2011 Palm Springs Modernism Week

MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA DESIGN

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Muriel Coleman desk

Muriel Coleman, Student desk, 1952, California Contemporary Inc.
Steel, wood, glass 29.75 in x 48 in. x 24 in. Photo: Sultana, Inc.

War and Peace:
The California Design Dividend

Lecture by Bill Stern, executive director,
Museum of California Design

February, 2011, Riviera Palm Springs,
1600 North Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, California

The end of World War II brought an unexpected peace dividend to California and the nation: an explosion of design creativity for the state's burgeoning population which proceded to influence modern life in America and around the world.

In the immediate post-war period California's designers confronted the shortage of many essential materials by developing a pared-down modern aesthetic which drew on locally available, often defense-related, materials. The result, which required minimal investment, was numerous start-up companies producing distinctive home furnishings in what we now call Mid-Century Modern style. The talk will be illustrated with examples by Charles and Ray Eames, Luther Conover, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Dorothy Schindele, Van Keppel and Green and Vista Furniture Co.

Dorothy Schindele Chair

Side chair, metal and wood, without upholstery.
Dorothy Schindele for Modern Color, Inc., Los Angeles, c. 1952. Post-World War II economic conditions led to a rigorous implementation of Modernist minimalism in the design of home furnishings.
Photo courtesy: Museum of California Design

Hobie surfboard

Surfboard, fiberglass-reinforced resin over poly-urithane foam with wood stringers.
Hobart "Hobie" Alter for Hobie Surfboards, 1960 Fibergalss and poly-urithane foam were adapted from World War II milatary uses.
Photo courtesy: Museum of California Design

Dorothy Schindele Chair

Side chair, metal, wood, with cloth upholstery and padding.
Dorothy Schindele for Modern Color, Inc., Los Angeles, c. 1952. Photo courtesy: Museum of California Design