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  • 08/02/17--19:47: Weekend / Stuff
  • Lamp by Ridi & Otto Kolb 


    Paul McCobb and stuff

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  • 08/07/17--21:44: John Mason / Sculpture
  • John Mason: Sculpture 1958 - 1964
    Curated by Frank Lloyd

    Vase, 1958

    The other side of the same vase

    Peter Voulkos, John Mason, and Paul Soldner at Otis Art Institute in 1956. Peter and John would share a studio space just a couple years later. 

    Image courtesy of Soldner Enterprises and Stephanie Soldner Sullivan via

    John Mason installation at the Ferus Gallery patio, 1957. This was the first of two Mason solo exhibitions held at the gallery.

    Mason at Ferus in 1959

    Mason at work in 1960

    Source: Photo: Robert Blacknum via Kayne Griffin Corcoran



    Orange Cross, 1963


    Or maybe 1960, according to the 1966 Abstract Expressionist Ceramics exhibition catalog

    White Cross, 1964

    White Cross

    Late 1950s - early 1960s

    The exhibition ends August 26th

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  • 08/08/17--17:41: Weekend / Stuff
  • These guys

    More Eames


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  • 08/16/17--07:41: Weekend / Stuff

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  • 08/21/17--21:53: Expo 70 / Noguchi
  • In 1970, the World Expo was held in Osaka, Japan. 

    The theme of the Expo was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." The symbol was Tower of the Sun, by Taro Okamoto, which still stands.

    Most of the buildings and pavilions have been demolished. 

    The main reason for me going to the park was to see the nine fountains designed by Isamu Kenmochi. He was invited by Kenzo Tange , who was in charge of creating the master plan for the Expo.
    The fountains are still there, but they don't seem to be functioning. 

    Source: arch2o

    Nebula and Comet

    You better believe that I took a paddle boat out to get a closer look.


    Noguchi also designed a model for the U.S. Pavillion, but it wasn't built.

    However, some other forward thinking structures did get built, like the Expo 70 Tower. As mentioned earlier, most have been demolished. 

    Unlike some former expo sites, such as New York or Seville, that have been abandoned and forgotten, the Osaka site is Expo Commemoration Park. There is an Expo 70 museum, and a number of other museums, like the Mingei-kan, and the grounds are incredible. I spent a full day there. I'll do another post on the rest of the park. Hopefully it won't take me almost a year, like this one did.

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  • 08/23/17--15:41: Weekend / Stuff
  • AP and a lamp

    More AP

    More iron

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  • 08/23/17--20:56: Expo 70 / Osaka
  • The Steel Pavilion by Kunio Maekawa is one of the few original Expo 70 buildings still standing.

    It now houses a museum dedicated to Expo 70. 

    A piece of the Expo 70 Tower by Kiyonari Kikutake (below) sits near the building.

    Expo 70 Tower

    Kenzo Tange's vision for the Expo master plan was a futuristic aerial city that was based on the Metabolism movement. He worked with a dozen architects; including Fumihiko Maki, Noboru Kawazoe, Koji Kamiya and Noriaki Kurokawa.

    Takara Pavilion by Kisho Kurokawa

    Source: Archpaper

    Toshiba-IHI Pavilion by Kisho Kurokawa

    A model is on display.

    Those planters look like the same ones used at Kisho Kurokawa's Nakagin Capsule Tower.

    I have no idea what this is. 

    Takeshi Otaka designed the cherry blossom used as the symbol of the Expo. The identity guidelines were on display.

    Sori Yanagi stools are used in an area playing period footage of the expo.

    Despite the music, this is a really good video tour of the grounds. It includes the Noguchi sculptures in action.

    Speaking of films, parts of Gamera vs. Jiger took place at the Expo.

    National Museum of Ethnology (1973-77) by Kisho Kurokawa

    The Japan Folk Crafts Museum (Osaka Nihon Mingei Kan) began as an Expo pavilion and then reopened as the Japan Folk Crafts Museum. The first curator was Shoji Hamada. They don't allow photos in the museum. The exhibit was Kawai Kanjiro and you'll have to trust me that it was really good.
    Besides all the museums, the Expo '70 Commemorative Park is a special place to walk around.

    Tea house“Senri-an”

    I came for the Noguchi, but I really can't say enough about how much I enjoyed the whole park.

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  • 08/26/17--19:57: Neutra / Chuey
  • You would think that if a house like this, by an architectural master like Richard Richard Neutra, were for sale, the seller might want to mention it.

    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

    In this case, it isn't. This is also the only photo of the house shown on the MLS. Unfortunately, this is another case of expensive real estate and a small home. The property is being marketed as a $10.5 million "development opportunity." 
    Source: Redfin

    The zoning is LAR1 and the slope is something fierce, so development is limited to one dwelling unit and would be very tricky. 

