Friday, March 19, 2010

Herbert and Mercedes Matter: The California Years with the Eames Office and Arts & Architecture. Reflections on the "Mercedes Matter Retrospective" at Pepperdine's Weisman Art Museum

I recently viewed the Mercedes Matter Retrospective exhibition at Pepperdine's Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum and luckily arrived just as Museum Director Michael Zakian was beginning a gallery talk on the show. The very enlightening lecture touched on the Matter's California years which I found intriguing. This prompted me to purchase the exhibition catalog (see below) and to dig deeper into the Matters' California period from late 1943 through late 1946. I also highly recommend the exhibition catalog to all fans of abstract and expressionist art, the avant-garde and the New York School.

(click on images to enlarge)

The following blurb is from the Weisman Art Museum web site "Mercedes Matter (1913-2001) played an important role in the mid-century modern movement. Daughter of Philadelphia modernist Arthur B. Carles, she studied with Hans Hofmann in the 1930s and was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group. During WWII she and her husband, photographer Herbert Matter, lived in Santa Monica and were close to famed designers Charles and Ray Eames. In the 1950s she became part of the Abstract Expressionist movement. Her friendships with painters such as Jackson Pollock and Philip Guston helped shape her own signature style, based on a bold, visceral response to objects in nature. This exhibition, the first major retrospective of Mercedes Matter's art, was curated by Ellen Landau, professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University. It is accompanied by a book with essays by Landau, Weisman Museum director Michael Zakian, and two other art historians."

 Mercedes Matter, "Tabletop Still Life" circa 1936 from the exhibition catalog below.

 Mercedes Matter, "Still Life With Skulls" circa 1978-93 from the catalog below.

 Herbert Matter, "Driftwood" 1940. Front cover of the Mercedes Matter exhibition catalog edited by Ellen Landau and published by MB Art Publishing Co., New York, 2009. (from my collection)

The above Mercedes Matter exhibition catalog and related Pollock Matters exhibition catalog also edited by Ellen Landau bring out much little-known material pertaining to the relationship between Mercedes and fellow May Friend Bennett School alumna and Hans Hofmann art student Ray Eames nee Kaiser and their mutual friend Lee Krasner, also a student of Hofmann. Mercedes and Ray were also very active participants in the American Abstract Artists Association and both exhibitied work in the group's inaugural exhibition in 1937. Lee later joined the group in 1939. The Archives of American Art Lee Krasner Oral History quotes Krasner "If you came into Hofmann's aura you were aware of a painter named Arthur Carles (Mercedes father)." Ray Kaiser Eames' Oral History includes many reverential quotes on Hofmann and references Herbert Matter's work with the Eameses and for Arts & Architecture.

Mercedes and Lee Krasner first met in jail after being arrested for protesting Works Progress Administration cutbacks in late 1936. Mercedes, Lee and Ray mutually suffered from the public perception of what a "women's place" was and with many others of their ilk are just now, with exhibitions like this, emerging from the shadow's of their husband's public images.

 Ray Kaiser Eames litho circa 1937 while studying under Hofmann.

The Matters moved from New York to Los Angeles in late 1943 shortly after attending the September 29th opening of close friend Alexander Calder's retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art. Mercedes, Herbert and little Alex first stayed with the Eameses in Westwood in one of Richard Neutra's recently built Strathmore Apartments which they had only moved into in 1941 upon their arrival from Cranbrook. (see below).

 Luckhaus photo. Strathmore Apts., Richard Neutra, 1937. From Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture by Thomas S. Hines, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 173. (see below in recommended reading)

The photo below illustrates the clandestine bent plywood furniture experimentation going on in the guest bedroom not long before the Matters' temporary stay. Eliot Noyes discusses the Eameses smuggling materials into the apartment after dark to avoid the landlord's wrath in his article Charles Eames in the September, 1946 issue of Arts & Architecture. Neutra was half-owner of the units at the time and his sister-in-law and mother and father-in-law were living in, and managing the apartments.

