barbara shawcroft and “legs”

Barbara Shawcroft "Legs" sculpture, BART Embarcadero Station June 12, 2014

Barbara Shawcroft “Legs” sculpture, BART Embarcadero Station June 12, 2014

A long and contentious relationship between Bay Area fiber artist Barbara Shawcroft and the management of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system has apparently come to a conclusion with the recent removal of her massive work titled “Legs” from the Embarcadero BART station.

Ms. Shawcroft is now a professor emeritus in Design at UC Davis, and her fiber sculptures were shown in the Pasadena Art Museum “California Design” shows in the 70′s. The piece “Legs” was installed in the late 70′s at the eastern end of the station (with Stephen De Staebler’s massive ceramic piece “Wall Canyon” at the opposite western end). Having these new cavernous BART stations was, I’m sure, a great opportunity for large public art pieces to be installed and I can only imagine the optimism that went with the installations of these pieces. In the case of “Legs” however, things soured pretty early on.

In the mid-eighties Ms. Shawcroft was already expressing her displeasure at the lack of cleaning and maintenance the piece had received, and with the lack of proper lighting. Apparently even after thirty-five years, the piece had only been cleaned twice. And it looked it:

ugh

Not a pretty picture: “Legs” in June 2014, dirty and neglected and in the process of being prepared for removal

It hadn’t started out life like that, however. Ms. Shawcroft won the competition for creating the piece at the BART station and spent a year working with DuPont, fleece mills and her ropemaker to come up with an affordable, non-flammable thread that could be woven into rope for the sculpture. The piece is 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide, and was a dazzling, colorful work when it was first installed in 1978 and lit correctly.

Barbara Shawcroft "Legs" sculpture picture from SF Crafts and Folk Art Museum catalog, 1985

Barbara Shawcroft “Legs” sculpture, 1975-78 (photo from SF Crafts and Folk Art Museum catalog, 1985)

Shawcroft "Legs" drawing - Craft Horizons, Dec 1976

Barbara Shawcroft “Legs” drawing (Craft Horizons, Dec 1976)

The last I heard is that the piece is being returned to Ms. Shawcroft, who will hopefully get a chance to restore it. In the meantime let’s hope future collaborations between public agencies and the public art we get to enjoy go more smoothly!

Barbara Shawcroft photo from the SF Crafts and Folk Art Museum catalog, 1985

Barbara Shawcroft (SF Crafts and Folk Art Museum catalog, 1985)

"Arizona Inner Space", Barbara Shawcroft

Barbara Shawcroft inside her piece “Arizona Inner Space”, circa 1971 (“California Design 11″)

Barbara Shawcroft and fiber sculpture Cal Design 76

Barbara Shawcroft and her fiber sculpture “White Form”, 1976 (“California Design ’76″)

[Sources:]

San Francisco Crafts and Folk Art Museum, Barbara Shawcroft – January 9 through March 3, 1985. San Francisco, 1985

Pasadena Art Museum, California Design 11 [1971]: page 70.

Pasadena Art Museum, California Design ’76 [1976]: page 100.

 

Posted in 70's, barbara shawcroft, bay area, california, california design, fiber art | Leave a comment

misattribution madness #2 – max bill

did the swiss designer max bill design this lamp?

did the swiss designer max bill design this lamp?

If you do a Google image search for “Max Bill lamp”, you will see a lot of pictures of a white torchiere floor lamp with a tulip shape like the one in the picture above. The same goes for a search on 1stdibs.com. A lot of the lamps like these will have a label that says “Made in Switzerland”, and some of the listings will say that the lamp was made by a company called BAG Turgi.

It makes sense that a classic, minimal modern lamp design made in Switzerland would be attributed to Max Bill, the highly influential Swiss sculptor, architect, writer and industrial designer. However, I’ve come across some period evidence that points to this lamp as not having been designed by Max Bill.

George Kovacs lamps in the "New Products" section of Progressive Architecture, Jan 1966

George Kovacs lamps in the “New Products” section of Progressive Architecture, Jan 1966

The clipping above is from the January 1966 issue of “Progressive Architecture” magazine and is a blurb in the “New Products” section that describes some of the imported lamps that were being marketed and sold at the time by George Kovacs, Inc., in New York. In the middle we see our lamp that has been attributed to Bill.

