Architecture and Design

Our built environment in sketches, study models, architectural photographs, writings, letters, and more, 1500 to now

Also posted in Art, Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Research Institute, Research

Treasures from the Vault: Harald Szeemann’s “Project Files”

Photos of the Venice Biennale from the Harald Szeemann papers
Behind the scenes at the Venice Biennale. At top left, Szeemann inspects construction progress; at bottom right, artwork crates arrive by boat. Undated; photographers unknown. The Getty Research Institute, Harald Szeemann papers, 1892–2010

As director of the Venice Biennale, curator Harald Szeemann created new ways of showing art—and new places to show it. More»

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Also posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

The Eames House – Conserving a California Icon

GCI staff Emily Macdonald-Korth carrying out paint excavation on exterior metal work.

A multidisciplinary team is investigating the iconic Eames House in order to preserve it for the future. More»

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Also posted in Voices

My L.A.: The Once and Future Golden Gate Theater

Golden_Gate_Theater_East_Los_Angeles

Hollow and in disrepair, it embodied the reason I wanted to leave Los Angeles. I was wrong. More»

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Also posted in Voices

My L.A.: St. John’s Cathedral, Monument of Serenity

A Romanesque gem in West Adams, St. John's Episcopal Cathedral opened its doors in 1925. Photo: Kansas Sebastian, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Kansas Sebastian, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Though overshadowed by modern icons, beautifully crafted buildings like St. John’s are an important part of our architectural heritage. More»

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Also posted in Voices

My L.A.: Learning to Love Baskin-Robbins

Burbank Baskin-Robbins ice cream store
Great architecture? Perhaps not. Community hub? Definitely.

What makes a building into a community gathering spot? Sometimes a nondescript exterior gives way to sugary goodness inside. More»

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Also posted in Conservation, Getty Conservation Institute

Architecture Critic Paul Goldberger Advises “Don’t Squeeze Out All the Fresh Air”

Paul Goldberger
Paul Goldberger

“We’re much more sensitive in general to historic buildings than we once were.” How to move forward while preserving the past. More»

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Also posted in Art, Behind the Scenes, Gardens and Architecture, J. Paul Getty Trust, Voices

Our L.A., Mapped

Screen Shot 2013-05-15 at 8.03.42 AM

What place says “L.A.” to you? What’s your favorite building, corner, or monument? What is your L.A.? More»

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Also posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute, Voices

Getty Voices: Our L.A.

Getty Voices: Lyra Kilston's L.A. map
My L.A.: My life mapped on the landscape.

Did you walk through Overdrive and see part of your story? What are your junctions of place and history? What buildings reflect a bit of who you are? More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design

Finding Beauty in L.A.’s Visual Clutter

South Broadway in downtown L.A.
But is it architecture? The palimpsests at street level better fit a community definition of architecture than the skyscrapers behind, says Greg Goldin. Photo: S. Broadway by Xavier de Jauréguiberry on Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hulking public works and messy storefronts are the essence of L.A. architecture. Here’s why you should love them. More»

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Posted in Architecture and Design

Long Live Tiki, the Whimsical Soul of Midcentury Modern

3505 Artesia Blvd. in Some Los Angeles Apartments / Ed Ruscha
© Ed Ruscha

Tiki is the style that refuses to die, and its endurance tells us something about Southern California design. More»

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    • photo from Tumblr

      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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