Hey Curator, Whats the deal?
Austin’s Blanton Museum shows ‘Birth of the Cool: California Art Design and Culture at Midcentury’
AUSTIN – Atomic design, Eames era, midcentury modern: The post-World War II art and architecture that embraced the future is known by all these names. At the Blanton Museum of Art, more than 200 of the very best examples are on display in an exhibition called “Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury.”
Here is the creative intersection among artists, architects, musicians, industrial designers and filmmakers that spawned hard-edged abstract paintings, glass and steel houses, jazz music, fiberglass and plywood furniture, and graphic arts that are considered some of the foundation stock of American modernism.
The title “Birth of the Cool” comes from a 1949 Miles Davis album. You can admire this cover design among a wall of jazz album covers and a series of stunning black-and-white photographs by William Claxton of Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, June Christy, Gerald Mulliganand Sonny Rollins as you sit in an Eero Saarinen tulip chair in a Blanton gallery.
Swivel slightly and view an enormous photograph of Charles and Ray Eames’ and Saarinen’s Case Study House #9. It was designed for Arts and Architecture magazine publisher and visionary John Entenza, who anticipated the need for affordable housing at the end of the Second World War and asked the most innovative architects of the time to design modern, easy-to-produce family homes.
Initially the houses were only realized on the pages of the magazine. Eventually 36 were built in Southern California, and as a group they are considered by many to be the most important contribution to American modernist residential architecture. Unfortunately, they never found a mass audience or builder willing to bankroll an entire subdivision. The few that still exist are fiercely protected by their owners and revered by architectural historians. Read More
Grand Rapids Art Museum swaps Eero Saarinen architecture exhibit for smaller show to save money
GRAND RAPIDS — The tough economic climate has led the Grand Rapids Art Museum to revise one of its exhibitions planned for this summer.
A major retrospective of work by architect and designer Eero Saarinen organized by the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York has been canceled. It will be replaced by a smaller show of work by Eero Saarinen and his father, Eliel Saarinen, a mid-20th century Finnish-American designer. The collection comes from the Cranbrook Art Museum in the Detroit Area.
Canceling the larger touring exhibition and replacing it with a smaller special loan installation was a cost-cutting decision, said museum director Celeste Adams.
“We are managing challenging economic times and are being careful about committing to the costs associated with large exhibitions right now,” Adams said.
The original exhibition “Shaping the Future,” scheduled to open June 2, would have occupied 6,000 square feet in the museum. Currently, it appears in the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis through April 27. Read More
The idea came after the group received a generous gift. The land donated to the White River Valley Historical Society in Forsyth is giving the group space to build a new heritage center while giving students at Drury University a lesson.
Danielle Clay hopes to bring the community of Forsyth together with an idea she’s designing in class.
“We’ve been working on a museum in Forsyth, Missouri and its more of a heritage to represent their history and their past. But they wanted to bring interaction. It’s not one of those history museums that you go and look at all the pictures. They want people to actually feel like their in history,” said student, Danielle Clay.
Clay and 44 other architecture students at Drury are coming up with design concepts to help leaders with the White River Valley Historical Society build a new 10,000 square foot facility.
“My inspiration, I actually watched a movie about Forsyth and they said the river really brought life to the city so, I wanted to bring this museum to bring life, keep it going and bring the community together. So, that’s a real important aspect for them,” said Clay.
The students work in teams to create a site model. Then, individually each person designs a section of the center.
“I started thinking about the site. Its in a very wooded area and the site has a real close proximity to the White River, which is what the society is kind of based on so, I started thinking about nature and how in the Ozarks you have a spiritual connection to nature,” said student, Lauren Brown.
Through their class project, students aren’t just earning a grade — they’re also learning what it is like being a real architect. Read More.