Sunday, July 3, 2011

California Houses

On June 19th my man, Andrew Ferren, added another NY Times article to my essential list of house museum resources. As you no doubt recall from my January 3, 2011 blog entry, he has written two others, one on London, England and an earlier piece on Washington, D.C.

His articles pull together a handful of interesting house museums in one locale. This latest, "California Houses as Celebrities in Themselves" is on the Los Angles, CA. area.

Homes featured in the article include:

Gamble House 1907-1909 : Pasadena: Charles and Henry Greene architects

VDL II House 1932 : Hollywood: Richard Neutra architect

Schindler House 1921-1922 : West Hollywood: Rudolf Schindler architect

Eames House 1949 : Pacific Palisades: Charles and Ray Eames architects

I was reminded of Ferren's London article last night as we watched the 1960 movie, The Grass is Greener with Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Jean Simmons, and Robert Mitchum. In that article Ferren compares house museums with street lights, citing that they are equally ubiquitous in London. That's true in Great Britain in general as well.

The movie is about an earl and countess who live in a "stately house" in the English countryside. Stately house is one of several expressions used for house museums in England.

According to Cary Grant or rather the Earl's calculations, there are 400 stately homes in England. The count is now up to 500, an increase of 100 in 51 years. I found some interesting websites and plan to do further research. I certainly would like to do that over there in person but I'll have to opt for an on line effort first.

By the way we were sort of tickled with the movie. It had house museums and fly fishing. Not often you see those two topics tied together. But even with that I wouldn't rate the movie too highly. It was originally a play and apparently they did little rewriting for the film. We fast forwarded through 25 minutes of straight dialogue that had one scene change and no costume changes. Talk about SLOW pace!

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