Visual Acoustics at the Crocker with Director Eric Bricker on April 7, 2011 at 7PM

"Stahl House (CSH#22)” photographed by Julius Shulman (1960)
"In a way, you can stop time." - Julius Shulman

A special screening of the documentary Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman will be held at the Crocker Art Museum on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 7:00 PM. This film celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, whose photographs brought modern architecture and progressive architects into American mainstream. Director Eric Bricker will introduce the film and lead a post-screening discussion. Anyone with an interest in Modernism, photography, architecture, and design should enjoy this film.

“Kaufmann House” photographed by Julius Shulman (1947)
Part of Crocker Art Museum's Film Frame series during "Thursdays 'til 9", Visual Acoustics is being presented in collaboration with SacMod -- an organization dedicated to promoting, preserving and protecting modern art, architecture and design in the Sacramento region -- and AIA Central Valley, the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects. 

Tickets to the event are $6 for Crocker Art Museum members and $12 for non-members. Admission to the film includes admission to the museum, which will be open until 9:00pm. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the Crocker Cafe until 8:45 PM. For more information and to order tickets online, go to

Julius Shulman, from VISUAL ACOUSTICS, an Arthouse Films release 2009. Copyright Aiken Weiss.
A self-taught photographer, Julius Shulman possessed an intuitive ability to capture spaces from the best perspective. By including people in his photographs, Shulman brought modern architecture to life.

I've been digging and cross-referencing about Julius Shulman taking photographs in Sacramento. As an added treat for folks who join us at the screening, I'll be sharing these photos.

“Julius Shulman and Richard Neutra” (1950)
Visual Acoustics highlights the importance of great design and underscores the need for further celebration, education and preservation of excellent mid-20th century architecture. The architects that Shulman worked with believed they could change the world through better design. That spirit and excitement is alive and well here in Sacramento's design community; I would like to see this further encouraged and nurtured.

Please join AIACV and SacMod at the Crocker to see this wonderful film.
All photos from VISUAL ACOUSTICS, an Arthouse Films release 2009. Copyright J. Paul Getty Trust.

Your Eichler Hostess is Calling....

Notice anything different around here? *blink blink blink*

That's right, I got a makeover. Many thanks to Ben Della Rosa for the new 'do! Check out the cute extra graphics in the left margin as you scroll down. I feel swell!

I've been slaving away in the kitchen working on serving up some new posts about mid-20th century Sacramento. I have several things on the burner and can't wait to dish them out!

In honor of my new look, thought I'd share the above ephemera with you: It's a door knob tag used by Eichler hostesses. What's an Eichler hostess? Thought you'd never ask.

Per a December 10, 2000 article by Patricia Leigh Brown for the New York Times:
"In model homes, Eames and Bertoia furniture mingled with hanging salamis and the aroma of roasting turkey, making modernism homey. 'We weren't selling, we were educating,' said Catherine Munson, a Marin County real estate broker who has sold some 3,000 Eichlers since 1958."
According to an article written by Marty Arbunich from the Eichler Network quoting the lovely Ms. Munson:
"the Eichler organization had this concept that these hostesses were to be some sweet, little housewives who told the potential buyers as they walked through how groovy it was to live in an Eichler home. We were supposed to look pretty and decorative, demonstrate the swivel table, and serve chocolate milk and graham crackers to the kids."
Consider me your Eichler hostess; I'm not selling, I'm educating.

Design Matters: Helping Disaster Victims

via Rob Dobi (with special thanks to Flyer Design Goodness)

I've been looking around for a way to best help the people of Japan and elsewhere in the aftermath of earthquakes, tsunamis, and difficult conditions with low supplies. I found a couple of organizations who have helped disaster victims in meaningful and creative ways:

ShelterBox - well-designed, efficient disaster relief specifically tailored to each situation.

Architecture for Humanity - assists in long-term rebuilding efforts.

My thoughts are with those around the world who are in crisis; I wanted to share these resources. Please feel free to share your favorite relief organizations in the comments section below.

If you build it, they will come

I'll bet you're wondering what I've been up to and if I've run out of things to say. On the contrary, I've been so busy researching, learning, and living that I simply haven't had time to share my findings here.

Speaking of learning, there will be a free screening of "I Build the Tower" at AIACV tonight at 5:45pm, hosted by the ASLA California Chapter and AIACV Emerging Professionals. This documentary is about the life and work of Sam Rodia, the Italian immigrant who built the world-famous Watts Towers. The film also includes one of the last interviews of R. Buckminster Fuller.

Check out the trailer for this film below -- I find this sort of building/sculpting absolutely fascinating. Several years ago I visited the Dickeyville Grotto and am always interested in learning about people who feel compelled to create things.

This is one of many exciting events that AIACV will be presenting this year.

As a matter of fact, AIACV and SacMod (we brought you the Sacramento Mid-Century Modern Home Tour last June) will be screening the documentary Visual Acoustics at the Crocker Art Museum auditorium on April 7, 2011 at 7pm. Also present will be director Eric Bricker, who will be introducing the film and responding to questions about the film after the screening. I'll be sharing more details about this in an upcoming post.