Eames Office photo of a prototype wood molding apparatus ("Kazam!" machine) in the Eames Apartment, circa 1942. Note the influences of Alexander Calder and Joan Miro in the molded-plywood mobile by Ray Eames. See the exhibition catalog Connections: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. Exhibition designed by John and Marilyn Neuhart and text by Ralph Caplan. (see recommended reading list below)

Thus it is very interesting indeed to speculate whether they were conducting this obviously messy industrial design work under the collective noses, so to speak, of the Neutra extended family and possibly having to do some heavy cleaning to prepare for the Matters arrival. (See Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture by Thomas S. Hines, Oxford University Press, 1982, p. 172). Other early tenants mentioned in Hines' book were film stars Delores Del Rio, Orson Welles and Luise Rainer and playwright husband Clifford Odets, photographer Eliot Elisofohn and John Entenza.

The Matters at El Matador Beach, Malibu on an outing with the Eameses shartly after their arrival in Los Angeles. Courtesy Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries. (From Ellen Landau collection)

Brett Weston in front of his home-studio at 537 W. Rustic Rd., Santa Monica, ca. 1943. Photo by Ralph Miller. Getty. (Author's note: Note the wood sculpture by Brett in the window. Besides his by then mature and renowned photography skills Brett became an adept sculptor learning his skills from the hand of Glendale next door neighbor and close family friend Peter Krasnow. The Monterey Museum of Art had a one-man show "In Pursuit of Form: Sculpture and Photographs by BrettWeston" in 2002. This house still exists and Mercedes Matter was close friends with Cole and Dorothy Weston during her stay.

The Matters later moved into photographer Brett Weston's house in nearby Rustic Canyon while he was away in the Armed Services (see above and below). Dissatisfied with his wartime gig with the US government designing propaganda posters, Herbert was lured west by potential design work with the Eameses through Mercedes' Hofmann Art School and American Abstract Art Association connections and friendship with Ray with whom she had stayed in touch. Being an alien he needed government approval to move, which was granted because of the Eames's Navy contract to produce their now famous molded plywood leg splints.

Brett Weston in front of his home-studio at 537 W. Rustic Rd., Santa Monica, ca. 1943. Photo by Ralph Miller. From A Restless Eye: A Biography of Photographer Brett Weston by John Charles Woods, Erica Weston Editions, 2011, p. 106.

The Matters stayed in Southern California until late 1946 when Herbert's employment was no longer restricted. During this period, Herbert's work for the Evans Products Company and Eames Office consisted of photographing design work and product and assisting with article, advertising and exhibition graphics. He also became affiliated with John Entenza's Arts & Architecture Magazine in 1944 through his association with the Eameses. (Author's note: The Matters had in the fall of 1946 decided to build a home just around the corner from Brett's house commissioning their next door neighbor, modernist architect Kenneth Lind, to design the plans. They got so far as taking out a building permit on October 10, 1946 but the plans fell through when little Alex contracted polio and the family returned to New York.).

The Eameses learned a lot from Herbert along with former Cranbrook associate and alien they saved from deportation Harry Bertoia, architects Gregory Ain and Griswold Raetze and others who also joined their team in 1942-3. Matter taught Charles how to skillfully use a 35 mm camera and mentored Ray in new ways of composing images for her graphic designs. With his photography and graphical design skills, Herbert documented the early furniture designs and war products of the Eameses. Beginning in 1944 he also created covers, photography and article layouts for Arts & Architecture and on a freelance basis for Conde Nast publications such as Vogue with assistance by Mercedes. (For a look at the Malibu Beach cottage Raetze designed for 1932 David Alfaro Siqueiros mural patron Dudley Murphy see "Glamourized Houses: Julius Shulman is a master at making them look dramatic," Life, April 11, 1949, p. 146-8 and "House at Escondido Beach, Griswold Raetze, Architect," Arts & Architecture, March 1947, pp. 26-27. For more on Murphy and Siqueiros see "Richard Neutra and the California Art Club: Pathways to the von Sternberg and Murphy Commissions").

