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The Arts and Crafts Movement returns to Southern California.

"The West has for some time been recording on the fair page of the Pacific Slope what promises to be an important chapter in the life of the people." In 1912, when this comment appeared in an article about Pasadena architects Charles and Henry Greene, the Arts and Crafts Movement was riding high in Southern California. Now you can immerse yourself in this remarkable era, whose ideals influenced the look of houses in California and across the country from the turn of the century until the early 1920s. At the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, two new rooms feature the work of Greene and Greene. A major exhibition of arts and crafts objects is now open at the L.A. County Museum of Art, and the living room of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park has just been restored. With roots in Europe in the late 19th century, the Arts and Crafts Movement began as a reaction against what many viewed as declining standards of design, as machines began producing objects formerly made by hand. Part of the utopian vision of leaders like British artist and writer William Morris were a return to hand craftsmanship and a life in harmony with nature. Proponents favored natural materials like wood and stone, and naturalistic designs in decorative objects. Reflecting those ideals, the Greene brothers created their first simple Craftsman houses in about 1903, then went on to build more elaborate ones. The most famous of these, the Gamble house in Pasadena, is still a landmark. In Los Angeles, the house of journalist Charles E Lummis is in the Arts and Crafts tradition. Both are open to visitors.

A new installation at the Huntington Two new rooms devoted to the work of Greene and Greene are scheduled to open September 11 in the Huntington's Virginia Steele Scott Gallery. One is a completely reconstructed dining room (with the original furnishings) from the 1905 Robinson house in Pasadena. The other contains about 75 decorative objects, including tables, chairs, lamps, and rugs by the Greenes and their contemporaries. The exhibit shows how the Greenes' work evolved, influenced by such diverse sources as Japanese

wood-block prints and Gustav Stickley (American furniture designer and manufacturer who helped popularize the Craftsman bungalow). Huntington hours are 1 to 4:30 Tuesdays through Sundays. In the same building, the Greene and Greene Library houses original drawings; it's open by appointment only; call (818) 405-2225. Admission is free to the exhibit and the library.

Exhibit at L.A. County art museum The Arts and Crafts Movement in California and the United States is the subject of an ambitious and comprehensive exhibit at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Called American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design, the exhibit will run September 23 through January 6, 1991.

More than 250 practical and decorative objects, from lamps designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany to ceramic fireplace fronts by the Batchelder Tile Company, are on view. Much of the exhibition focuses on furniture, ceramics, glass, and metalwork by designers who migrated to California; a small section is devoted to European and Japanese works. Hours are 10 to 5 Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 to 6 Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $5 adults, $3.50 students and seniors, $1 ages 6 through 17.

Restored room at Hollyhock House

Frank Lloyd Wright completed this pre-Columbian temple of a house for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall in 1921. The living room has now been restored to its original appearance. Walls and ceiling have been meticulously repainted, and precisely detailed replicas of the furniture that Wright designed for it are in place. Symmetrical sofas wrap around a water-filled moat in front of the cast-concrete fireplace. The sofas form part of two structures that divide the room. Wright transformed these functional objects into sculptures exemplifying and expanding upon the Craftsman ideals.

The house is at Barnsdall Arts Park in Hollywood; enter on Hollywood Boulevard between Vermont Avenue and Edgemont Street. Public tours (of the whole house) are at 10,11, noon, and 1 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays; and noon, 1, 2, and 3 on Saturdays and the first, second, and third Sundays of each month. Admission is $1.50 adults, $1 seniors. Reservations aren't required.

Two landscapes that evoke the period

The Gamble house is at 4 Westmoreland Place, in Pasadena. From the Ventura Freeway (State 134), take Orange Grove Boulevard three blocks north; the house is on the left.

Hours are noon to 3 Thursdays through Sundays; admission is $4 adults, $3 seniors, and $2 students.

The Lummis house is in Los Angeles, at the corner of E. Avenue 43 and Carlota Boulevard. From the Pasadena Freeway (State 110), take the Avenue 43 exit; the house is just west of the freeway. Hours are 1 to 4 Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free.
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Date:Oct 1, 1990
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