A “New and Native” Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene

The Arts and Crafts legacy of Charles and Henry Greene is examined in a major exhibition at the Huntington Library, from Oct. 18, 2008 to Jan. 26, 2009.

The Huntington, in partnership with the Gamble House, USC, presents the most comprehensive exhibition ever undertaken on the work of Arts and Crafts legends Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene—the first such exhibition to travel outside of California.

“A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene” is on view from Oct. 18 through Jan. 26, 2009, in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery at The Huntington. It then travels to the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. (March 13– June 7, 2009), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (July 14–Oct. 18, 2009).

This ambitious exhibition presents a chronological survey of the Greenes’ lives and careers over a nearly 90-year period. Representative objects from 30 of the brothers’ commissions, including significant examples from the best-known period of their work between 1906 and 1911, explores important points in the evolution of their unique design vocabulary. In all, the show features approximately 140 objects from the collections of The Huntington, the Gamble House, and other private and institutional lenders. Many of the works on view have never before been seen by the public. Included are examples of beautifully inlaid furniture, artfully executed metalwork, luminous art glass windows and light fixtures, and rare architectural drawings and photographs.

For more information, click here.

Oakland’s 7th Street Jazz and Blues from UC Berkeley Architecture and Journalism

The UC Berkeley Journalism School and Architecture Department have announced an interesting project in online history.  From their website:

Remembering 7th Street is a project of UC Berkeley’s Journalism School and Architecture Department to re-create West Oakland in the 1940s and ’50s when it was a thriving community teeming with blues and jazz clubs.

The virtual world video game takes you back in time to post-World-War-II West Oakland, when the area was bustling with shipyard workers and sailors, musicians and locals meeting up at the soda fountains and soul food restaurants, shops and other businesses that lined 7th Street.

Come dusk, music poured from the nightclubs out into the street. You might catch a performance by one of the big names, Lowell Fulson, Saunders King, Sugar Pie DeSanto or Ivory Joe Hunter, who played in this West Coast mecca for the blues.

Today, little trace remains of this rich history. The once thriving businesses are mostly empty storefronts now. The blues and jazz clubs have given way to a sprawling postal facility and an elevated BART train that runs through the heart of 7th Street.

Now you can explore the neighborhood as it once was and help bring 7th Street back to life. Simply log into the game and adopt an avatar – a musician hungry for a break – and soak up the lost music and culture of West Oakland.

You’ll cut a record with local producer Bob Geddins and convince a train porter to take your record cross-country. You’ll get your music career financed by a notorious local businessman and finally perform your music at the premier 7th Street club – Slim Jenkins’ Place

For background on the Oakland jazz and blues scene see: California Soul: Music of African Americans in the West.

For additional historical background on Oakland during the 20th century see Chris Rhomberg’s No There There: Race, Class and Political Community in Oakland.

Daniel Libeskind’s Contemporary Jewish Museum opens in San Francisco

The Contemporary Jewish Museum opened its new building in the Yerba Buena cultural district on Sunday. The museum selected Daniel Libeskind ten years ago before the project was held up in financial and logistical complications. Libeskind won international acclaim–and a mountain of commissions–when he prevailed in the competition for master site planner at the World Trade Center Site in 2003. Two main features of the San Francisco building are its bizarre metaphorical angles and its post-modern hybrid of ultra-modern architecture with an existing 1907 building designed by Willis Polk, a PG&E substation, a hold-over from the post-conflagration City Beautiful movement. Here’s a re-cap of the reporting that went on and some resources for the new building.

The LA Times provided architectural criticism that questions Libeskind’s career development and discusses major features of the building.

Mathew Kuruvila discusses the Bay Area Jewish tradition in the Chronicle.

The Chronicle outlined the setbacks the museum faced in its ten year journey.

John King does a critical piece for the Chronicle‘s coverage of the opening. “Is the Contemporary a great work of architecture. No.”

King also wrote a good speculative article in the Chronicle for the groundbreaking ceremony of the museum in 2006.

Kenneth Baker does a review of the new Contemporary’s exhibits: artists musing on Genesis, John Zorn’s curatorial soundscapes, William Steig’s cartoons, and submitted photos from Bay Area Jewish life.

David Basulto took some good pics in this post for ArchDaily.com

Libeskind’s firm’s website also has some cool images.

SFCurbed also did the Chronicle’s work with these reports (Number OneNumber TwoNumber ThreeNumber Four) on and array of photographs of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

Zeek did an interview with Libeskind about the SF museum.

The Contemporary Jewish museum features an mp3 audio tour with California historian Kevin Starr about the PG&E substation as well as an mp3 audio interview with Libeskind.

Architecture and the City, month-long programs (Sept. 1-30)

From the SF chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The program is not out at the date of this posting, but the event website has information about past years events.

ARCHITECTURE AND THE CITY 2008: Design for Community

AIA San Francisco and the Center for Architecture + Design are pleased to announce the
5th Annual Architecture and the City festival, the nation’s largest architectural event showcasing tours, films, exhibitions, lectures, green programming and more. Devoted to celebrating San Francisco’s unique built environment and design community, the month long festival takes place September 1-30, 2008 and gives participants the opportunity to engage in conversation about our city.

Last year, more than 20,000 people, from all over the world, took part in the festivities. With your support, we look forward to making the 2008 festival another highly successful, city-wide venture. Mayor Gavin Newsom has once again officially proclaimed September “Architecture and the City” month.