Herbert Matter cover design, Arts & Architecture, May 1944. Courtesy of SCI-Arc Kappe Library.

Herbert didn't waste much time making a splash in the waters of the L.A. art scene as he had an exhibition of 47 of his photographs at the Los Angeles County Museum from April 16 through May 7, 1944. Work from the exhibition also appeared in the May, 1944 issue of Arts & Architecture. (See cover above and article below).

Arts & Architecture, May, 1944, article and photo spread of Mercedes and work by Alexander Calder by Herbert Matter. (from Pollock Matters, p. 67, see below)

L.A. Times art critic Arthur Millier's October 1st Brush Strokes column reported on Matter's earlier well-received County Museum show traveling to the Library Gallery in Palos Verdes Estates where it was on display through October 21. Millier states that "James Johnson Sweeney, art critic and member of the staff of the Museum of Modern Art, rates Matter high among explorers of new possibilities in photography."

Matter was also part of a group show with Evans Products colleagues Ray Eames and Harry Bertoia, fellow countryman Hans Burkhardt and other notable artists such as Man Ray, Knud Merrild, Annita Delano, Grace Clements, Circle Gallery founder Frederick I. Kann and others at the Circle Gallery on Sunset Blvd. in July through August 5th. (For much more on Delano see my Foundations of Los Angeles Modernism). The group coined themselves "The Open Circle, a formative group of abstract artists" and the gallery brochure for the show featured definitions of abstraction from Man Ray and Grace Clements. (See below). L.A. Times art critic Arthur Millier in his review of the show declared of Eames and Bertoia,
"Another original is Ray Eames. Her smaller picture (she simply labels them "Abstraction") is a little masterpiece of formal design in brown, black and grays. And don't overlook Harry Bertoia, the man who can make colored lines whizz around in all directions like the lines of melody in a good orchestral fugue." (Millier, A., "Abstract Art Enthusiasts Exhibit Work," Los Angeles Times, July 16, 1944, p. III1, 6).
Circle Gallery brochure for "The Open Circle" group show, July 1944. From the Annita Delano Papers, Archives of American Art.

Left: Herbert Matter, Maquette for unused Arts & Architecture Cover, May, 1944 (from Pollock Matters, p. 30. (see below). Right: Mercedes Matter, Still Life with Violin, c. 1940-41. (from Pollock Matters, p.13 (see below).

The above images illustrate some similarity between Mercedes' paintings and Herbert's cover designs. Herbert's "light pen" drawing from actual May 1944 cover above also appears to have been a natural evolution from the maquette illustrated above left.

Herbert Matter, "Mercedes, Provincetown" 1940, which appeared in the above May 1944 issue of Arts & Archiecture in an article on Herbert's work (see above). (frontispiece from the above catalog)

In the June 25, 1944 issue of the L.A. Times, Millier reviewed the exhibition of paintings, drawings, water colors and prints in a joint exhibition of fellow Eames Office team member Harry Bertoia and Lyonel Feininger at the Nierendorf Galleries at 8650 Sunset Blvd. Millier opined "...Bertoia, whose work is new to the region, shows an extraordinary power to create richly expressive effects with the abstract means of line and color." The cauldron of creative activity taking place in the office and the art being exhibited and published must have generated a great sense of joint pride among the design crew.

Herbert Matter photo of furniture design work under way in the Eames Office circa 1943.

Mercedes hated the isolation from her New York friends resulting from the California sojourn and the Weisman exhibition catalog includes many excerpts from letters to her mother and Lee Krasner to that effect. Mercedes was also burdened with having to raise newborn Alex which virtually halted her career in its tracks.

Selected Ray Eames cover designs for California Arts & Architecture in 1943-44 from Eames by Gloria Koenig, Taschen, 2008.

