August 16, 2008 to January 4, 2009
Hours: 12:00 to 5:00 pm Wednesdays - Sundays
The exhibition galleries will close at 4 pm December 24 and 31;
The galleries will be closed all day December 25 and January 1.
In 1915, architect Charles Greene (pictured at left, 1868-1957) wrote “I seek till I find what is truly useful and then I try to make it beautiful,” echoing the words of the famous British Arts & Crafts designer-craftsman William Morris.
The architecture and decorative arts designed by Charles and his brother Henry Greene (pictured below right, 1870-1954) a century ago are now recognized internationally as among the finest of the American Arts & Crafts Movement. Such appreciation is inspired by the Greenes’ careful consideration of every detail of the buildings and objects they designed. Like their contemporary, Frank Lloyd Wright, this fraternal team believed architecture to be no less than a design language for life, imbuing their houses and furnishings with an expressive sensitivity for geography, climate, landscape, and lifestyle. As we approach the centennial of the period that included their finest work in both architecture and decorative arts, there is no better moment to commemorate the legacy of Greene & Greene in Pasadena.
In August and October 2008, two complementary exhibitions opened at Pasadena Museum of History and The Huntington Library, respectively. While the 130 objects on display at The Huntington focus primarily on the architecture and decorative arts designed by the Greenes, at the Pasadena Museum of History visitors will discover the stories of the city that inspired this work and of these two brothers as business partners and as individuals who established their practice and made their respective homes in Pasadena.
Representative objects from the Greenes’ early lives, schooling, apprenticeships, Pasadena office, workshop and homes are on display, accompanied by images of their early work, and of Pasadena in the late 19th and first quarter of the 20th centuries. Pasadena is an especially important ingredient in the Greenes’ ultimate success – with a landscape and climate that inspired them and an ever-burgeoning number of wealthy Midwesterners drawn to its warmth and scenic beauty, eager to commission winter residences from a pair of promising young architects. The Pasadena Museum of History’s unique collections will play an essential role in the portrayal of the city and of the people who inhabited it.
CURATOR: Bruce Smith, in conjunction with The Gamble House.
Bruce Smith is an independent researcher and writer who focuses on late-nineteenth-and-early-twentieth-century decorative arts and architecture. He is a specialist on the life and work of Charles and Henry Greene; his book on their architecture, Greene & Greene Masterworks (Chronicle Books 1998) was one of the New York Times Editor’s Choice architectural books of the year. He has just finished a book, Greene & Greene and the Duncan-Irwin House: Developing a California Style (Gibbs Smith, Spring 2009), about the early work of the Greene brothers leading up to their 1906 Duncan-Irwin house that was the first full expression of their mature style. He also recently wrote two essays (one co-written with Virginia Hales) for A “New and Native” Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene. (Merrell Publishers, Fall 2008).
Wiith his wife, Yoshiko Yamamoto, Smith has co-authored The Japanese Bath (Gibbs Smith, 2001), Arts and Crafts Ideals (Gibbs Smith, 1999) and The Beautiful Necessity: Decorating with Arts and Crafts (Gibbs Smith, 1996) as well as numerous magazine articles. He is currently working on a book-length study of Japanese influence on the Arts and Crafts movement in America.
MAJOR EXHIBITION DONORS: Robert and Nadine Hall, Betsy and J. Gary Hall, Friends of The Gamble House, and Guardian Stewardship.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS: Please check the Programs & Events page for up-to-date listings of special programs that will be offered in conjunction with this exhibit this fall.
GAMBLE HOUSE CENTENNIAL EVENTS: This exhibition is presented in celebration of The Gamble House Centennial, 1908-2008. For additional information, please visit www.gamblehouse.org.
470 West Walnut Street ~ Pasadena, CA 91103 ~ Ph 626.577.1660 ~ Fax 626.577.1662 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org