Monday, July 28, 2008

Oakland Field Trip 1: Real cool!



Four of us took a field trip from San Francisco to Oakland on Saturday for a little adventure...



...and to check out the Oakland Museum's "Birth of the Cool" exhibit detailing California's affair with mid-century modern architecture, jazz, graphic design, painting, furniture, and even animation.



The museum is currently undergoing construction as part of its "transformation," which meant that the beautiful third floor galleries filled with California-based art wasn't open.



The second-floor galleries where "Birth of the Cool" was situated felt like they were under construction too, which didn't exactly make for a lovely aesthetic experience, particularly when coupled with a few snarly, elderly security guards barking orders about backpacks and cameras.



Much of the exhibit consisted of Julius Shulman photographs of modern hillside houses in Los Angeles (click here for a post about Julius from earlier this year) along with lots of Eames chairs and "rumpus room furniture" as Nancy Ewart put it (click here for her art blog).



Next door was another exhibit called "Cool Remixed" which traced the progress of "cool" through the ensuing decades after the 1950s.



One was greeted with a manifesto proclaiming that the entire concept of "cool" came from ancient African culture which manifested itself as coolness under the harsh realities of slavery.



This seemed something of a stretch, but it's as good a theory as any.

5 comments:

namastenancy said...

What a great report from a fabulous day - and very nice photos of Matthew and Ken.

sfmike said...

Dear Nancy: I would have put up a photo of you also but none of them turned out as beautifully as you deserve so they have been banished. I'm glad we lucked out on the one really warm day of the week.

Matty Boy said...

I was hoping you would put up a post before my planned story tomorrow. Your pictures are wonderful and I'm glad you had as much fun as I did.

p.s. I'm totally stealing the picture of me that's at the top post #2. You're a freaking genius with the lens.

namastenancy said...

Actually I am glad that you didn't put a photo up of me. I don't photograph very well, never have and now that the years have added some pounds, I look at my photos and wince. Even your photographic genius can't turn this sow's ear into a silk purse.

chestery said...

Was able to catch the exhibit right before it closed, this past weekend. Thanks for your post, because it's one of the reasons why I made sure to check it out...

[A post on the show at my site]