The Eameses began contributing articles to, and collaborating with, editor John Entenza for his California Arts & Architecture very shortly after arriving in California in 1941. Charles' first contribution was an article "Design Today" which appeared in the September, 1941 issue in which he discussed the role of the designer in the modern world with illustrations of work by students from his Cranbrook class. Eames' winning designs (with Eero Saarinen) in the Museum of Modern Art's "Organic Design" competition were reported on in the December, 1941 issue. Entenza soon realized the value of the Eames association by placing Charles on the masthead as an Editorial Associate and Ray as an Advisory Board member in 1942. (For more on how Entenza became involved with and acquired ownership of California Arts & Architecture in 1940 see my related post "California Arts & Architecture: A Steppingstone to Fame: Harwell Hamilton Harris and John Entenza: Two Case Studies").

Ray Eames cover designs began appearing the next year and clearly show the influences of Hans Hofmann, Joan Miro, Hans Arp, Alexander Calder, and Herbert Matter. Ray's art work first appeared on the cover of the April, 1942 issue from which time her designs appeared almost exclusively through most of 1944 when Entenza began to also feature Herbert Matter's work. An article by Ray on her art and graphic design and philosophy appeared in the September, 1943 issue and was reproduced on pp. 26-27 of Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years by Barbara Goldstein (see recommended reading below).

It is interesting to compare Ray Eames's January, 1944 California A&A cover (above left) with Herbert's 1937 photo collage (above right excerpted from Pollock Matters below) upon which his December, 1944 cover seen below was based. The implication of Matter's influence is quite evident.

Herbert Matter cover design. Arts & Architecture, December 1944. Courtesy of SCI-Arc Kappe Library.

From Arts & Architecture: The Complete Reprint 1945-1967, Taschen. (1945, all covers by Herbert Matter, from my collection)

Above and below are examples of Hebert's Arts & Architecture covers which appeared beginning in May, September, and December of 1944 and then almost exclusively during 1945-46. Beginning in 1944 he also contributed many now iconic interior layouts of designs by Charles and Ray Eames and others and prefabricated housing as well as to the overall look of the magazine during this incubation period of the Case Study House Program. Matter joined Charles Eames on the masthead as Editorial Associate in September, 1946, the same month his now iconic abstract cover of Eames furniture parts appeared. (See below bottom left).

From Arts & Architecture: The Complete Reprint 1945-1967, Taschen. (1946, all covers except Feb-Apr by Herbert Matter, from my collection)

The Matters also introduced to the pages of A&A the work of their inner circle of artist friends and colleagues from New York including Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, and Hans Hofmann. Herbert arranged for the Pollock interview in the February, 1944 issue and designed the cover of the January 1946 issue (top left above) featuring Calder's Constellation. Mercedes contributed an article on her former lover and mentor Hans Hofmann in the March 1946 issue to accompany Ray Eames's cover design featuring a section of a Hofmann drawing. (See below). Herbert also had a two-page photo spread of Calder's work published in Life Magzine in October 1944. ("Speaking of Pictures...These Mobile Sculptures Make Fanciful Patterns," Life, October 2, 1944, pp. 12-14).

 Ray Eames cover design, drawing by Hans Hoffman, Arts & Architecture, March, 1944. Courtesy of SCI-Arc Kappe Library.

From Eames Design: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames by John and Marilyn Neuhart. (from my collection)

Herbert's Arts & Architecture work continued with the above collages and ad work from the July 1944 issue dedicated to prefabricated housing. The issue was a major collaboration between Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Buckminster Fuller and Herbert and is a classic example of contemporary graphic design.

An article Modern Handmade Jewelry featuring work by Calder (and Bertoia) appeared in December, 1946. Herbert's art work continued to appear on A&A's covers during 1947 (January, February, April, October and November) and 1948 (May) and in Knoll ads in the 1950s while he continued to appear on the masthead as Editorial Associate. Herbert arranged for another Hans Hofmann appearance in 1949.

