[Charles Eames and Ray Eames, Elephant, 1945, molded plywood, from the LACMA exhibition, California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”.]
The real animals have long been so beloved that even Charles and Ray Eames "succumbed to their charms and in 1945 designed a toy elephant made of plywood," notes LACMA. Although the Eames creature never made it into mass production, the Museum's gift shop is now offering a plastic version for kids. And the original prototype, above, is included in LACMA's soon-to-open, very major exhibition, California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way".
Initially lured in by the image chosen for the exhibition catalogue cover (Saul Bass for Capitol Records, Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color, 1956), I couldn't resist buying the book. In keeping with the innovative spirit of the show -- which explores how midcentury modern California design and style profoundly impacted the material culture of the entire United States -- LACMA is offering both electronic and traditional print versions of the catalogue. Ordinarily I like my exhibition books in trad hardcover but today I gave in to the more budget-friendly, space-saving option. It did not disappoint. I've been zooming in on all the luscious California pottery and the vintage shelter mag covers.
California Design, 1930–1965 encompasses textiles, furniture, architecture, pottery, fashion and other elements and represents the first monumental study of its kind. You may have seen the L.A. Times' terrific time-lapse video covering the complete deconstruction and re-installation of the Eames living room for the show, which BTW will be on view October 1, 2011 through March 25, 2012.
Also of interest:
Album Cover Art
Very Last Century
The Human Touch