Two countries of origin for the lamps are mentioned, Austria and Switzerland, and the torchiere is described as Swiss. All of the Swiss lamps are credited as having been designed by a man named Ernst Luthiger.

Max Bill is by far the best known and most significant Swiss modernist designer and artist. He was born in 1909 and studied at the Bauhaus in Dessau in the late 1920′s. Although his focus during his long career was mainly on sculpture and printmaking as well as teaching and writing about modern design, he did important work as an architect and designed a number of significant industrial design pieces, including the flexible reading lamp (also known as a sun lamp) for Novelectric AG in Zurich in 1951, shown below.

max bill reading lamp = from "form" by max bill

max bill reading lamp – from the book “form” by max bill, 1952

Other well-known product designs by Bill are the Ulmer Hocker stool (designed with Hans Gugelot during Bill’s time teaching and working at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm) from 1954, and the Junghans clock from 1957.

Here’s another lamp by Bill, this one for BAG Turgi:

max bill BAG lamp from the book "form" by max bill

max bill BAG Turgi lamp from the book “form” by max bill

The Swiss company BAG Turgi produced consumer and industrial electrical products, and is still in existence. The company began in 1909 as Schweizerische Broncewarenfabrik AG. Turgi is the city in Switzerland where BAG was first located – the company is now known simply as BAG and is currently headquartered in Arnsberg, Germany, where it concentrates exclusively on industrial LED control modules.

 

"lamps from... george kovacs" catalog 1966kovacs catalog cover

george kovacs 1966 catalog swiss lamp

swiss lamp from the “lamps from… george kovacs” catalog, 1966

Here’s the lamp described and listed for sale in the “Lamps From… George Kovacs” catalog from 1966. This lamp may have been made by BAG Turgi, but so far I have only seen examples with a label that simply says “Made in Switzerland”.

In any case, I have done a fair amount of research over the last few months and have found no evidence of this lamp appearing or being mentioned in any books or magazine articles about Bill’s industrial design work. By the early 1950′s he looks to have been largely out of the industrial design game, and had settled into his role as teacher and rector at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm where he was able to continue his Bauhaus-inspired design teachings for a new generation of designers, including Dieter Rams. By the 1960′s and for the rest of his life he concentrated on his “fine” art work, which apparently was more important than industrial design to him.

It’s possible that the “New Products” blurb from Progressive Architecture in January 1966 got it wrong somehow and this lamp is actually by Max Bill, but I doubt it.

As for Ernst Luthiger, so far I have turned up no information at all about him.

[Sources:]

Byars, Mel. The Design Encyclopedia. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1994

Bill, Max. Form: A Balance Sheet of Mid-Twentieth-Century Trends in Design. Basel: Karl Werner, AG, 1952

“Products.” Progressive Architecture January 1966: page 70.

 

Posted in 60's, george kovacs, max bill, misattribution | Tagged | 2 Comments

honolulu’s ibm building – february 2014 update

IBM building, feb 2014, designed by vladimir ossipoff

IBM building, feb 2014, designed by vladimir ossipoff

When I first wrote in 2012 about the iconic Honolulu IBM building that was designed by Vladimir Ossipoff in the 60′s, I didn’t realize that it was slated for demolition in 2008 by the owners at the time. Since then, the property was purchased by the Hughes Corporation as part of its plans to develop the Ward Centers area in the Kakaʻako neighborhood. The IBM building is now the sales office and model condo showplace for the first large condo buildings that are in the process of being built nearby.

IBM building, honolulu - close-up of the addition

close-up of the addition in the front, slated to be a restaurant

As it turned out, we arrived in Honolulu on our most recent trip to the islands on the week after the sales office was open. In spite of our scruffy tourist appearance and our obvious lack of means to throw down for a condo worth over a million dollars, the people inside were kind enough to give us a tour of the sales office. I wish I could have taken some pictures of the interior – it was like being in a Stanley Kubrick science fiction movie with a pristine de Sede DS 600 modular sofa, gleaming futuristic luxury and a 3D model of the plans for developing more of the Ward Centers.