    Source: Google via Redfin

    However, this view has me nervous about the fait of the little architectural gem. 

    Source: DNA (This is from an old listing of the property)

    That listing actually showed the house, which appears to be in excellent condition.

    Source: DNA

    The house was built in 1956 for Josephine Ain Chuey and her husband Robert Chuey. They were both artists. Josephine had been married to Gregory Ain. That's her sitting on the patio in 1960.
    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

    Julius Shulman shot the house in 1960.

    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

    Josephine Chuey passed away in 2004 and the house was inherited by her niece and nephew, who still own it. They seem to be in financial trouble, leaving the house in a strange situation with a bankruptcy court having final say in the sale. Read about that and more at Curbed.
    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

    I wonder what happened to the Neutra furniture? There's the obvious "Boomerang" chair and then a "Tremaine" chair by the fire.

    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

    Check out the rosewood on that Eames LCW.

    Source: Julius Shulman, © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2004.R.10)

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  • 08/30/17--07:01: Weekend / Stuff
  • Fiber

    Ettore Sottsass

    It was a slow weekend

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  • 09/06/17--09:11: Weekend / Stuff

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    Last November I went to the Don S. Shoemaker exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City

    Don Shoemaker was born in Nebraska. He fought in WWII and moved to Mexico in 1947. Shortly after, he started a furniture and craft business in Señal SA in Morelia, Michoacán and lived there until his death in 1990.

    The museum worked with Don's grandson, Stanley Shoemaker. This would explain the substantial ephemera stash they had on display.

    The piece on the right is a lamp.

    A painting by Don

    In 1975 the Museo de Arte Moderno included work by Shoemaker in an exhibition on Mexican design. This photo comes from Karen Goyer, who has written a pretty scathing review of the 2016 exhibition. She says there are numerous fakes in the exhibition. It's a pretty widely-known fact that people are reproducing Shoemaker designs and they include fake labels. There are a few shops in Mexico City that are full of them. It seems like a museum working with the family would be able to vet the fakes out, but Karen thinks otherwise. There are also some contemporary pieces by Don's grandson, Stanley, and are noted by the museum. She doesn't feel those are right either.  You can read all the dirt here
    Image source: Karen Goyer at

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    Museo de Arte Moderno (1964) by architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez

    The view from above, 1960s.

    There was a small exhibition of Mexican Modernism at the same time the Don Shoemaker exhibition was happening. 

    1950s iron table by Talleres Chacón

    Cube lamb by Diego Matthai, 1971

    Gustavo Perez

    Enamels by Miguel Pineda

    Mosaic table Genaro Álvarez

    A sculpture garden wraps around the museum.

    Manuel Felguérez, 196

    Mathias Goeritz, 1953

    Kazuya Sakai

    Casa Aztecalita by Juan José Díaz Infante was getting a little makeover. The restoration was funded by Pemex.

    Juan José Díaz Infante created the structure in 1967 as a pre-fab solution to the housing crisis in Mexico. He was influenced by a trip to Disneyland a few years prior. The house was installed at the museum in 1967 as part of an exhibition, Man and Plastic. It's been there ever since. 
    Source: Codigo

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  • 09/13/17--16:57: Weekend / Stuff
  • George Nelson

    Sometimes all you get is a book and a couple of flower pots.

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  • 09/14/17--09:13: Perriand / Japan
  • Charlotte Perriand, with support from Sori Yanagi and Junzo Sakakura, was invited by the Japanese Ministry of Commerce and Industry/Department of Trade Promotion to serve as an advisor to help increase furniture exports for Japan. Perriand had met Sakakura while they were both working at Le Corbusier’s studio. Junzo worked with Le Corbusier in Paris from 1931 to 1936.
    On June 15, 1940 Perriand boarded a cruiseliner headed to Japan. This was one day after the nazis had captured Paris. She arrived in Japan on August 21, 1940.
    Image: Perriand with back to camera and Sori Yanagi (center), via Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod 

    She stayed at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Imperial Hotel. Then she traveled around Japan with Sori Yanagi and visited Mingei craftspeople around the county.
     Source: MFA Boston

    Perriand (middle) with Sakakura (left) with two Japanese craftsmen, 1941

    Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod 

    In 1941, after seven moths of traveling through Japan, Perriand and Sakakura produced an exhibition held at the Takashimaya department stores in Tokyo and Kyoto. They called it “Tradition, Selection, Creation.” It showcased her findings, recommendations and a number of designs she created.
    Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    A Perriand chair designed for the exhibition.

    Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    Perriand Low chair designed in 1940; manufactured 1946

    Source: MoMA

    A catalog of the Takashimaya exhibition was produced by Perriand and Sakakura. Choix Tradition Création. Au contact avec l'art japonais. Tokyo, Ed. Koyama-shoten. It documented the 1941 exhibition and included photos by Perriand.
    Source: AuctionLab

    The catalog included this diagram, showing a 1937 chair by Ubunji Kidokoro, the Alvar Aalto chair it was based off of, and a bamboo chair Perriand designed. The Kidokoro chair was being criticized by Perriand for not taking full advantage of the resiliency of the bamboo.
    Source: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    Alvar Aalto Model 31 (1931-35)

    Source: SFMoma

    Chair by Ubunji Kidokoro (1937)

    The Kidokoro chair is often misattributed to Charlotte Perriand, even though it was actually used by her to illustrate a design flaw. It was also made a few years before Perriand was even in Japan. In 2016, a pair sold for $10K at Monthly Modern Auction. In 2003, a single chair was up for sale at Phillips, with an estimate of $30k-$40k. They had a pretty convincing description with a number of references. You can read it here. Unfortunately, it's bogus. Things in the auction world were pretty loose in the early 2000s. I don't think these would get into a Phillips sale these days.
    Some months back, the owner of Local Strange, a Mid-Century shop in San Francisco, found a pair of the Kidokoro chairs at an estate of a local architect. Local Strange was not claiming the chairs were designed by Perriand. 
    Source: Local Strange

    The chairs had a 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition label. That fits with the 1937 design date and doesn't work out for anything to do with Perriand because she hadn't even been to Japan yet.

    Perriand lounge shown at  Takashimaya, with Seccho-made straw cushions.

    Image: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    A Mingei-influenced Perriand version of the 1928 tubular steel chaise lounge designed by her, Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret was also on display at Takashimaya. This design is symbolic of the criticism many Japanese designers expressed about the exhibition. They said there was a typical western focus on bamboo. Isamu Kenmochi was disappointed that she did not explore more modern Japanese materials and production methods. It was clear that Perriand was heavily influenced by the Mingei. Although two of the main promoters of Mingei, Soetsu Yanagi and Shoji Hamada, were proud of the influence the Mingei crafts had on her, they were also critical on her what seemed liked "uneducated" selection of crafts and her "enchantment" with bamboo. Seems like a tough crowd, but international diplomacy was falling apart on a world scale. Japan was about to enter the war and therefore Perriand was forced to leave. Due to the naval blockade, she was forced to live out the rest of WWII in Vietnam. She was not able to return to France until 1946.
    Source: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

    She returned to Japan in 1953 and here she is in 1954.

    She teamed up with Sakakura again and mounted another exhibition at the Takashimaya department store in Tokyo.

    Synthesis of the Arts at Takashimaya, 1954. Perriand said her cloud shelving was inspired by shelves she saw in a 17th century palace in Kyoto.
    Source: Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living: Mary McLeod

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  • 09/20/17--10:05: Weekend / Stuff
  • Another bowl by Stan Hawk and a Norwegian polar bear by Arne Tjomsland

    It's always nice to pick up more California Design catalogs.

    Especially ones that used to belong to great local architects like Sim Bruce Richards

    Another Henry Takemoto!

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  • 09/26/17--17:33: The Smiths / Morrissey
  • These Days, a bookstore and gallery in Los Angeles has an exhibition of vintage Morrissey and The Smiths UK subway posters.
    This is pretty off topic, but it's where I cut my collecting teeth.

    Speaking of bigmouths, here is the title wall, with a Morrissey quote.

    Morrissey, alone in a corner. It happens a lot around here.

    I've never seen these before.

    There was a Malcolm Leland/AP planter in the entryway.  Back on topic.

    Ephemera fans of the world, unite and take over.

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  • 09/27/17--09:24: Weekend / Stuff
  • Lots of pots this weekend, including Doug Ayers and Susan Harnly Peterson.

    I found these two together. During the 1950's and 60's  at UCLA, Bernard Kester (right) studied and worked under Laura Andreson (left).  They have the same clay body too. They need to stay together.
    Myrton Purkiss and an enamel by Studio Del Campo

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  • 10/04/17--17:58: Albert Frey / Lina Bo Bardi
  • Albert Frey and Lina Bo Bardi: A Search for Living Architecture, at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center.
    The exhibition explores the lives and work of Lina Bo Bardi and Albert Frey. The two immigrated from their home countries. Frey from Switzerland to the United States in 1930 and Bo Bardi from Italy to Brazil in 1946. They never met, but the exhibition makes the case that there was a connection. Bo Bardi did translate Frey’s book, In Search of a Living Architecture, for Domus magazine. Beyond that, the connection is more about their work and the similar approach to changing how architecture influenced the way people lived. The exhibition also includes examples of furniture by the architects.
    Lina Bo Bardi, "Bowl" Chair

    A chair modified by Albert Frey, for his 1964 home, Frey II

    A couple of years ago I saw them in situ. 

