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Exploring L.A.'s Mid-Century Modern Architecture PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 April 2007
Bolton Hall Museum presents a new exhibit exploring the Mid-Century Modern architecture of the Los Angeles foothill community Sunland/Tujunga.  Foothill Moderns: Innovative Architecture in Mid-Century Sunland/Tujunga, at Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga, from March 10—August 28, 2007, pays tribute to the innovative architecture of internationally renowned architects and explores their daring clients who enthusiastically embraced their vision and the iconoclastic spirit of the time.

What is Mid-Century Modern?  Who built these avant-garde homes?  Who were the people daring enough to live in them?  Foothill Moderns: Innovative Architecture in Mid-Century Sunland/Tujunga will explore world-class Atomic Age architects who built unique structures in Sunland/Tujunga. Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner and Eugene Weston are some of the well-known names who introduced radical new ideas in floor plan, materials and energy-efficiency through their work for local clients. Their experimental designs influenced countless imitators, among them, Victor Sease, infamous local developer of Tujunga’s Manzanita Slope Development and Descanso Tract.

Foothill Moderns: Innovative Architecture in Mid-Century Sunland/Tujunga will provide an historical glimpse into Sunland/Tujunga's mid-century built environment through vintage and contemporary photographs, architectural plans and drawings of private residences, commercial structures and public buildings.  Advertising from home design magazines and home furnishings from the period will showcase the modernist lifestyle and aesthetic.  A photo-narrative of a former childhood resident will provide a personal account of what life was like in modern Sunland/Tujunga.  Highlights from the exhibit include photographs by celebrated photographer Julius Shulman whose iconic images helped to define modern architecture.

The exhibit kicks off on Saturday, March 10, at 1:00 p.m. with the presentation Preserving the Spirit: Mid-Century Modern Homes in a New Century by Los Angeles-based writer Joseph Mailander who writes on architecture and urbanism.  Mr. Mailander will present an overview of the Mid-Century Modern style and show images of floor plans and restoration work.  How best to recapture the spirit of the original architect's vision when undertaking a home renovation will be examined.  Admission is free; seating is limited.

In conjunction with the exhibit, the 12th Annual Sunland/Tujunga Historic Home and Garden Tour will feature a newly-restored Descanso Tract home.  Constructed in the "post-and-beam" style, this home features signature Modernist elements such as strong horizontal planes, a flat roof, exposed structural members and floor–to–ceiling windows.  Cork flooring and native landscaping (currently in the process of installation) demonstrate the environmentally-sensitive concerns of this architectural movement.  This year's tour is Sunday, May 6, from 10:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.; tickets are available through Bolton Hall in advance and on the morning of the tour.  Unfortunately, the residence is not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.

Items on display in the exhibit include: Photographs from the Julius Shulman Photography Archive of the Research Library at the Getty Research Institute (© J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with Permission); Photographs of historic Tujunga from the archives of the Little Landers Society and Oviatt Library of California State University, Northridge and digitally reproduced by the San Fernando Valley Issues Digital Library; Photographs by James Reed of homes by Eugene Weston from the personal collection of Eugene Weston.

This exhibit was organized by Foothill Moderns, a group of local residents committed to providing education and resources to those interested in the rich Mid-Century Modern architectural heritage of this eclectic community.

Foothill Moderns: Innovative Architecture in Mid-Century Sunland/Tujunga, March 10—August 28, 2007 at Bolton Hall Museum, 10110 Commerce Ave., Tujunga, CA. Admission is free.  Hours: Sun & Tues: 1 – 4 p.m., 2nd Sat of the month: 1 – 4 p.m.  Open by appointment for Group Tours.  Bolton Hall Museum: (818) 352-3420. http://foothillmoderns.blogspot.com

Source: Press Release, Bolton Hall Museum
Exhibit Celebrates Mid-Century Modern Architecture of Sunland/Tujunga, CA Featuring Homes by Internationally Renowned Architects
February 16, 2007

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 April 2007 )
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