IBM building honolulu - front view from Ala Moana

front view from Ala Moana – note the add-on on the roof

The most obvious external changes to the building are the white scooped addition in the front (that I understand will be put to use as a restaurant), and the extra addition on the roof (which I imagine is part of the condo models they have up there). They have also nicely redone the landscaping in the front, and as an added bonus they repaved the parking lot with patterns that echo the look of the famous “punch card” sunshades:

IBM building, honolulu - new paving in parking lot echoing the sun shade pattern

new paving in parking lot echoing the sun shade pattern

I have somewhat mixed feelings about the new look of the IBM building (and the development plans for Kakaʻako in general), but I can easily say they did a tremendous job and treated the building with care. Considering that the alternative as recently as 2008 would have been to tear the building down and put up another high-rise, I am grateful that the Hughes Corporation has shown such respect for the building and for Hawaiʻi’s preeminent modernist architect Vladimir Ossipoff. They have truly honored the modern look and feel of the IBM building.

view of the IBM building from Auahi Street

view of the IBM building from Auahi Street – in 1962 the IBM building was the tallest one in the neighborhood

 

Posted in 60's, hawaii modern, vladimir ossipoff | Leave a comment

misattribution madness roundup

ikea borsani coat rack 1st dibs

source: 1stdibs

 

mina coat rack ikea

source: ikeafans

The misattribution of design objects to the wrong designer has been on my mind for awhile, and it turns out I’m not alone! A number of other people have been citing examples of misattribution recently, and so I’d like to collect a few that I’ve come across into a post here and do what I can to help spread the word.

The writer and design historian Jeffrey Head writes for Modern magazine and has written a number of interesting design books. He wrote a column in the Fall 2013 issue of Modern magazine entitled “Truth… or circumstances?” about the topic of misattribution and gave a number of examples that he has come across. He mentions the example of the misattribution of the oversized jack bookend that was designed by Bill Curry of Design Line to George Nelson. He also mentions one that has bugged me for a long time, which is the fiberglass chair with an iron base that is often attributed to Luther Conover, but was in fact designed by Lawrence Peabody.

In another article for Modern magazine Mr. Head also cleared up a couple of fuzzy attributions for two lamp designs of Gregory Van Pelt, who had the misfortune to have two of his designs misattributed, one to George Nelson (him again!) and the other to Frank Gehry.

Meanwhile, over at the design blog mondoblogo, the fascinating case of the Jean Royére fish tank has been told.

The one that really kills me though is the naggingly persistent misattribution of an Ikea coat rack from the 90′s (named “Mina”) as the work of the Italian designer Osvaldo Borsani. (The two pictures at the top of this post show what I mean.) Mr. Borsani started the design firm Tecno in 1954 and is best known for the P40 articulated lounge chair. He died in 1985, long before the Ikea coat rack Mina came into the world. (The link above is to the excellent post about this at the design blog esoteric survey.)

One can hope that, as time goes on and more design research is done and made public, more of these attributions will be straightened out. Stay tuned!

Posted in bill curry, gregory van pelt, jean royére, lawrence peabody, luther conover, misattribution, osvaldo borsani | 2 Comments

the design in fassbinder’s “world on a wire”

joe colombo

lots of the joe colombo “universale” chairs in a cafe

I had heard that Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s film for German TV called “World On a Wire” was an especially good bleak futuristic sci-fi movie, and so I rented the DVD from Netflix. I really enjoyed the movie, but as a design geek I was blown away by all the cool Euro 70′s design!

In the film the protagonist Stiller is hired to take over as the head of a supercomputer project that has created a simulated world populated by simulated people. People from the real world and the simulated world interact, and before long things get messy. I won’t give away the plot but it’s a really nice reality jumble, not unlike a Philip K. Dick story.

Anyway, the film sets are stuffed with all kinds of really cool looking 70′s futuristic design. Most of it I wasn’t able to identify, but there were a few pretty well-known pieces like the Joe Colombo “Universale” chair for Kartell shown above. The cafe scene this is from had a lot of these chairs. During the scene it almost seems like they are attacking Stiller!

The “Universale” chair was designed in 1965, but it wasn’t until 1967 that it was put into production. Apparently it was tricky getting the plastic to behave, but they figured it out and it became a big hit.

"world on a wire" - fabricius and kastholm fk86 lounge chair

bad guy sitting in a fabricius and kastholm fk86 lounge chair

There are also some nice looking Fabricius and Kastholm chairs, like the FK86 lounge chair manufactured by Alfred Kill in Germany above.

vlcsnap-2013-11-04-21h57m21s169Here’s a cool three-legged example of the Fabricius and Kastholm “Bird Chair”, with a rad chrome and glass modern lamp in the foreground. I’d love to know more about that lamp!

vlcsnap-2013-11-04-22h09m32s224There were so many cool interiors, like the one above with more Kartell-looking plastic furniture and decorative extras. A lot of the interiors featured mirrors and glass which allowed Fassbinder to make the viewer unsure what was real and what was a reflection.