Herbert Matter photographing at Evans Products in Venice ca. 1945. Photographer unknown. (photo from the catalog and courtesy of Marilyn and John Neuhart).

Herbert Matter photo of plywood sculpture by Ray Eames circa 1943 which indicates her design influence on the shapes of the later plywood furniture. (from Work from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, July 9, 2000 auction catalog from my collection, see below)

 Herbert Matter. "Kazam!" Machine developed mainly by architect Gregory Ain to produce the molded plywood nose section below and other aircraft parts for Vultee Aircraft. (from Work from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, July 9, 2000 auction catalog from my collection, see below)

Model of the  Eames Office at 901 Venice Blvd. constructed by John and Marilyn Neuhart in 1978. (from the Wright/21/Now Eames Auction, 08 April 2010, lot 732.

Eames Office staff with plywood glider nose section also seen hanging from the ceiling in the photo below. Left to right: Charles Eames, Marion Overby, Gregory Ain, Harry Bertoia, Ray Eames, William Francis and Norman Bruns. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. Copyright, Eames Office. Scanned from Gregory Ain: The Modern House as Social Commentary by Anthony Denzer, Rizzoli, 2008. (See recommended reading list below).

May 24-October 22, 1944 Design for Use exhibition, Museum of Modern Art. (Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century, p. 214, see recommended reading list below)

Herbert Matter photographed all of the molded plywood aircraft parts seen above as well as the sculpture by Ray Eames. See the previous and following photos for examples of the work he was doing for the Eameses soon after he and Mercedes moved to California. His photos had an almost immediate impact on the east coast as they were incorporated into the important Design for Use exhibition at MOMA in 1944. The show ran concurrently with Built in USA: A Survey of Contemporary American Architecture which included much work by Richard Neutra and his progeny including Gregory Ain, Harwell Hamilton Harris and Raphael Soriano. (See recommended reading list below).

Panels designed by Charles Eames and Herbert Matter for the New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, 1946. (top and middle images from Work from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, July 9, 2000 auction catalog and bottom image from Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century, p. 274, see recommended reading list below and

The above three photos illustrate the collaborative graphics and photography which clearly captured the eye of John Entenza as adaptations of the above appeared on the the cover of, and throughout the September 1946 issue of A&A

 Herbert Matter, Alex "Pundy" Matter on Eames Elephant at the Eames Office circa 1945. From Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century, MIT Press, 1995. (see below) Also referenced in the Guide to the Herbert Matter Papers at Stanford University;query=alex%20matter;style=oac4;view=dsc;dsc.position=1#hitNum15

Alex "Pundy" Matter was a big fan of the Eames Office and their products as can be seen in the 1945 photo above. He also made his Arts & Architecture debut on the below cover of the April 1945 issue.

Herbert Matter Cover Design with photo of Alex "Pundy" Matter. Arts & Architecture, April 1945. (from my collection)

The Eameses and John Entenza on the future site of Case Study Houses 8 & 9 in Pacific Palisades. From Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century, MIT Press, 1995, p. 105. Photographer unknown. (Copyright Lucia Eames Demetrious dba Eames Office). (see below)

Mercedes Matter recalled a circa 1945-6 dinner discussion at their place in the Weston House in Rustic Canyon regarding the design of the Entenza house at the above site. (From p. 68 of Joseph Giovannini's  The Office of Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser: The Material Trail in the below catalog for the exhibition The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: The Legacy of Invention.) She was referring to Charles' inability to remember attribution of ideas. During dinner he asked Mercedes what she would do if she were designing a house. She said 
"I'd have a room, a studio without any windows, just a skylight, because I would want it to be, a room that I would be completely private in, turned inward, so I wouldn't be distracted by looking at anything outside. And literally, three weeks later, he came over with a model of the house and said, 'Here is a room without any windows, it's a study, completely private, turned inward.' He used my words, and innocently: he didn't even remember. I was staggered. What Charles did was to organize the whole thing." 

