“Built for Health”
Sunlight used to be considered medicinal, a substance doctors prescribed in measured daily doses. Such early 20th-century ideas about health also impacted housing.
Dark, crowded dwellings were thought to breed illness, while new open plan interiors, broad glass windows and indoor-outdoor spaces invited sunshine and offered a curative atmosphere. As doctors and architects began collaborating on European sanatoriums, the results ranged from eccentric sun-chasing devices to now-famed modernist landmarks. These health-focused designs soon shaped mass and individual housing and even furniture.
When imported to the West Coast by immigrant architects, they influenced California Modernism as well. Two homes by Richard Neutra for clients who worked in the medical and fitness fields offer fascinating case studies. His “Health House” for naturopathic doctor and charismatic health guru Philip Lovell in Los Angeles and his Palm Springs “Mensendieck” house for Grace Miller, a teacher of (often nude) women’s calisthenics, potently link local modernism to its European roots in salubrious design.
Book signing by Lyra Kilston to follow.
Palm Springs Modernism Week
February 23, 2019, 10 a.m.
News: An excerpt of Sun Seekers: The Cure of California is forthcoming from Berlin’s Cabinet magazine.
In Search of the First Line: Artist talk with Noémie Goudal & Lyra Kilston
Moderated by Asha Bukojemsky
October 6, 2018 at the Richard Neutra VDL House in Silver Lake
Creative Migration is pleased to announce French photographer and visual artist Noémie Goudal in residence at the historic Neutra VDL House in Silver Lake, Los Angeles. Throughout her stay, Goudal will be conducting research for a forthcoming exhibition in California, slated for 2020 and curated by Creative Migration.
Goudal will be in conversation with writer and editor Lyra Kilston, Saturday, October 6 at 7pm at the VDL House to introduce the artist and her work to American audiences. Moderated by Asha Bukojemsky, independent curator and writer.