Families in Residence

August 18, 2014

For better or worse, every family has a unique dynamic. It’s a vibe that can be difficult to describe and only sometimes is intentionally cultivated. But despite its predominately subliminal nature, a family’s dynamic exerts a strong force. As kids, we began to realize what differentiated our home only by comparing ours to others. As adults, we point to these variances to explain how we turned out.

Imagine if you were raised by artists.

Glenn Kaino, Fishing with Morice, #9 Sake Snake, 2001, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Peter Norton

Glenn Kaino, Fishing with Morice, #9 Sake Snake, 2001, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of Peter Norton

How would it compare to the environment of other households? What could we learn from artists in terms of fostering an atmosphere of creativity within a family unit or home?

LACMA’s latest series, Family Dynamic: Workshops Led by Artists and Their Kids, explores these questions by going straight to the source. These interactive classes are co-led by acclaimed contemporary artists from LACMA’s collection—including Glenn Kaino, Ingrid Calame, Lara Schnitger, Matthew Monahan, and Sterling Ruby—plus their children. Through discussion and art-making activities, participants discover firsthand the ways artists nurture imagination at home, and in turn, they can uncover new ideas for how to engage in artistic endeavors together as a family.

A common denominator that seems to unite the dynamic of artists with kids is an overall culture of making, which is accomplished simply through default. The children of artists often observe their parents working with their hands, playing with materials, and making things sometimes purely for the sake of experimentation. Below the surface of this general culture of creation are idiosyncrasies that make each family of artists unique.

The Calame-Roberts family

The Calame-Roberts family

Lara Schnitger and Matthew Monahan share a studio with their eight-year-old daughter, where she has full access to fabrics, sewing machines, wax, foams, and carving tools. Tingri is not taught “art” as a separate discipline—it’s a creative force. She plays with all of the resources that artists have at their disposal on a large scale and with a narrative sense of purpose. Tingri and her friends have an elaborate art project in development consisting of architectural models and a cast of characters made exclusively from using colored tape in inventive ways.

For Glenn Kaino and fashion designer Corey Lynn Calter, it’s primarily about a shift in mindset. They instill in their two daughters the idea of contributing to culture, not just passively consuming it via the books they read, video games they play, or clothing they wear. They’re taught to not just recognize the artists and designers behind these inventions and appreciate it, but to make art as well.

Sterling Ruby, SCALE (4586), 2013, image courtesy the artist

Sterling Ruby, SCALE (4586), 2013, image courtesy the artist

Another aspect that frequently characterizes the relationship between artists and their kids is the mutual exchange of creativity. It’s not just that artists influence their kids; their children inspire them artistically too. That two-way conversation is evident in the home of Sterling Ruby and photographer Melanie Schiff. Inspired by his daughters, who regularly make mobiles for their rooms and to hang above their brother’s crib, Ruby began building large hanging sculptures. The family mobiles often incorporate images influenced by Schiff’s poetic photography. In Ruby and Schiff’s workshop, participants will make mobiles incorporating found objects, textiles, materials, and photographs.

 Photo Caption: Floor of the studio shared by Lara, Matthew, and Tingri

Floor of the studio shared by Lara, Matthew, and Tingri

For Ingrid Calame and photographer Shelby Roberts, their seven-year-old daughter is the resident expert in creativity. Willa’s freedom in playing with clay and laissez-faire attitude for the “rules” of working with the material is a source of inspiration to her parents and the basis for their LACMA class.

Raising a family is the ultimate creative act. Who better to look to than artists for a new perspective? Enroll for these classes today by calling 323 857-6010 or visiting www.lacma.org/familydynamic.

Sarah Jesse, Associate Vice President of Education


This Weekend at LACMA

August 15, 2014

In the last few weeks of summer take advantage of free art tours, live music, film screenings, and creative workshops at the museum! This Friday evening, Jazz at LACMA presents the high-energy sounds of jazz, hip-hop, pop, and world music by Katisse and his band at 6 pm. In neighboring Torrance, enjoy the LACMA9 Shorts Program, featuring a great variety of short films from international classics to beloved animated films put, as part of the Art+Film Lab beginning at 8 pm.