 New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames, Museum of Modern Art, 1946. Photo by the Office of Charles and Ray Eames. From the exhibition catalog Connections: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames by John and Marilyn Neuhart with text by Ralph Caplan. (see recommended reading list below)

Herbert Matter. Publicity photo for the the Museum of Modern Art's 1946 New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames exhibition, with stabile by Matter family friend Alexander Calder. From The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention, Abrams, 1997. (see below)

Herbert Matter circa 1946. (left from Work from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, July 9, 2000 auction catalog below and right from the September, 1946 issue of Arts & Architecture, p.37)

The above four images indicate how the Eames Office crew was effectively collaborating on all cylinders to not only prepare for the very important 1946 MOMA New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames exhibition (top photo) but to prepare images and graphics for the equally important September, 1946 Arts & Architecture cover story Charles Eames by Museum of Modern Art Director of Industrial Design Eliot Noyes (see cover and centerfold below). The crew developed the device specifically for the MOMA show to demonstrate the strength and durability of the plywood chairs by letting them tumble around inside the rotating drum.  Herbert built upon that idea with the time lapse photo used to creatively illustrate the chair in the magazine. The Table of Contents touts the Charles Eames article "An article on the most significant development in the design and manufacture of furniture in America."

Herbert Matter cover design, September, 1946 issue of Arts & Architecture. promotional postcard from Taschen for  Arts & Architecture: The Complete Reprint 1945-1967, Taschen, 2008. (from my collection)

Herbert Matter photo collage of aircraft and furniture parts and leg splint from the centerfold of the September, 1946 issue of Arts & Architecture. (from my collection)

Anxious to get back, the Matters returned to New York in late 1946 leaving behind and taking with them quite a legacy of collaborative ideas and images for the Eameses and themselves to build upon for future articles, exhibition designs and product advertising layout. Mercedes quickly and elatedly caught up with her friends, resumed her career and became an important part of the Abstract Expressionist movement. The Matters' relatively short time in Los Angeles provided a great example of east coast - west coast artistic and design cross-pollination in the creative crucibles of the Eames Office and John Entenza's Arts & Architecture during this very fertile period in Southern California design.

Mercedes Matter, "Tabletop Still Life," ca. 1985 (from the catalog).

Mercedes Matter, "Landscape, Truro (Provincetown)" 1937 (from the caatalog).

The rest of the Mercedes Matter story, both before and after the California years, is very interesting reading indeed spiced with the affairs with Hans Hofmann, Arshile Gorky, and Philip Guston and much on her father, noted artist Arthur B. Carles, her inner circle of Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and others and her founding in 1963 of the New York Studio School in Greenwich Village. The very well-researched catalog with a major essay by Ellen Landau, from which I gleaned much of the above information, and others by Sandra Kraskin, Phyllis Braff and Weisman Art Museum Director Michael Zakian also includes 126 full-page color plates and a chronology is well worth the investment.

The research I conducted in writing this post triggers in my mind the need for an exhibition and/or articles that explore the interrelated lives of Mercedes Carles Matter, Ray Kaiser Eames and Lee Krasner and the profound influence Hans Hofmann had on them (and others) in the formative years of abstract art in the 1930s. One can't help but think what this trio could have accomplished if they had not been bridled by the overpowering persona's of their husbands.

Recommended Further Reading:

To gain a sense of Mercedes Matter's early influence from her father's work:

 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 1983. (from my collection).

For more on the relationship between the Matters and the Pollocks (and Eameses) see:

For much more on the life of the Eameses, the Matter - Eames relationship and much more see:

Charles and Ray Eames: Designers of the Twentieth Century, MIT Press, 1995. (from my collection)

Below is a gem of an exhibition catalog from 1976 which includes many related images.

