Friday, December 30, 2011

AIA Central Valley and SacMod Screening of "EAMES: The architect and the painter"

On 12.19.11, AIA Central Valley (AIACV) and SacMod screened "Eames: The Architect and The Painter" to over fifty design enthusiasts.

The event was held at AIACV in Sacramento. SacMod and AIACV took the opportunity to celebrate our native daughter, Ray (Kaiser) Eames. We provided several images from her life in Sacramento.

Ian Merker of AIACV was the best host ever!

Special thanks to Mimomito who brought cupcakes decorated with Ray's fabric pattern to celebrate what would have been Ray's 99th birthday on 12.15.11 and took pictures of our event.

To kick off the film screening, Eames Demetrios graciously Skype'd in and spoke with us about his grandparents and their work.

We are grateful to Miles Treaster & Associates who brought several examples of the Eameses' furniture, an original rare wooden splint developed for WW2, plus several brochures, an Eames coffee table book, and other written materials.

Our friends from Sactown Magazine generously distributed copies of their original Premier Issue from Dec/Jan 2006/2007 (with a well-written and researched article about Ray Eames) and their current issue. Happy 5th Anniversary, Sactown!

Thanks to KVIE for the wonderful gift bag and to Jason Cohn of Bread and Butter Films for printing two film posters for our silent auction.

Last but not least, thanks to those who attended and supported our event! We received great feedback from those who attended. The film provided an intriguing glimpse into the Eameses' creative process and dedication. We highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in their lives and prolific work, which ranges from architecture, furniture, film, textiles, art, industrial design to other intellectual and creative pursuits. This film celebrates their work and humanizes them -- not only highlighting their triumphs but also what went on behind the scenes.

Look for more events in 2012, including the screening of Infinite Space, a documentary about John Lautner -- one of the most revered 20th century architects. We will also be having an event to celebrate a very special residence in Sacramento designed by Terry Waters, an associate of John Lautner.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Celebrating Ray!

Happy Birthday to Ray Eames, Sacramento's native daughter and one of the most important 20th century modernists!

She would have been 99 today. We'll be celebrating Ray on Monday, December 19, 2011 at the AIACV/SacMod screening party for "EAMES: The Architect and the Painter." Special thanks to our good friends at AIACV hosting this event. And thanks to those of you who RSVP'd via Brown Paper Tickets -- be sure to arrive by 7:30 to ensure seating. Early arrivals get priority Eames chair seating!!

Festivities for the evening will include:
- a silent auction for two posters from the film;
- a furniture display courtesy of the wonderful folks at Miles Treaster & Associates;
- photos of Ray's life in Sacramento;
- vegan cupcakes from the lovely gals at Mimomito;
plus other displays and surprises!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 SacMod Annual Associate Memberships now available!

Announcing 2012 SacMod annual associate memberships!

2012 Annual SacMod Associate Memberships are now available. Member benefits include a discount to paid SacMod events and having first crack at reserving a seat/purchasing tickets.

Sacramento Modern (SacMod) was formed to educate and promote understanding and appreciation of mid-20th century modern art, architecture and design in the greater Sacramento, California region. SacMod has been accomplishing its goals through events, research, and development of educational materials and information resources. Run exclusively by volunteers, SacMod has coordinated large scale events such as the 2010 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour, film screenings, and has provided education, technical assistance, and research findings to students, local and regional organizations, architects, designers, architectural historians, as well as local and national media.

With your help, SacMod can continue to promote awareness and preservation of Sacramento's mid-20th century modern heritage through future events, research, and education. Please use the "Add to cart" button in the upper left margin.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

SacMod Activities and Upcoming Event!

Busy, busy month! You can stay better informed regarding Sacramento modernism by joining SacMod's Facebook page. Join us!

First, good news for the hyperbolic paraboloid structures at the entrance of the Sacramento Zoo. We've written about these beauties before.