Karma Mirror and Stand, 19th century, National Museum of Korea, Seoul, photo © National Museum of Korea

Karma Mirror and Stand, 19th century, National Museum of Korea, Seoul, photo © National Museum of Korea

 

On Saturday at the Art+Film Lab, get hands on film experience with shot design and camera movement at the Composition Workshop from noon to 3 pm. Back on the Miracle Mile, explore the amazing collection of Post-Impressionist, Fauvist, and Cubist paintings from an essential generation of European painters in Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky (and take the docent-led tour at 10:30 am for even more insight). Enjoy a tour about the inspiring masterpieces from Korea in Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910 at noon or stroll through the Japanese Art collection at 2 pm and immerse yourself in prints, ceramics, and more. Additional tours include Modern Sculpture: Brancusi to Chamberlain, Tiles in Islamic Art, and Highlights of the Museum: Art of the Americas. Be sure to catch one of the final performances of this season’s Latin Sounds with the unique blend of Latin and soul music by the Scott Martin Latin-Soul Band on Saturday at 5 pm.

 

Marsden Hartley, The Iron Cross, 1915, oil on canvas, 47 ¼ × 47 ¼ inches, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis; university purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952

Marsden Hartley, The Iron Cross, 1915, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis; university purchase, Bixby Fund, 1952

On Sunday, LACMA invites everyone from Compton and the surrounding area for a Free Day, the final component of the Compton Art+Film Lab. Nicole Miller: Believing is Seeing shines light on the personal stories of the city’s residents in the Bing Theater starting at 12:30 pm. At the tech-inspired Andell Family Sunday at 12:30 pm see how artists and scientists innovate. While you’re here check out two of our most recent exhibitions, Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913–1915 and the accompanying Sam Durant: Proposal for White and Indian Dead Monument Transpositions, Washington, D.C. Finally, end the weekend on a relaxing note with the classical sounds of Violinist Guillame Sutre, Harpist Kyung-Hee Kim-Sutre, and Pianist Steven Vanhauwaert at 6 pm at this week’s Sunday Live.

Lily Tiao

 


A World Made Visible

August 15, 2014

Few artists come along who blur the lines of the aesthetic paradigms of “fine art” or “folk art” and transcend both with a truthfulness and verve that allows us to see within the mythology. Sam Doyle is such an artist. He gives us more than mere images of vivid clarity, he opens an intimate world of America’s history, a diasporic history that is still so close it haunts the present. Like Henri Rousseau, a great parallel, whose crafted images, which are just as mysterious, spoke in an oblique way to the interior of the French psyche’s colonial ambitions, Doyle’s impassioned artwork speaks to both our hearts and our minds.

Were Doyle properly considered a neo-expressionist, he would be framed by a zeitgeist blessed by kindred artists who also engaged their deepest feelings. The movement, characterized by an array of styles that ranged from quasi-religious undertow to existential symbols of contemporary angst over historical events, was filled with a violence of cynicism and bleeding, sensuous wonder. Internationally renowned artists of such contrast as Francesco Clemente, Georg Baselitz, and Jean-Michel Basquiat (a passionate fan of Doyle who collected his works) are just a few of the artists who created in a wild profusion of “self” expressionism.

Sam Doyle, Dr. Crow, 1970–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Sam Doyle, Dr. Crow, 1970–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Doyle’s very nature embodies Matisse’s “dream of the unconscious,” reaching for subject, color, image, and abiding meaning that defines where paint and line will dwell. A self-taught creator, Doyle’s intuitive skills at organizing the image within the classic renaissance rectangle on corrugated tin, or detritus wood, added depth to his vision. One senses his awareness, his ease at placement, his daring scale, and his bold textual pronouncements, which he often added to shape his visual narrative. “I paint from, I would say, the mind’s eye,” he told NPR in 1983, “I know what it’s all about you see.”

