steel, plywood, lacquered particleboard, and rubber.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  4. Noll Fiberglass Surfboard


    A California design exhibit would not be complete without a surfboard – the state’s icon of leisure –from Greg Noll. This 1960 board, made of foam, fiberglass, resin and wood, stands 114”H. Noll is still designing boards today.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  5. Kester Printed Textile


    Ceramics and textile artist Bernard Kester designed this 1962 screen-printed cotton textile for the interior design company Crawford & Stoughton. Kester’s career in art extends to his current position, exhibition designer at LACMA.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  6. Tackett Earthenware Totems


    La Gardo Tackett’s grouping of shapely earthenware garden totems were produced by Architectural Pottery in 1955. The tallest one stands 81”H.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  7. Grossman Formica Desk


    This walnut, iron and formica desk was designed by Swedish-born Greta Magnusson Grossman and produced by Glenn of California in 1952. Grossman emigrated to California in 1940, and besides designing furnishings and homes, taught industrial design at UCLA.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  8. Natzler Glazed Pottery


    Gertrud and Otto Natzler were wife and husband, potter and glazer respectively. Born in Austria, they came to California in 1938, and collaborated on pottery until 1971. Otto invented more than 2000 glazes during his career.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
  9. Eames Plywood Elephant


    The molded-plywood Eames elephant, designed for children in 1945, was never mass produced. A new plastic version, however, is being produced in a rainbow of colors. The elephants measures approximately 16”H by 31” L.

    © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA
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