While perusing L.A. decorator Oliver Furth's site I clicked on "links" in his menu, expecting to see a list of his colleagues or maybe some design-related businesses. Instead, I found nine non-profit arts and education organizations. And the list isn't just a hollow gesture; Oliver, a fourth generation Californian, is seriously involved in his city's cultural life.
Not yet 29, he has been a member of The Decorative Arts and Design Council at LACMA for roughly eight years and was recently appointed chairman. His positive impact promoting scholarship amongst the design community, raising funds for the Museum, and basically generating enthusiasm, led Angeleno to feature him in the March 2010 issue.
[Image via LACMA.]
If you live in Los Angeles, The Decorative Arts and Design Council organizes a variety of noteworthy house tours, studio visits, trips and lectures. On Tuesday, March 23, Amelia Peck, curator, Department of American Decorative Arts at the Met, presents A New Look at Old Rooms: The Renovation of the American Period Rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Oliver told me that other upcoming events include a private tour of Watts Towers, a visit to the studio of Jorge Pardo, a tour of a very significant private collection of Americana, and a weekend trip to Santa Barbara with "house tours galore."
[Jorge Pardo, 2001. Screenprint, Sheet: 21 3/4 x 29 3/4 inches. Lily Auchincloss Fund, MoMA. © 2010 Jorge Pardo.]
Of course, since LACMA has no endowment towards new acquisitions, fundraising to support the museum in this area is one of the Council's main objectives. Oliver explained that he and other members are currently focused on pieces by California designers between 1930 and 1965, in preparation for an important exhibition of California Modernism Design.
[Photo via P.S. ARTS.]
Here is a sampling of the other organizations and institutions Oliver champions:
Habitat for Humanity
Los Angeles Antiques Show (This year's dates are April 21-25)
The Center for Early Education
Institute of Classical Architecture
Institute of Classical Architecture-Southern California Chapter
And what about his green walls? I did ask. Unfortunately, the color isn't something we can readily find in a can at the paint store. Oliver mixed it himself but didn't save the formula. The picture at top actually shows the study in his former apartment on Fountain Avenue in West Hollywood. He told me that in person the wall color was wonderfully rich and complex. Rather than just one, he hung three giant bulletin boards and "went to town" pinning up his favorite images.