The City of Sacramento hired consultants Mead & Hunt for a Cultural Landscape Survey of William Land Park. (You may download their draft report here.) SacMod has been watching recent developments at the Zoo, particularly those endangering the circa 1961 entrance structures. Mead & Hunt determined that the Zoo entrance and Fairytale Town are eligible for national, California, and Sacramento historic registers. SacMod will continue to monitor and advocate for these structures.
Second, Atomic Ranch Magazine has just published the Atomic Ranch 2012 Calendar. We're excited because it features two homes that were on the 2011 Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour! Specifically a home designed by architect Carter Sparks and a Sacramento Eichler home. Atomic Ranch came to Sacramento this summer. Three homes from last year's tour will be featured in separate upcoming issues. We'll be sure to post as the articles and pictures are published.

Finally, AIACV and SacMod are teaming up again -- join us for a free screening of EAMES: The Architect and The Painter. You may already know that Ray Eames was born and raised here in Sacramento. Join us and other like-minded modernists at AIACV on Monday, December 19, 2011 from 8 - 10pm. Reservations for this free event through Brown Paper Tickets.

Even more things being planned for future SacMod events! Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Walking the walk... and talking the talk!

Big day this Sunday, 9.18.11!

From about 10am to 3pm SacMod will be at Marshall Park (corner of 27th and J Street) for the street fair for Sacramento Old City Association's 36th Annual Home Tour. We'll be handing out SacMod's free self-guided walking tour which features the exteriors of six commercial mid-20th century buildings in Midtown. Come and support SOCA, who has been a huge supporter of MCM in Sacramento (see my previous post for details).

Tomorrow will also be the first day SacMod will be offering annual associate memberships at a one-time special discount. Stop by for details!

Later that same day at 7pm, come see the presentation on "Sacramento Architecture: From the Gold Rush to Mid-Century Modern." My friend and historian, Bill Burg, will be talking about the Gold Rush through the 1930s; I'll be handling the part about mid-20th century architecture in town. The discussion will be at Time Tested Books and is part of the Living Library Series.

Hope to see you tomorrow, one way or the other! We'll be the ones drinking lots of coffee :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Free self-guided walking tour of six Midtown MCMs on September 18, 2011!

Come say hello to SacMod at Marshall Park (J and 27th Streets) on September 18, 2011 during the street fair for Sacramento Old City Association's 36th Annual Home Tour.

You know what makes for a great day? Seeing the beautiful historic homes on SOCA's tour and learning about six Midtown MCM buildings that you walk past all the time!

SOCA's tour starts at Marshall Park, at the corner of 27th and J Street. A street fair at the park features local contractors and artisans specializing in historic home rehab and remodeling, local businesses, artists and crafters displaying their wares, local nonprofits, advocacy and history organizations. Local musicians Tender Cinders, Garage Jazz Architects, The Freebadge Serenaders, and Emile Dalkey will perform in the park. Home Tour participants can show their tour wristband for a 15% discount in the restaurants of the nearby Sutter District.

SacMod will be at the fair from about 10am to 3pm and will have copies of our free self-guided walking tour which features the exteriors of six commercial mid-20th century buildings in Midtown.

Our friends at SOCA have been huge supporters of SacMod and MCM architecture in Sacramento. SOCA's efforts were instrumental in getting the SMUD Headquarters building nominated on the National Register of Historic Places.

MCM fans, it's our turn to support SOCA -- bring your walking shoes and see you there!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thanks for joining us at the Crocker Art Museum for Visual Acoustics

Introductions by Ian Merker, AIACV and Gretchen Steinberg, SacMod

Many, many thanks for those of you who joined us at the successful screening of Visual Acoustics at the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday, April 7, 2011. We were pleased and humbled to see the event almost sold out. Thanks to the Crocker Art Museum for collaborating with AIACV and SacMod and letting us use their new and beautiful state-of-the-art venue. Thanks also to Director Eric Bricker for making his wonderful film (his first!) and taking the time out of his busy schedule to join us.

Our educational display with photos taken by Julius Shulman in Sacramento
Eric Bricker, Director of Visual Acoustics and Gretchen Steinberg, SacMod
Dane Henas from SacMod being goofy -- doing his best Vanna White impression, ha ha!