This was a true pan-European effort: the film was shot in Paris by Fassbinder for a German television station, and featured design by Italian and Danish designers, and who knows who else. A great time capsule of European modernism!

 

 

Posted in 60's, 70's, alfred kill, fabricius and kastholm, fassbinder, joe colombo | 2 Comments

misattribution madness #1 – russel wright and conant ball

did russel wright design this conant ball dresser?

did russel wright design this conant ball dresser?

It must be the uptight nerdy part of me that always did well at spelling* that is really bugged when a design piece is misattributed to the wrong designer. So, for me, one of the big rewards I get from doing research into obscure and semi-obscure modern design topics is that every so often I am able to find evidence that clears up the mystery of the source of a piece of design.

It’s a common problem in the design world to find pieces that are mistakenly known as the work of the wrong designer (who is usually more famous than the actual designer). Maybe its partly a game of “historical telephone”, where the wrong information is perpetuated by word-of-mouth. Or it could be a design version of Gresham’s Law where bad information drives out good. (Gresham’s Law states that bad money drives out good money – that’s where my expertise ends, though. Please don’t ask me to explain it any further. This is “modernacious”, not “moneyacious”, after all!)

So I want to present posts here in the “misattribution madness” series that will give examples of commonly misidentified pieces and show documentation to try and set the record straight. By the way, sometimes the evidence is a slam dunk, “case closed” kind of deal and the corrected attribution is 100% a sure thing. Other times it’s a little fuzzy and there may be some doubt one way or the other. Since I am a nerd I will include my completely unscientific estimate of how certain the new attribution is.

The first example I present is the very common misattribution of a line of case goods manufactured by Conant Ball to be the work of Russel Wright. These were in fact designed by Leslie Diamond and produced by Conant Ball as part of the “Modernmates” line of furniture. Here’s a reference to them that was published in the Summer, 1947 issue of “Everyday Art Quarterly”, published by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis:

leslie diamond conant ball

Conant Ball furniture designed by Leslie Diamond, “Everyday Art Quarterly” Summer 1947, p. 3

leslie diamond conant ball two

Russel Wright did indeed design modern furniture for Conant Ball under the “American Modern” line name (which was also the name for one of his better-known lines of ceramics), but these pieces were produced earlier in the 1930′s, and look like this:

russel wright "american modern" furniture for conant ball, 1935

russel wright "american modern" furniture for conant ball, 1935

russel wright “american modern” furniture for conant ball, 1935

Over the last few years some excellent research has been done that has helped correct the attribution. However, to show how common this misattribution still is, a search on 1stdibs for Russel Wright and Conant Ball reveals a large percentage of incorrectly identified pieces mixed in with a few correct ones.

One relatively recent source for the confusion can be traced to the reference work “Collector’s Encyclopedia of Russel Wright” by Ann Kerr, who is a recognized Wright authority and long-time collector of his designs. Ms. Kerr was a dedicated and knowledgeable researcher who just happened to make a mistake on this one and credited Modernmates to Wright instead of Diamond, perhaps because her specialty was ceramics and not furniture. Or it’s possible that the prevailing wisdom in the design community that these pieces were by Wright influenced her decision to include the Modernmates line in her Wright reference work.

So there you go. Not sure how this one originally got started, but the two lines of furniture are somewhat similar in look and finish. I think people just assumed that any pieces of modern furniture from Conant Ball had to be designed by Wright. In any case, I’m calling this one:

100% certain NOT Russel Wright

["American Modern" furniture pics above from the Manitoga/Russel Wright Design Center book "Russel Wright: Good Design Is For Everyone", 2001]

* apologies for the “back door brag”!