Sam Doyle, Adlade, 1982–85, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Sam Doyle, Adlade, 1982–85, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Both a devout Baptist and culture bearer, Doyle recorded powerful images of Christian mythology and African folklore in bold depictions, melding cross-cultural entities into a single reverent oeuvre, and displayed them all in the front yard of his two-story wood home, which he built on a few acres of ancestral farm land on coastal South Carolina’s St. Helena Island. Over the years, his museum-like display evolved into the St. Helena Out Door Art Gallery. Visitors witnessed portraits of the great root doctor, Dr. Crow; his nemesis, Devil Spirit; Penn Drummer, an homage to Penn School, which was established on the island in 1862 to assist freed slaves; Jake, Our Best (“Jackie” Robinson); Rey (Ray Charles); and First Black Midwife, a sociopolitical commemoration of contributions by African Americans to child rearing, honoring his maternal grandmother, who he posed holding a golden child.

Sam Doyle, Rey, 1970–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Sam Doyle, Rey, 1970–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Doyle painted his subjects in full glory with purposeful garb, attitude, tools, and emotions—all bathed in thought-provoking gorgeous colors. Perhaps they are more than portraits, perhaps they are records of memory illuminations where status, image, and emotional hues coalesce into vivid, personal, graphic icons, that danced in his “mind’s eye.” For Doyle, it was as much about memory as about dreams. In the words of John Ruskin: “The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most.”

Sam Doyle, Gulf 7¢, 1982–85, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Sam Doyle, Gulf 7¢, 1982–85, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

The artist discovered on his home ground the profound nature of how art lives and has always lived, deep down, inside the well of our unconscious, where dreams stain of memories and their relentless present form the echo chamber of our social consciousness. Yes, he took note of the wider world. But, with bold, sure-handed strokes and vibrant colors, he stayed true to his mission. There was no air of transcendence, just the ethereal dance with the dense, celebratory air of mythology immemorial.

Sam Doyle, First Black Midwife, 1978–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

Sam Doyle, First Black Midwife, 1978–83, Gordon W. Bailey Collection

In scholar and collector Gordon W. Bailey’s thoughtful essay considering Doyle, “Haints and Saints,” a black-and-white photograph shows the proud artist, his dark skin glistening, settled into a metal lawn chair in front of a modest wood-frame structure adjacent to his house, where he painted when the weather was bad. It is an image that countervails the commoditized art universe with the ease of a shooting star. In the background, guarded by a nearly abstract wire fence, a few of his artworks (marked “Sold” to discourage collectors) can be seen. There are no fictional conceits or exotic matter—he simply is—as if lifted from the earth itself.

Doyle painted our presence, our enslaved history, our American history. His Gullah lore, with its African shadow, guides us outward, giving lines of reference, making a world visible, tangible, naming the dreams, tagging the darkness. Doyle is our witness, our voice, our griot. He created art that does more than arouse—it reveals. Its very essence lives nature deep within our culture in those blank spaces where time has separated us from our dreams, our nightmares, from our dark history.

Hylan Booker


Raymond Loewy’s Avanti Now Part of LACMA’s Collection

August 13, 2014

In all the years I dreamed about being a museum curator, I never thought that would mean being a used-car saleswoman. But that was my role in May, when I “sold” our decorative arts and design support group, DA2, on one of our latest acquisitions, a 1963 Studebaker Avanti originally owned by its designer, Raymond Loewy.

Raymond Loewy on the cover of Time magazine, October 31, 1949

Raymond Loewy on the cover of Time magazine, October 31, 1949

Often called “the father of American industrial design” and one of the few designers ever featured on the cover of Time magazine, Raymond Loewy was a French-born designer active in the United States. He was responsible for some of the most iconic objects of his era, including the packaging for Lucky Strike cigarettes, several Pennsylvania Railroad locomotives, the Coldspot refrigerator, and a series of cars for Studebaker. Active from the 1930s to the 1970s, Loewy is best known for his mastery of streamlined design, even in situations where its utility was questionable, such as his famous aerodynamic pencil sharpener.