We presented an educational display with several photos that Julius Shulman took in Sacramento in the early 1960s. We decided to seek them out and research them at the last minute so people could enjoy a special connection with him in our town. Many thanks to historian John Crosse (who was also a researcher for Visual Acoustics), JW and B for their contributions to our educational display. Thanks also to Ian Merker from AIACV (our colleague and co-presenter extraordinaire) for printing the images and providing the materials to display the images. Special thanks also to our former SacMod colleague Kris Lannin Liang who had to move away from Sacramento but initially worked on this event.

Jerry Blomberg and Dane Henas with an original copy of an ad featuring Jerry's Sacramento home

My favorite Shulman pictures taken in Sacramento are of a home in South Land Park Estates; these were featured in a 1961 ad for American Saint Gobain glass. The home was collaboratively designed by homeowner Jerry Blomberg and George Muraki, with George Muraki being the architect on record. Last year we printed the ad we had researched for the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour display. Little did we know at the time that the images were taken by Julius Shulman. I invited Mr. Blomberg to join us at the event and was so pleased to see him show up -- with his own copy of the ad and another magazine article that I had been looking for but was unable to find in time!

Director Eric Bricker leading a post-screening discussion

Here are more photos taken at the event. Thanks again to everyone who made the event possible; and a shout-out to Midtown Monthly and to Sacramento area bloggers Davis Life Magazine, Mimomito, Rebecca Crowther of Sac History Happenings (Sacramento Bee), Capitol Creative Collective, Glitter and Grunge and our Twitter friends for helping spread the word.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Did you know that Julius Shulman photographed several Sacramento buildings?

We will be sharing some of these photographs with you in person at Crocker Art Museum's Film Frame: Visual Acoustics this Thursday evening. My favorite photos of the bunch are of a residence designed by Sacramento architect George Muraki for the Blomberg family. You may recall that Mr. Muraki's personal home was featured in the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour last June.

Why not come directly to the Crocker after work? Remember -- admission includes access to the museum. Have a bite to eat at the Crocker Cafe and relax with a cocktail.

See Crocker's website for details on buying tickets. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Join SacMod + AIACV to see Visual Acoustics at Crocker Art Museum: April 7, 2011 at 7PM

"Stahl House (CSH#22)” photographed by Julius Shulman (1960)

"In a way, you can stop time." - Julius Shulman

A special screening of the documentary Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman will be held at the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM. This film celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, whose photographs brought modern architecture and progressive architects into American mainstream. Director Eric Bricker will introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion. Anyone with an interest in Modernism, photography, architecture, and design should enjoy this film.

“Kaufmann House” photographed by Julius Shulman (1947)

Part of Crocker Art Museum's Film Frame series during "Thursdays 'til 9", Visual Acoustics is being presented in collaboration with SacMod -- an organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting modern art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region -- and AIA Central Valley, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 

Tickets to the event are $6 for Crocker Art Museum members and $12 for non-members. Admission to the film includes admission to the museum, which will be open until 9:00pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the Crocker Cafe until 8:45 PM. For more information and to order tickets online, go to

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS, an Arthouse Films release 2009. Copyright Aiken Weiss.

A self-taught photographer, Julius Shulman possessed an intuitive ability to capture spaces from the best perspective. By including people in his photographs, Shulman brought modern architecture to life.

According to our research, Julius Shulman photographed at least one building in Sacramento in 1941 -- The National Youth Administration -- designed by Richard Neutra. We're also looking into a report that Shulman photographed a private Sacramento MCM residence.

“Julius Shulman and Richard Neutra” (1950)

Visual Acoustics highlights the importance of great design and underscores the need for further celebration, education and preservation of excellent mid-20th century architecture. The architects that Shulman worked with believed they could change the world through better design. That spirit and excitement is alive and well here in Sacramento's design community; I would like to see this further encouraged and nurtured.

Please join AIACV and SacMod at the Crocker to see this wonderful film.

All photos from VISUAL ACOUSTICS, an Arthouse Films release 2009. Copyright J. Paul Getty Trust.