Los Angeles County Museum of Art
left: Main Museum Complex, right: LACMA West, photos, ©1999 John Hazeltine
Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000 -- Period Rooms
October 22, 2000 - February 25, 2001
"Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900-2000," is a landmark exhibition that addresses the relationship between the arts in California and the state's evolving image over the past century. On view from October 22, 2000 through February 25, 2001, Made in California represents an unprecedented collaboration among nine of LACMA's programmatic departments, and is the largest exhibition LACMA has organized or hosted. Made in California is divided into five sections featuring approximately 800 works of art in a wide range of media, as well as approximately 400 cultural documents and artifacts.
Featured in the exhibition are three period rooms or "lifestyle environments." These walk-through environments are cohesive, self-contained rooms filled with period furniture and decorative arts, and are defined by unique architectural features that depict authentic expressions of the periods they represent.
The first environment is an Arts and Crafts Room. Located in Section 1, 1900-1920 on the plaza level of the Hammer Building, this room evokes the innovative architectural structure of the bungalow house, which originated in California and swept eastward. Proponents of the Arts and Crafts lifestyle believed that a thoughtfully arranged home filled with beautiful objects would contribute to the physical and spiritual health of the individual and, therefore, would be a contribution to a good life and a good society. Hallmarks that characterize the Arts and Crafts style in this room are the use of natural materials, superior craftsmanship, and a harmonious balance between the interior and exterior environments. Included in LACMA's period room is a selection of Arts and Crafts furniture, ceramics, lighting fixtures, and metalwork, largely acquired for LACMA by Max Palevsky, and further enhanced by significant loans from other major institutions.
Located in Section 2, 1920-1940 on the second floor of the Hammer Building, the second environment is an Early Modernist Room. California's architectural landscape was enriched by the transplantation of two acclaimed Viennese architects, Rudolf Michael Schindler and Richard Neutra. Schindler and Neutra brought the European International style to California, a style that proselytized the following theories: the house is an organism in which every detail, including furniture, is related to the whole; the house and its site represent an integrated environment; the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space should be dissolved; and the execution of these proper design principles will result in the betterment of society and a more healthful life for the individual. This period room will premier a newly restored integrated suite of furniture from one of Schindler's Los Angeles commissions of 1936, in LACMA's collection.
The third environment is a Mid-Century Indoor-Outdoor Lifestyle Room. Located in Section 3, 1940-1960 on the third floor of the Anderson Building, this environment represents the explorations of new technologies, new materials, low-cost approaches to housing, and the desire to be "modern" and on the cutting edge. The underlying belief during this time was that good design in the service of progressive modernization could effect positive change. This room is an assemblage of vanguard furnishings by such iconic California designers as Charles and Ray Eames, and Van Kepple-Green. This unique environment - designed as a suburban lanai replete with outdoor furniture, landscaping, architectural pottery, and a patio overhang - highlights the fluidity between interior and exterior spaces in California.
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