Tuesday, 5 November 2013

QAGOMA California Design exhibition

A very cool new design exhibition has hit Brisbane - California Design Living in a Modern Way 1930 to 1965.

I attended the launch (thanks to the lovely Elizabeth from Walk Among the Homes who moves and shakes with all the right people) last week and had a sneak preview of what the exhibition entails at the Queensland Art Gallery.

The exhibition features many of the design icons that you would  normally associate with California during the mid 20th century and introduces us to some other new designs/designers from that period. Curated by Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LCMA), the exhibition is a tasteful selection of the work of pre- and post-war American designers.

Qunicy Jones and Frederick E Emmons sofa and side table from Spencer House 1961-64, with Milo Baughman cocktail table 1950

From the sleek industrial design of an airstream Clipper trailer and an Avanti Studebaker to the enormously popular furniture designs of Charles and Ray Eames, there's a little bit of something for everyone in this star-studded tribute to California design.

Airstream Clipper 1936
California furniture, fashion, textiles and jewellery have their moment under the spotlight in this wonderful exhibition.

Dan Johnson desk  1947 and Dan Johnson Gazelle lounge chair 1959

Levi Strauss & Co pants and top 1955

There is also an excellent book called California Design which goes into more detail about what is in the exhibition, as well as an accompanying book called A Handbook of California Design with biographies of the craftspeople, designers and manufacturers.

I received a copy of California Design for my birthday earlier this year and bought the handbook at the launch.
A lovely addition to my bookshelves at the Sow's Ear

Both are available at the QAGOMA gift shop 

Two very astute design junkies reading Australian Modern

It really is a fun exhibition and if you are into design, it is a must-see show. It closes on 9 February 2014

14 comments:

  1. I have beautiful vintage book called California Design 9 (published in 1965) sent to me by a v.nice fellow blogger. It showcases work by craftsmen and designers of the time in an exhibition held annually at the Pasedena Art Museum. If I could climb into its pages I would! Anyway it reminds me very much of the California Design Exhibition - I hope it makes its way West.
    (do you know if it is?)

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    1. Lucky you to have that book! I'd say some of what is in your book could be in this exhibition. Anyway, it is great...but I don't think it will be travelling elsewhere in Australia after Brisbane. xx

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  2. Saw a snippet about the exhibition on the news a few nights ago and thought it looked amazing. Loved the eye-catching wall art I saw. Thought of you MCMod girls. Sounds like you had a great time.

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    1. Yes, it just right up my alley. xx

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  3. Haha love it, busy moving and shaking.., must fly!
    I had a lovely night with you and the Australian Modern crew, loads of fun and laughs. Oh, and a great show!
    Xx

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    1. Had a fab night too! Great to be with such lovely like-minded people. xx

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  4. I can't wait to go. The Gallery shoppe looks as equally exciting. Look at you glamour pusses!

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    1. The Gallery shoppe is very good. So many great books I want. xx

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  5. Wow, looks like you lovely ladies had an amazing time, the exhibition looks and sounds fantastic!!! I have that Neutra book to the left in that last pic:-) I can really recommend a book called Modernism Rediscovered by Serraino and Schulman that featured the Case Study houses. You probably know it already:-) Lots of lovely pictures from back then. Thanks for taking us on this tour!!! xx

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    1. I know the book but I don't have it. It should be on my wish list. I love Schulman's photography. xx

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  6. Looks like such a fun exhibition...and a great selection of books too.

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    1. It was terrific Dana. I've had such a great mid-mod fix over the past few weeks. xx

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  7. Oh it looks amazing...I so want to go! xx

    Love your patterned pants princess!

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    1. Come to Brissy for a weekend!! xx

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