Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury

Birth of the Cool:
California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury

October 7, 2007 – January 6, 2008

Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury features the painting, architecture, furniture design, decorative and graphic arts, film, and music that launched midcentury modernism in the United States and established Los Angeles as a major American cultural center. Through more than 150 objects, Birth of the Cool examines the dynamic community of architects, designers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians who overlapped and interacted in Southern California. This international roster of artists—many of whom made their way to the West Coast from various locations throughout Europe and North America—played a germinal role in the development of this influential and iconic style of high modernism.

Exhibition Tour Schedule:
Addison Gallery of American Art,
Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
February 15 – April 13, 2008

Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
May 17– August 17, 2008

Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum,
Washington University, St. Louis, MO
September 19, 2008 – January 5, 2009

Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
February 22 – May 17, 3009

This exhibition was organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and curated by Elizabeth Armstrong.

Julius Shulman, Case Study House #21 (Pierre Koenig, Los Angeles, 1958), 1958. © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.
Birth of the Cool: Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury (installation view), 2007-08; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. Photo: Bliss Photography.
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