    More on Frey II can be found here.

    Lina Bo Bardi, "Bola De Latão" Chair

    Lina Bo Bardi, Bardi House (Casa de vidro), São Paulo, Brazil, 1949-1952, Photo by Nelson Kon, 2002

    A. Lawrence Kocher and Albert Frey, Aluminaire House, 1931. Photo by Palmer Shannon, ca. 1931 

    Source: Special Collections, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation via Palm Springs Museum

    Albert Frey cabinet. Way before Judd got into square furniture.

    Collection of Brad Dunning

    Albert's tools

    Elrod on the Rolodex

    The exhibition is part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. It runs until January 7th, 2018

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  • 10/05/17--06:35: Weekend / Stuff

  • Smalls, including Marg Loring and Anton Blazek

    More iron


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  • 10/06/17--08:19: Dieter Rams / JF Chen
  • Dieter Rams at JF Chen 
    The opening was last week, but there were so many people, it was hard to take good photos. This is the only one I could get. I'll be going back. The exhibition was curated by Daniel Ostroff. They amassed a great collection, including some extremely rare examples, like the TP-1. 

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  • 10/09/17--21:56: Colonial / Modern
  • Do you remember these string tables? They came from the estate of a gentleman who was an industrial design professor in Pasadena during the early 1950s. The mix of modest materials, simple construction and clean lines hit all the right notes for me. I sold them a while back, which I sort of regret. However, they landed in good hands. 
    Designer C.S. Valentin incorporated them into a project for a 19th-century sea captain’s house on the South Shore of Long Island.

    The tables look a lot happier here than they did languishing in storage. 

    Read the full story on Remodelista.

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  • 10/10/17--17:35: Dieter Rams / Braun
  • Dieter Rams/Braun exhibition at JF Chen
    Curated by Daniel Ostroff, with exhibition design by Clare Graham

    Dieter Rams TP 1 and T 3 radio. These are rare!
    The first iPod is obviously based off the T3. Actually most Apple designs borrow heavily from Dieter Rams.
    If you don't believe me, read this.

    TP 1 in action. To really see it in action, check out this video.

    Source: MoMA

    Braun SK 4 or "Snow White's Coffin," designed by Rams and Hans Gugelot

    The Vitsoe shelving by Dieter Rams was provided by the company. They have a new showroom in Los Angeles

    The stools are Stapelprogramm 740 for Vitsoe, 1973

    Atelier 1 Audio System. That stand is rare. This and many other pieces are on loan from Future Forms.

    My stereo is hanging out here for a while. 

    The Joel Chen motto is More is More. 

    The grinders and toasters

    The poster was designed by Gary Hustwit. His documentary film on Rams should be out later this year.  Read more here.

    The exhibition is ending soon, so make sure to get over there fast. 

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  • 10/11/17--07:10: Weekend / Stuff
  • More iron


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  • 10/20/17--06:36: LAMA / 25
  • In October of 1992LAMA had their first auction. So on this, their 25th anniversary auction, it looks like they are offering up a little more of the modern classics than usual, including a lot of Eames! 
    It's safe to say that the Eames are a sentimental favorite for most modern dealers.  In the whole scheme of things it doesn't sell for all that much, but it truly is some of the greatest American Design. I love that LAMA keeps putting it in their sales. 
     The pair of 421 N ESUs will most likely be the exception to the Eames not selling for a lot rule. These examples are as good as it gets. They are being sold individually, but it would be a shame if the same person doesn't buy both. Whatever they sell for, it will be a great deal because they should be worth double. 
    Now stuffed animal chairs on the other hand....
    Funny things is the Campana Brothers chairs on the left are estimated at the exact same price as the ESUs above. Go figure. 

    George Nelson. Nice Kite clock up there.

    R.M. Schindler chair from the Lechner House, 1948

    KEM Weber Airline chair, 1934. It almost seems like LAMA found the dumpster where Disney tossed all of these. 

    West Coast Hard-edge. That's a fantastic Karl Benjamin on the lower left.

    Frederick Hammersley made great frames.

    Ed Kiinholz currency has definitely outpaced inflation. Below them is a sweet George Herms from the Blankfort Collection. It hung at LACMA in 1980s and has a great label on the back to prove it.
    Ken Price Astronauts in the Ocean (1960-1961)
    This is one of six Price lots in the sale. 

    Speaking of Price. He was still at it in 2004.

    Peter Voulkos (1952)
    Pete could throw a great classical pot before he went Hendrix. 

    Move along. There's nothing to see here.

    The auction is this Sunday.

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  • 10/20/17--06:57: Weekend / Stuff

  • La Gardo Tackett

    Anyone seen this one before? It looks like some sort of VKG contraption.

    Another California Design catalog

    This one is pretty special. It belonged to one of my favorite potters, Jean Balmer.