Connections: The Work of Charles and Ray Eames. Exhibition designed by John and Marilyn Neuhart and text by Ralph Caplan. Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, UCLA. 1976. Cover Design by Eames Work Spaces. (from my collection)

The below very well researched and annotated auction catalog includes many lots of black and white photos by Herbert Matter from the collection of John and Marilyn Neuhart illustrating the work and design processes at the Eames Office during the 1940s with prices realized ranging between $1,000 and $4,000.

 Work from the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, Auction July 9, 2000, by Peter Loughery, LA Modern Auctions. (from my collection)

For a detailed look into everything Eames see:

 Eames Design: The Work of the Office of Charles and Ray Eames, John and Marilyn Neuhart, Abrams, 1989. (from my collection)

For a very insightful essay on the importance of Ray Eames to the Eames partnership, see Joseph Giovannini's  The Office of Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser: The Material Trail in the below catalog for the exhibition The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: The Legacy of Invention organized by the Library of Congress and the Vitra Design Museum. The essay also includes in the end notes reminiscences by Harry Bertoia and Florence Knoll Bassett of both of the Matters having input in particular design decisions to get Charles on the right track towards producing segmental chairs.

For a complete look at all of the Eames - Matters post-1944 contributions to Arts & architecture see the essential:

Arts & Architecture: The Complete Reprint 1945-1954, Taschen, 2008. (from my collection)

For much on the Eames - Entenza relationship, features on both Ray and Charles and the Eames - Matters contributions to Arts & Architecture including the February, 1944 feature on Jackson Pollock see:
 Arts & Architecture: The Entenza Years edited by Barbara Goldstein, MIT Press, 1990. (from my collection)

For excellent discourse on Herbert Matter's and Ray Eames' work for Arts & Architecture and an analysis of his important January, 1945 Case Study Program cover and her previously-mentioned January, 1944 cover see Lorraine Wild's essay Formal, Cool, Dense: Graphic Design in Los Angeles at Midcentury in the catalog for the Oct. 7, 2007 - Jan. 6, 2008 exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art:

Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury edited by Elizabeth Armstrong, Prestel, 2007 (from my collection) 

See more on the Eameses' furniture designs and Matter's graphical displays and photos of same in the above in another excellent essay, The Migration of Modernism: From the Turn-of-the-Century Vienna to Midcentury Los Angeles by Michael Boyd.

 For much on Ain's time with Neutra and the Strathmore Apts. see below:

Richard Neutra and the Search for Modern Architecture by Thomas S. Hines, Oxford University Press, 1982. (from my collection)

For much on the Ain years spent at the Eames Office and earlier with Richard Neutra see:

 Gregory Ain: The Modern Home as Social Commentary by Anthony Denzer, Rizzoli, 2008. (from my collection)

For architecture by Gregory Ain which was exhibited at MOMA concurrently with the Eames Office aircraft products included in the 1944 Design for Use exhibition discussed above see Built in USA, 1932-1944 below. This important exhibition was intended to illustrate how modern architecture had progressed since MOMA's seminal 1932 Modern Architecture exhibition and also includes work by Ain mentor Richard Neutra and other Neutra proteges Harwell Hamilton Harris and Raphael Soriano.

 Built in USA, 1932-1944, edited by Elizabeth Mock, Museum of Modern Art, 1944. (from my collection)

For more on the photography and graphic design of Herbert Matter see the below exhibition catalog featuring the January, 1945 cover of Arts & Architecture on the cover of the catalog. The Herbert Matter archive is housed at Stanford University. The exhibition was curated by Jeffrey Head who also provided the text for the catalog.

Herbert Matter Modernist Photography and Graphic Design, Stanford University Libraries, 2005. (from my collection)

Watch for the soon to be released "The Visual Language of Herbert Matter." See trailer below.


The USPS has also just issued stamps with Hofmann's "Golden Wall" from 1961 and Jackson Pollock's "Convergence" from 1952. (see press release at stamps below.

Doug Harvey, L.A. Weekly Review: