California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

This exhibition, the first major study of modern California design, will examine the state’s role in shaping the material culture of the entire country with more than 350 objects, comprising furniture, ceramics, metalwork, graphic and industrial design, film, textiles, and fashion. The exhibition begins by tracing the origins of a distinctive California modernism in the 1930s, including work by Richard Neutra, Rudolph Schindler, and their contemporaries. It then explores the design innovations made possible by the conversion of World War II technologies to peace-time use, exemplified by the plywood and fiberglass furniture pioneered by Charles and Ray Eames. The heart of the exhibition focuses on the modern California home, famously characterized by open plans and indoor/outdoor living and furnished with products from companies such as Heath Ceramics, Van Keppel-Green, and Architectural Pottery. Many of the furnishings for these homes were produced by other important companies and designers whose work will be a revelation to museum audiences. The show concludes by exploring how ‘The California Look’ was disseminated by exhibitions, magazines, shops, and films throughout America and the world. (

Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the LA art scene. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place for six months beginning October 2011.