Raymond Loewy’s pencil sharpener

Raymond Loewy’s pencil sharpener

In February 1961, Studebaker commissioned Loewy to design a sports car that would rescue the failing company. Loewy accepted the offer on the condition that the design work not take place in South Bend, Indiana, under the watchful eyes of executives, but in a rented bungalow in Palm Springs, California, where he kept a home. Loewy’s design team worked furiously, and in about a month, they produced a 1/8th-inch scale clay model of the Avanti (“forward” in Italian). The car was produced in record time—considering that it typically took Detroit at least three years to unveil new models—and debuted at the New York Auto Show in April 1962.

Raymond Loewy, Avanti, 1961, manufactured by Studebaker Corporation in 1963, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Raymond Loewy, Avanti, 1961, manufactured by Studebaker Corporation in 1963, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) and the Rich family

The press initially showered praise on the Avanti, and orders poured in. Due to manufacturing difficulties, however, only a fraction of them were filled, and demand waned. On December 9, 1963, Studebaker ceased all domestic production. Only 4,643 Avantis were built.

The Avanti was cherished by its designer, who owned two: one that he kept in Paris, and this one, which he kept at his home in Palm Springs. He customized this one in a number of ways—the tri-tone paint job, the aluminum disks on the door sills, the exhaust cut-out cables that gave the car extra speed, and special plaques affixed to the body that identified it as a Loewy design and noted its speed records.

We are thrilled that this exceptional vehicle will be the first operational car in LACMA’s collection. It will become an anchor of our outstanding and growing holdings of California design.

Bobbye Tigerman, Associate Curator, Decorative Arts and Design

 


Summer Academy at LACMA

August 11, 2014

LACMA recently hosted its inaugural Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy, a one-week behind-the-scenes introduction to the curatorial process in a large art museum. The project is a component of the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Group photo of the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy in the Director's Roundtable Garden at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Group photo of the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy in the Director’s Roundtable Garden at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

The individuals selected to be part of Summer Academy comprised an impressive cohort of undergraduate students currently enrolled at colleges, universities, and community colleges throughout Southern California, with an expressed interest in art, art history, or the museum field. Many of the participants have never worked in an art museum nor have they learned about the curatorial process in an art institution through professionals in the field. Summer Academy at LACMA aimed to change that by exposing students to a rich experience in the museum environment with workshops, tours, field trips, and networking events with museum staff.

LACMA director and Wallis Annenberg CEO Michael Govan with the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants and their exhibition model. Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

LACMA director and Wallis Annenberg CEO Michael Govan with the Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants and their exhibition model. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Despite having only recently met, the students co-curated a virtual exhibition drawn from objects in LACMA’s encyclopedic collection. The exhibition, Siva in Context: Explorations of LACMA’s Permanent Collection, positioned a single contemporary video piece as a catalyst for exploring artwork in the museum’s collections of Art of the Ancient Americas, European Painting, Latin American Art, Art of the Pacific, and South and Southeast Asian Art. The presentation offered a thematic grouping of artworks from disparate regions and time periods, touching upon issues of movement, death, and colonialism. As curators, each student applied his/her art historical knowledge to the exhibition’s organization, researched and wrote didactics, and shared information about a specific object in the show during an exhibition walk-through.

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants viewing Edward Biberman's Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice, lent by the United States Postal Service ®. Recent conservation provided by Joel Silver. Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants viewing Edward Biberman’s Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice, lent by the United States Postal Service ®. Recent conservation provided by Joel Silver. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

LACMA curators led tours of the permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, and informal discussions, allowing the participants to gain insight into the role and career path of a curator. An off-site field trip to the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) illustrated to the students the bountiful mural history of Venice, the subject of LACMA’s current exhibition Edward Biberman: Abbot Kinney and the Story of Venice and, at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, studio visits with local and national artists in residence acquainted Summer Academy participants with the artistic process.