Posted in 30's, 40's, misattribution, russel wright | 4 Comments

donald olsen’s “kip house” for sale

Famed Bay Area modernist Donald Olsen designed a number of classic modernist homes here in the Bay Area, and one of his more significant homes is on the market. It’s the Kip House, which was designed and built in 1952 for his good friend, UC Berkeley physics professor Arthur Kip. The Kip House was the second private residence that Olsen designed, and it is right next door to the house that Mr. Olsen designed and built for himself and his wife Helen a few years later in Berkeley.

donald olsen's kip house, berkeley

donald olsen’s kip house, berkeley

The house is currently on the market with an asking price of $985,000, which is actually a little low for the area of Berkeley that it is in. Mrs. Modernacious and I had the pleasure to visit the house today during an open house held by the real estate agent selling the house.

the front entrance, donald olsen kip house in berkeley, 2013

the front entrance, donald olsen kip house in berkeley, 2013

We had a brief visit but it was incredible. The house has never been on the market before, and as a result the interior is in exceptional condition. The layout of the interior and flow from room to room is stunning. The house has built-in desks, storage areas and closets that integrate beautifully with the rooms. There are also a number of nice room details, for example the main bedroom has a small window in the corner that shows a nice little framed view of the back yard outside:

the main bedroom, donald olsen kip house in berkeley, 2013

the main bedroom, donald olsen kip house in berkeley, 2013

You can’t really tell from this photo but there are superb curved elements to features like this interior storage wall, which fronts the walk-in closet behind it. The door to the bedroom also features a really cool curved recessed opening for the door knob.

The agent told us that the owners had considered having the Kip House added to the National Register of Historic Places, which the Olsen house next door is registered with, but had decided against it. This means that the fate of the preservation of the Kip House in the future will lie with the desires and wishes of the new owners.

I naturally began to imagine this house as the future headquarters of the modernacious empire, but practically speaking it’s out of our range. Besides the cost for the house and the necessary work it needs (the addition behind the kitchen, which looks to date from the 60′s, has a serious crack in the floor, showing the need for major foundation work), I am not certain I have what it takes to live in a house that deserves to be maintained like a work of art.

But I really hope that somebody does have what it takes, and that the Kip House gets the TLC it deserves. I actually got a little physically queasy overhearing some of the other open house visitors today talk about what walls they would blow out and what they would change about the house.

the kip house with the olsen house behind it

the kip house with the olsen house behind it

[Later this year, look for the book "Donald Olsen: Architect of Habitable Abstractions" by Pierliugi Serraino and published by William Stout.]

Posted in 50's, architecture, bay area, california, donald olsen | 1 Comment

mel bogart fire tools for stewart-winthrop

mel bogart fire tools ad

mel bogart fire tools ad, arts & architecture october 1955

Here are a couple of ads from arts & architecture magazine in 1955 for fire tools designed by Mel Bogart for Stewart-Winthrop of Van Nuys, California. You may recall Mel as the designer of the cool iron ashtray stand I blogged about earlier.

It appears that the tools were selected for the prestigious “Good Design” exhibitions created and promoted in the early 50′s by New York City’s MoMA and the Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

I love that curvy sine wave thing that the fire grate has going on!

mel bogart fire tools ad may 1955

mel bogart fire tools ad, arts & architecture may 1955

Posted in 50's, california, fireplace, iron, mel bogart, stewart-winthrop | Leave a comment

j. b. blunk in japan

j. b. blunk working at a pottery wheel in japan, 1954 (from pacific stars and stripes aug 5, 1954)

j. b. blunk working at a pottery wheel in japan, 1954

The picture above of the artist and sculptor J. B. Blunk is from an article in the newspaper “Pacific Stars and Stripes” dated Aug 5, 1954, titled “Yank Lives in Japan For $6 a Month”.

The article describes how Blunk had lived for two years beginning in 1952 studying pottery in Japan with the master potters Rosanjin Kitaōji and Kaneshige Tōyō. The hook of the story in the paper is that Blunk managed to get by on the money he received for mustering out from the Army, along with some income he earned from performing in a documentary film for the State Department.

The film Blunk performed in was titled “Arts of Japan” and was produced by the American Embassy in Tokyo in 1954 as a part of their effort to educate Americans about Japanese culture. The thirty-minute film depicts a young American artist (played by Blunk) who visits a number of masters of Japanese arts and crafts, including the printmaker Shiko Munakata and the potter Shoji Hamada. (source: “Pacific Stars and Stripes”, January 8, 1954.)

Blunk was discharged in Japan in September 1952 after serving in Korea early in the Korean war, and wanted to pursue the study of Japanese ceramics and pottery. According to the biography “The Life of Isamu Noguchi” by Masayo Duus, Blunk had met Noguchi and his wife Yoshiko Yamaguchi at a Tokyo craft store while he was still serving in the army. The couple were living at the time with Rosanjin at his spread in Kamakura, and Blunk was introduced to the master potter when he visited them there. He studied for a few months with Rosanjin, but found the cost of living expensive in Kamakura.

While at Rosanjin’s home and pottery Blunk was introduced to Kaneshige, the master of Bizen ware pottery, who lived and worked with his family in Okayama Prefecture. Blunk moved there to work and study with Kaneshige. He took his meals with the ceramist’s family while staying nearby in a room in a farmhouse, which enabled him to live very cheaply. In his spare time he would work on his own pieces of pottery. He had a show of his pottery and drawings in August 1954 in the Choukoron Gallery in the Marunouchi Building in Tokyo, and according to the article was scheduled to leave Japan on a freighter for the U.S. in September 1954.

I have been drawn for awhile to the earthy, rust-colored look of Bizen ware pottery, which is fired slowly with a wood-fired kiln and has all kinds of imperfections and accidental effects, and can see how this approach must have made a major impression on Blunk.

Posted in 50's, j. b. blunk, japan | Leave a comment

desert modern architecture – palm springs 2012

Grace Miller Neutra house, Palm Springs

Grace Miller Neutra house, Palm Springs – designed 1937

Last October I had the pleasure of attending the “Desert Modern Architecture” tour in Palm Springs hosted by the Western Museums Association, which allowed me to visit some beautiful and stylistically different examples of 20th century modern architecture. Our tour guides and hosts were very hospitable and full of knowledge – it was a great tour!

The highlight for me was the Grace Miller house designed by Richard Neutra in 1937. The current owner purchased it in 2000, and has done an incredible job of restoring it. It looked fantastic. This was not easy, considering that when she purchased it the property was basically a neglected crack house and had suffered a number of inappropriate remodels over the decades. It’s bad enough having drug heads wreck your Neutra, but the flowered wallpaper just adds insult to injury!

The owner also had some of the original built-in furniture recreated for the interior rooms. The place was small but had the feel of being on a boat where every use of space is maximized and so it felt very right.

sun porch of the Grace Miller Neutra house

sun porch of the Grace Miller Neutra house

another view of the Grace Miller Neutra house with new guest house to the left

another view of the Grace Miller Neutra house with new guest house to the left

"Steel Development House" by Wexler and Harrison, Palm Springs - 1962

“Steel Development House #2″ by Wexler and Harrison, Palm Springs – 1962

We also toured a steel and glass house designed by Donald Wexler and Ric Harrison from 1962 that was part of a small development tract of similar houses. The house is a combination of pre-fab modules that were manufactured elsewhere and then brought to the site and completed. I think seven of the steel houses in this group are in existence.

The house has the distinction of being the first mid-century home in Palm Springs to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Right on!

interior of the Wexler/Harrison steel house showing the zig-zag roofline of the house next door, also by Wexler/Harrison

interior of the Wexler/Harrison steel house showing the zig-zag roofline of the house next door, also by Wexler/Harrison

Edris House designed by E. Stewart Williams – 1954

Also on the tour was this great house from the mid-fifties designed by E. Stewart Williams and his firm for William and Margery Edris. Mr. Williams also designed the well-known (especially if you watch television) 1947 Frank Sinatra house in the Twin Palms area of Palm Springs.

Edris House with a view of the valley

Edris House with a view of the valley

The Edris House is in the “Little Tuscany” neighborhood of Palm Springs.

living room of the Edris house

The interior (especially the kitchen) has been well-preserved and maintained, which was great to see. We heard a bit about the glamorous parties and social events held here back in the day which must have been something else.

loewy_frey_B

back of the Raymond Loewy House

The last period modern house on the tour was the Raymond Loewy house from 1946. The well-known industrial designer Loewy teamed up with the Swiss-born Palm Springs-transplanted architect Albert Frey to create this house.

The entry way beyond the front door has a narrow path between the indoor-outdoor pool, which every home needs in my opinion. Crazy! The owners of the house were super cool and gracious and I wish we could have hung out longer.

end of the pergola and side view of the breezeway to the studio addition – Loewy house

One other fun fact: the Loewy house is next door to Neutra’s famous Kaufmann Desert House, which is unavailable for tours as far as I know. However, it’s not really visible from the Loewy house due to the landscaping and angle of the properties.

Such a great tour!

Posted in 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, albert frey, architecture, california, donald wexler, neutra, palm springs, raymond loewy, steel | Leave a comment