In 1951, designer Greta Magnusson Grossman observed that California design was "not a superimposed style, but an answer to present conditions. . . . It has developed out of our own preferences for living in a modern way." California design influenced the material culture of the entire country, in everything from architecture to fashion. This book is the first comprehensive examination of California¿s mid-century modern design. It begins by tracing the origins of a distinctively California modernism in the 1930s ; it finds other specific design influences and innovations in solid-color commercial ceramics, inspirations from Mexico and Asia, new schools for design training, new concepts about leisure, and the conversion of wartime technologies to peacetime use.
Wendy Kaplan is Department Head and Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.