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants in the European Painting gallery with Education Director of Adult Programs, Mary Lenihan. Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants in the European Painting gallery with Education Director of Adult Programs, Mary Lenihan. Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

The group met with a wide range of staff members who regularly collaborate with curators on museum projects, including a representative from the Education Department who discussed a painting that was recently donated to the museum and a conservator from the Conservation Center to learn about the scientific techniques used to care for the objects in the museum’s collection.

Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants with Conservation Center director, Mark Gilberg Photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participants with Conservation Center director Mark Gilberg. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

This program is incredibly important because students were able to gain first-hand knowledge of a curator’s responsibilities within a large art museum such as LACMA, the education required to become a curator, the collaborative nature of curatorial work, and the numerous career paths that can lead to working within an art organization.

Lilia Rocio Taboada, one of the participants, spoke about her experience a few weeks ago: “Participating in the Mellon Summer Academy at LACMA was an incredible opportunity. Learning through an intensive exhibition process and meeting museum staff from a variety of departments allowed me to expand my understanding of a curator’s position and collaboration within the museum institution. The opportunity has also helped me better understand the experience required to continue my studies at the graduate level.”

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participant, Liliana Sanchez, presenting the sculpture, Shiva as the Lord of Dance to the rest of the group. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

The Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy participant, Liliana Sanchez, presenting the sculpture, Shiva as the Lord of Dance to the rest of the group. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

The Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, established in 2013, provides specialized training in the curatorial field to students across the United States from historically underrepresented groups. LACMA has taken a leadership role in launching the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program, and is pleased to partner with four other American art museums including: the Art Institute of Chicago; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, in an effort to diversify the curatorial ranks of American art museums. Each of the five partner museums will offer a Summer Academy this summer and in 2015.

Next LACMA, similar to each partner museum, will be selecting two multiyear Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows from the promising students in the Summer Academy group. Please check LACMA’s website in the future for details about the fellows and the 2015 Andrew W. Mellon Summer Academy at LACMA.

For more information about the Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellowship Program visit this page.

Hilary Walter, Coordinator of Curatorial Fellowships, Art Administration and Collections


This Weekend at LACMA

August 8, 2014

Make this the weekend to visit LACMA for a number of exhibitions, free tours, and live music! Drop by after work on Friday at 6 pm to join the jazz scene with saxophonist Kamasi Washington and the Next Step at this week’s Jazz at LACMA performance. As always, Jazz is free and open to the public.

Installation view of Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (June 8–September 14, 2014), photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

Installation view of Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (June 8–September 14, 2014), photo © Museum Associates/ LACMA

On Saturday, explore art from all around the world starting with the expansive presentation in Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky. Join a docent-led tour at 10:30 am to learn more about the connection between an entire generation of artists from Germany and France. Enjoy inspiring national treasures from Korea in Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392–1910 and take at the tour at noon to better understand this 500 year-long dynasty. At 1:30 pm, listen in on this week’s 15-minute spotlight talk about The Painted City: Art of Teotihuacan. Additional tours include European Art, Ed Kienholz: Social Critic and Provocateur, and Highlights of the Museum: Ancient to Modern. End the day relaxing in Hancock Park to the sounds of the Chicano-Jarocho group, Cambalache presented at Latin Sounds.

Tripod Vessel, Mexico, Teotihuacan, Teotihuacán, 400–650, Gift of Constance McCormick Fearing.

Tripod Vessel, Mexico, Teotihuacan, Teotihuacán, 400–650, gift of Constance McCormick Fearing

On Sunday, learn more about the link between today’s artists and technology by making tech-inspired art with your family at Andell Family Sundays—Art + Technology at 12:30 pm. Afterwards, stop by and see the zooming cars of Chris Burden’s kinetic sculpture, Metropolis II, in action every Sunday during select hours. Explore our most recent exhibition, Marsden Hartley: The German Paintings 1913–1915, featuring a pivotal period from the influential American modernist painter. From 4 to 6 pm, Ry Rocklen and Nick Lowe sit down at Art Catalogues to talk about their band, the Bushes, discuss their latest album and book, and perform a few of their favorite tracks. At 6 pm in the Bing Theater at Sundays Live, see a performance from oboist Kimaree Gilad and Friends.

Lily Tiao


Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2): 2014 Acquisitions

August 6, 2014

This April LACMA’s Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) assembled for its third annual meeting. Working with department curators, DA2 acquires 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century objects for the permanent collection. Through the group’s generosity this year, LACMA now proudly owns 10 exciting new works that build on its department’s strengths and collecting initiatives for California design, the international Arts and Crafts Movement, and graphic design.

After persuasive presentations from the curators on each of the objects followed by a lively discussion, DA2 members voted to purchase LACMA’s first car, a 1963 Avanti designed and owned by famed American industrial designer Raymond Loewy. An example of this iconic car, which was designed in Palm Springs, was included in the California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” exhibition at four of the five museum tour venues. This particular custom model, with its impeccable provenance, is an ideal addition to LACMA’s permanent collection.

Raymond Loewy, Avanti, 1961, manufactured by Studebaker Corporation in 1963, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Raymond Loewy, Avanti, 1961, manufactured by Studebaker Corporation in 1963, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) and the Rich family

[IMAGE] Margaret De Patta, Pin, c. 1950–64, gift of Suzanne and Ric Kayne throughthe 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Margaret De Patta, Pin, c. 1950–64, gift of the Kayne Foundation | Suzanne and Ric Kayne through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

[IMAGE] Arline Fisch, Front & Back pectoral, 1971, gift of Allison and Larry Berg through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Arline Fisch, Front & Back pectoral, 1971, gift of Allison and Larry Berg through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

With some other DA2 funds, but mostly through the magnanimous enthusiasm of individual members, all the objects up for acquisition at the meeting were purchased for LACMA. A brooch by San Francisco jeweler Margaret De Patta, just returning from tour with the California Design exhibition, is one of them. The piece showcases the artist’s innovative use of nontraditional materials to construct abstract and beautifully balanced works. A second piece of jewelry, Front & Back, is a stunning example of Arline Fisch’s oversized body ornaments. Based in San Diego, Fisch remains a central figure in the Southern California studio jewelry community, and LACMA now has examples from each stage of her long, illustrious career in our collection.

Tadanori Yokoo, A La Maison De M. Civeçawa (At the House of Mr. Shibusawa), 1965, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2),  Alison and Alexander Palevsky, and Maura and Mark Resnick

Tadanori Yokoo, A La Maison De M. Civeçawa (At the House of Mr. Shibusawa), 1965, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA²) with Alison and Alexander Palevsky and Maura and Mark Resnick

With its irreverent symbolism and manic energy, Tadanori Yokoo’s poster A La Maison De M. Civeçawa (At the House of Mr. Shibusawa) exemplifies the early work that garnered immediate acclaim for this important Japanese designer. It complements four later Yokoo posters that were recently donated to LACMA by historian Marc Treib, whose collection is particularly strong in Japanese posters.

Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, Textile length, c. 1882, manufactured by Simpson & Godlee, Manchester, for the Century Guild, London, gift of Heidi Wettenhall and Said Saffari through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, Textile length, c. 1882, manufactured by Simpson & Godlee, Manchester, for the Century Guild, London, gift of Heidi Wettenhall and Said Saffari through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

The six other works acquired all build on LACMA’s already renowned collection of the international Arts and Crafts movement, which was largely assembled through the generosity of the late philanthropist Max Palevsky. These new pieces allow us to show a broader range of work by important designers such as Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo and Bruno Paul, and they also include figures not yet represented in the Decorative Arts and Design collection. When founding the progressive London-based Century Guild in 1882, Mackmurdo sought to restore “joy in labor” through the unification of all art forms. While LACMA co-owns with the Huntington the guild’s most famous design—a chair considered to be the earliest manifestation of the Art Nouveau—this rare and vibrant textile illustrates another important facet of the firm’s production, one celebrated (and illustrated) in Britain’s prominent art journal, the Studio, in 1899.

