CLAREMONT MODERN: Post-War California Dreaming

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October 9–30, 2011

The annual Claremont Heritage Home Tour highlighted examples of Claremont’s exceptional and unique mid- 20th century residential architecture. The tour included a home designed by Richard Neutra and the homes of artists Karl Benjamin and Harrison McIntosh designed by Fred McDowell. David Shearer is curating the accompanying exhibition in the Ginger Elliot gallery which will look at how home design was integrated with local arts, crafts and furnishings for the modern lifestyle.

Karl Benjamin Studio

The home and studio of Karl Benjamin was on the Heritage Home tour on October 9, 2011. Photo by Louie Rios.

Claremont was fertile ground for the new thinking in art and design in the years after World War II. Hidden among the Victorian and Arts & Crafts-era homes are modernist masterpieces by the likes of Cliff May, A. Quincy Jones, Theodore Criley, Buff and Hensman and others.

The tour included homes by distinguished architects and designers such as Richard Neutra, Foster Rhodes Jackson, Fred McDowell and Everett Tozier. Significant modern artists, including painter Karl Benjamin and ceramicist Harrison McIntosh, also worked in Claremont in those years in a unique environment that fostered collaborations between artists and designers.

The remarkable confluence of these artists and architects had a profound and lasting impact upon the broader movement of Southern California Modernism. Few places of such small geographic area have produced such a plethora of outstanding work across so many disciplines as did Claremont in the 1940s, ‘50s and 60’s.