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Special Exhibit News

Special Hammer Exhibition edition
July 2008

Many events are planned to coordinate with the major exhibition on John Lautner offered by the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.  The exhibition opens July 13 and ends October 12, 2008. In cooperation with the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design, and the UCLA Film and Television Archive, the Hammer is offering tours, panel discussions and film screenings.  An architectural touring company is offering a tour of Lautner buildings as well.

John Lautner Foundation members invited to special reception

The Hammer Museum is inviting members of the John Lautner Foundation to an exhibit reception on July 12, in the evening. If you are a member you should have received an invitation already or will in the next few days. If you join now your name will be forwarded to the Hammer and an invitation will be sent to you. You must have an invitation to be admitted. Please note that any memberships received after July 8 are not likely to be in time to get an invitation.

Tour firm offers single-day Lautner tour

Tours d’Art Art and Architecture Tours is offering a one-day tour to be held Friday, July 18, 2008. The tour is to include visits to the Sheats-Goldstein residence, the Harpel residence (recently renovated), the Sheats apartments (aka “L’Horizon”), and the current television studio, which is a remarkable replica of the Malin residence (aka “chemosphere”).

Space is limited. Contact Karen Bergenthal through her website, Tours d’Art, for details and to register if there is still space available.

Films featuring Lautner buildings to screen in July

The Hammer Museum, in cooperation with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, will present four films that feature Lautner buildings in July, and will jointly host a sneak preview of the new feature documentary on Lautner (by Murray Grigor) in September. According to the Hammer:

All Hammer public programs are free. Tickets are required, and are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time. Limit one ticket per person on a first come, first served basis. Members receive priority seating, subject to availability. Reservations not accepted, RSVP’s not required.

The films:

Lautner Exhibition Related Screenings

Diamonds are Forever
John Lautner’s homes have been the dynamic backdrop for dozens of Hollywood films, television shows, and music videos. The Hammer screens four of these films over an intensive Lautner-inspired weekend.

Diamonds are Forever

Less Than Zero
John Lautner’s homes have been the dynamic backdrop for dozens of Hollywood films, television shows, and music videos. The Hammer screens four of these films over an intensive Lautner-inspired weekend.

Less Than Zero

The Big Lebowski
John Lautner’s homes have been the dynamic backdrop for dozens of Hollywood films, television shows, and music videos. The Hammer screens four of these films over an intensive Lautner-inspired weekend.

The Big Lebowski

Body Double
John Lautner’s homes have been the dynamic backdrop for dozens of Hollywood films, television shows, and music videos. The Hammer screens four of these films over an intensive Lautner-inspired weekend.

Body Double

Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner
This sneak preview of a new documentary feature film traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” It is the story of brilliance and of a complicated life—and the most sensual architecture of the 20th century. Renowned architectural filmmaker Murray Grigor explores Lautner’s dramatic spaces as Lautner himself provides the commentary, speaking with insight and wit in recordings culled from archival sources. Includes comments from Frank Gehry, original clients, owners and builders, Frank Escher, and Julius Shulman.
Murray Grigor–writer/director, Anna Thomas + Sara Sackner–producers.

Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner

See the Hammer Museum website for updated information.

New documentary on Lautner to screen in September

A sneak preview of the new documentary, Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner, by renowned filmmaker Murray Grigor, will screen at the Billy Wilder Theater in the Hammer museum in Los Angeles on September 18, 2008, at 7 p.m.

This screening is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. For more information, please visit the Hammer website: www.hammer.ucla.edu

Following this preview, the film is expected to screen in various film festivals.

A new website with a video preview of the film will be offered by the filmmaker in a couple of weeks. When more information is available we will post it on this website.

Panel discussion on Lautner and others in July

Opening photo of Chemosphere by Murray Grigor

The Hammer Museum is co-presenting a panel discussion on John Lautner and others on July 15 at 7 pm. According to the Hammer website:

Panel Discussion
Building Character

A lively panel will discuss high profile Modernist monuments that ultimately become protagonists when used as locations in feature films. Some highlighted architecture will include John Lautner’s “Chemosphere”, which played a starring role in Body Double, Neutra’s Lovell House, featured in L.A. Confidential, and the Marin Country Courthouse, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and is a central location in Gattaca. Co-presented with the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design.

Hammer and Mak Center join to offer tours of Lautner buildings

John Lautner in Segel residence; Photo by Carla Larissa Fallberg
John Lautner with Joanne Segel in Segel Residence; photo by Carla Larissa Fallberg

As part of the celebration of Between Earth and Heaven, the exhibit on John Lautner that opens at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles on July 13, the Hammer is working with the Mak Center for Art and Architecture to offer tours of Lautner buildings. Two dates are now confirmed: July 27 and September 14. Only members of the museum (at the “Contributor” level and above) are permitted to purchase tickets, which go on sale June 16. More information on the tours will be available on the Hammer website (http://www.hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/139/) on June 6 and on the MAK Center website (http://www.makcenter.org). Space is limited.

Update: see News category for updated information on these tours.

Archive preservation proceeds painstakingly

As reported in previous newsletters, the Foundation is pleased to report that the Getty Research Institute has accepted the John Lautner archive and is in the process of preserving and cataloging the materials. Members of the John Lautner Foundation Board of Directors toured a part of the Getty Research Institute last April, to get an idea of the preservation process.

Albrecht Gumlich shows the record for one item.
Albrecht Gumlich, head of the Lautner conservation effort, shows Frank Escher and Karol Lautner Peterson the record created for each item in the archive.

Karol Lautner Peterson, Christopher Carr, Frank Escher, and Judith Lautner met with Wim DeWit, head of Special Collections and Visual Resources, who then introduced the board members to Albrecht Gumlich,  who is overseeing the preservation effort.  Gumlich described and showed the group several of the methods in use for different types of materials and different challenges .

Conservation worker describes use of special paper
Conservation worker describes use of special paper for repairing tears and reinforcing corners.

The Getty Special Collections section includes specialists in many different aspects of preservation. Some work on original plans, some on models, others on photographs. The primary goal is to stabilize the material, which often means no more than eradicating insects and then preserving in special covers and cabinets in climate-controlled vaults. In the case of the Lautner models, decisions have to be made about how to repair damage and whether or not to replace faded color elements.  When portions of a model are missing any replacement parts must be removable without affecting the original materials. Preservation appears to be an art as well as a science in this respect.

Gumlich displays the type box models are stored in
Gumlich displays the type box created for model preservation.

Gumlich works on Segel model
Gumlich describes the decisions that had to be made in the preservation of the Segel residence model.

Because of the detailed work that is being done on the extensive Lautner collection, it will be several months before the collection is available for research by the general public. When it is available, the Foundation as well as the Getty will announce it.