Alfred Powell, Bowl, c. 1910, manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons,purchased with funds provided by the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) and Decorative Arts and Design Council

Alfred Powell, Bowl, c. 1910, manufactured by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, gift of the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA²) and the Decorative Arts and Design Council Fund

Alfred Powell, another key British proponent of Arts and Crafts ideals, is best known for his work as a pottery painter. Collaborating with the English ceramics manufacturer Wedgwood for over 40 years, Powell created designs, trained factory “paintresses,” and produced unique hand-painted wares such as this bowl, with its striking Japanese-inspired landscape and stylized foliage.

Bruno Paul, Ständige Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk (Permanent Exhibition for Art in Handicraft), 1904, gift of Joel and Margaret Chen of J. F. Chen through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Bruno Paul, Ständige Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk (Permanent Exhibition for Art in Handicraft), 1904, gift of Joel and Margaret Chen of J.F. Chen through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA²)

Bruno Paul, Ausstellung für Angewandte Kunst (Exhibition for Applied Art), 1906, gift of Joel and Margaret Chen of J. F. Chen through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Bruno Paul, Ständige Ausstellung für Kunst im Handwerk (Permanent Exhibition for Art in Handicraft), 1904, gift of Joel and Margaret Chen of J.F. Chen through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA²)

Munich’s Vereinigte Werkstätten für Kunst im Handwerk (United Workshops for Art in Handicraft) played a central role in promoting design reform in Germany’s cultural capital at the turn of the century, and Bruno Paul was one of its most innovative members. These dynamic posters for the organization’s exhibitions were praised in the period for their strong design and, when displayed with the Paul candelabra already in LACMA’s collection, will demonstrate the designer’s work across diverse media.

[IMAGE] Otto Eckmann, Console, c. 1900, manufactured by Keller & Reiner, Berlin, gift of Shannon and Peter Loughrey, Cheryl Nakao-Miller and Jimmy Miller, and Viveca Paulin-Ferrell and Will Ferrell through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Otto Eckmann, Console, c. 1900, manufactured by Keller & Reiner, Berlin, gift of Shannon and Peter Loughrey, Cheryl Nakao-Miller and Jimmy Miller, and Viveca Paulin-Ferrell and Will Ferrell through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Also active in Germany, Otto Eckmann—who renounced his career as a painter in 1894 to pursue the decorative arts—designed ceramics, prints, metalwork, furniture, and textiles. While LACMA’s Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies has some of Eckmann’s most famous prints, the console (or cabinet) here illustrates the artist’s embrace of the Arts and Crafts ideal of the gesamtkunstwerk (total design unity). It was part of a celebrated music room commissioned by progressive Berlin furniture manufacturer Keller & Reiner, which included en suite furnishings, wallpapers, and textiles.

Paul Auscher, Armchair, c. 1911, gift of Debbie and Mark Attanasio through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Paul Auscher, Armchair, c. 1911, gift of Debbie and Mark Attanasio through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

French architect Paul Auscher also embraced the gesamtkunswerk ideal in designing the building and interiors for his own home in Paris. The armchair we acquired was part of this furniture suite (other pieces are in the Musée d’Orsay collection). The stylized form and decoration relates to the work of other important Arts and Crafts designers in Continental Europe, illustrating the international influences at play in France at the turn of the century, an area underrepresented in LACMA’s collection.

From a 19th-century textile to a midcentury car, the objects acquired through the 2014 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2) demonstrate the diverse strengths and new collecting initiatives that our department is developing. Support from DA2 and the Decorative Arts and Design Council makes this ambitious program possible, and we look forward to sharing more about these 10 new and important objects through collections online, gallery displays, and future exhibitions.

Abbey Chamberlain Brach, Curatorial Assistant, Decorative Arts and Design


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