“Where Frontier and Avant Garde Converge: Neutra, Wright, and Bakersfield”

The Ablin House, 1961, photographed by Paul Kiler

Open through Sunday, March 6th, the exhibition at the Bakersfield Museum of Art focuses on the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra from the 1930s to the 1960s. These include Wright’s Ablin House, 1961, and Neutra’s built and unbuilt projects in Bakersfield, including the unbuilt but beautifully rendered Falcon Flyer Country Club from the late 1920s; the Davis House, 1937, a fine representative of Neutra’s interpretation of the International Style; the Norwalk Gas Station, 1947 (altered but originally reminiscent of great Tramway Gas Station, 1963, Palm Springs, by Albert Frey) and the world’s only “handbuilt” Neutra, the post-and-beam Leddy House, 1958. The exhibition includes rare archival material presented here for the first time. This is the first time I’ve curated an exhibition, managing graphics, signage, and especially the mounting of the images and images, which in turn marshalls the choreography of the viewing experience. Collaborating with BMOA was a blast. Had I known how much fun this was, my career might have been different.

I will present my lecture Where Frontier and Avant Garde Converge: Neutra, Wright, and Bakersfield, Thursday, March 3, at 6 p.m. at the BMOA, focusing on how these two iconic architects interpreted “nature” in connection with their work.

Discounts for museum goers at the nearby Bakersfield Marriott. The city, home to the “Bakersfield Sound” of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, also has a lot of accomplished examples of second generation modernism, as well as some great stores such as modern office environments and tangerine clothing, cafes (Dagney’s), restaurants and diners, well worth a visit in its own right.

The south-facing Davis House, photographed by architect John Berley

Leddy House, Rear, 1958, photographed by James Aeby, partner of Patricia Leddy. 

2 Responses to ““Where Frontier and Avant Garde Converge: Neutra, Wright, and Bakersfield””
  1. Barbara, how come your other Neutra book is not featured? I see that the paperback import is going for $999.00!


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