“California Design, 1930-1965: Living In A Modern Way,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through March 25, 2012, is a must-see. Even though the Golden State played a key role in shaping our material culture, the exhibition is, somewhat surprisingly, the first major museum survey of California design. Organized by Wendy Kaplan and Bobbye Tigerman of the museum’s department of decorative arts and design, this sprawling show features more than 350 objects, including furniture, fashion, film, graphic and industrial design, ceramics, jewelry and architectural drawings and photography.
A masterly exhibition design by the Los Angeles studio Hodgetts + Fung takes visitors on a journey through California in all its midcentury glory. Curvy white display platforms populated with examples of furnishings and objects (by designers both known and less so) snake through the elegant Renzo Piano-designed Resnick Pavilion gallery space, punctuated by vignettes that highlight particular aspects of California living as well as the state’s rich design history.