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East of Borneo Reading: Susan Morgan on architectural historian Esther McCoy
Monday, November 7, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM (PST)
Santa Monica, United States
5:15-6:15pm Docents available at the Marion Davies Guest House to discuss the site
“My particular field is history, but history of a past so recent that it flows into the present”
- Esther McCoy
“It is not true that there was no California architecture before Esther McCoy...But there was
no one writing about it, and that made all the difference...McCoy discovered a California that was not just freeways and oranges but the place where the American dream fused more naturally, and more intensely, with the 20th-century's language of modernism than it did anywhere else.”
- Paul Goldberger, The New York Times
This fall, the online multimedia art journal East of Borneo will publish Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader, the first ever anthology of Esther McCoy’s writings on the modernist architecture of Southern California, including innovative articles, out-of-print essays, unpublished lectures, and personal memoir. The anthology is edited by Susan Morgan, who will read selections and discuss the lasting impact of this remarkable writer and historian.
Esther McCoy (1904-1989) was a keen literary stylist and an ingenious historian who chronicled mid-century modernist design as it was being created. Her landmark 1960 book Five California Architects, which studied the work of Irving Gill, Bernard Maybeck, Charles and Henry Greene, and R.M. Schindler, makes a case that the richness and variety of American modern architecture was a natural development of Californian design.
Susan Morgan has written extensively about art, design, and cultural biography. A former contributing editor for Interview, Mirabella, and Metropolitan Home, she is a contributing editor for Aperture and East of Borneo. With support from Graham Foundation for the Advancement of Art and Architecture and the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, Morgan has been researching the life and work of writer Esther McCoy (1904-1989). Most recently, Morgan has, with Kimberli Meyer, co-curated Sympathetic Seeing, an exhibition about McCoy on view through January 8, 2012 at the MAK Center at the R.M. Schindler House in West Hollywood, California
Launched in October 2010, East of Borneo is a collaborative art journal and multimedia archive that frames a discussion of contemporary art and its modern history as considered from Los Angeles. East of Borneo is published by the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts and supported in part by grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and The Getty Foundation.
Stop by early for information on the Beach House by docents from the Santa Monica Conservancy before every Beach=Culture evening, from 5:15-6:15pm.
Tickets are free but seating is limited and reservations are required. If you would like to attend, please reserve online. Please plan to arrive by 6:15pm to retain your reservation. Late seating, even for reservation-holders, is not guaranteed. To adjust or cancel your reservation for this event, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your keeping in touch!
Directions: The Beach House is located at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA 90402 on the west side of Pacific Coast Highway, a half mile north of the California Incline and a half mile south of Chautauqua Blvd. Plenty of public parking is available - enter off PCH at the Beach House Way traffic light. The facility is easily accessible by foot or bike from the beach bike path, although the Beach closes at sunset. There is ample bike parking at racks throughout the site - remember to bring your own lock.
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When & Where
Beach=Culture at the Beach House
Please note that there is bike parking available onsite - bring a lock. Car parking is available and rates vary from weekdays to weekends and season to season.
Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the event; reservations are released then and late seating is not guaranteed. Although Eventbrite's automatic email encourages you to print your ticket out, at this time we only require you to give your last name at the door. If an event is at capacity, we will generally open a waitlist online and you can sign up. We will not contact you; just plan to arrive by 15 minutes prior to the event and we will assess unclaimed reservations.
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The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach is a new public beach facility open to all - no membership required. For more information, please visit annenbergbeachhouse.com. The Beach House is made possible by a generous gift from the Annenberg Foundation, at the recommendation of Wallis Annenberg, and in partnership with the City of Santa Monica and California State Parks. Additional funding was provided by the US Department of Housing & Urban Development and the federal Preserve America program.
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