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 2013-2014 Sidney D. Gamble Lecture Series

Pasadena Rosa Parade 1957

Engaging, fun and eye-opening architectural presentations by and on local "California Originals" are slated for this year's Sidney D. Gamble Lecture Series, sponsored by the Friends of the Gamble House (FoGH).

This year's lectures and tours present an unique taste of architectural styles, inspirations and designs that could only be found in California. Series subscriptions are available to the public and members of the Friends of the Gamble House.


April 29, 2014

Esther McCoy: Piecing Together LA

Susan Morgan

May 3, 2014

Tour: Esther McCoy Collection

Additional Information

Lecture locations, parking, etc.

Buy Tickets

$25 FoGH Members
$30 Non-Members

Esther McCoy
Esther McCoy at her drafting board, mid-1940s. Courtesy of Esther McCoy Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Piecing Together LA

Lecture by Susan Morgan

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 7:00 p.m.

Esther McCoy (1904–1989) was one of the foremost architectural writers of the twentieth century. A gifted literary stylist and keen social critic, her work recognized the genesis of American modernism, witnessed the birth of mid-century design, and ignited public awareness. McCoy's book Five California Architects (1960) has long been acknowledged as an indispensable classic. As Reyner Banham declared, “No one can write about architecture in California without acknowledging her as the mother of us all.” Throughout her sixty-year career, McCoy worked variously as an author, editorial scout, lecturer, screenwriter, architectural preservationist, and exhibition curator; her life charted the progressive edge of American idealism from the utopian spirit of Jazz Age Greenwich Village through the radical evolution of post-war architecture.

Susan Morgan: Susan has written extensively about art, design, and cultural biography. Her work has been featured in exhibition catalogues, artist’s monographs, and mainstream publications ranging from the New York Times to the World of Interiors. A former contributing editor for InterviewMirabella, and Metropolitan Home, she is a contributing editor forAperture and, the collaborative online art journal and archive. With support from the Graham Foundation, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, and the Smithsonian Institution, Morgan has been researching the life and work of writer Esther McCoy. She is editor of Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader (2012), the first McCoy anthology, and cocurator (with Kimberli Meyer) of Sympathetic Seeing (2011), for the MAK Center at the R. M. Schindler House, West Hollywood, CA.

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Buy Tickets

$20 FoGH Members
$25 Non-Members

Esther McCoy
Esther McCoy posing in the George P. Turner Residence, Flintridge, 1947, Maynard L. Parker, photographer. Courtesy of The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

The Esther McCoy Collection

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Choice of 10:00 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. tour

Location Details To Be Announced To Ticketholders

The Esther McCoy Collection at the Greene and Greene Archives contains McCoy’s library, including over 500 books, at least as many periodicals, and numerous copies of her own publications. McCoy can be credited with introducing Greene and Greene to a wider audience with her book Five California Architects (1960). Her library collection focuses on early 20th century architecture; many of the books are autographed gifts to McCoy by their authors, a testament to her wide-ranging friendships in the field. She was not only an authority on Southern California architecture, but also on Mexican and Italian architecture of the period.

For this display at the Archives, items will be selected to illustrate McCoy’s friendships in the world of architecture as well as to show unusual or rare examples of architectural publications. To brush up beforehand, attend the lecture on April 29th and consult the Archives of American Art which holds the papers of Esther McCoy.

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Additional information

Lectures take place at: The Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena, 91103 - adjacent to The Gamble House. View directions. Free parking is available in the adjacent lot.

Doors open 1/2 hour prior to lecture time. Reservations are strongly recommended, tickets will only be available at the door as space permits.

A generous gift from members of the Sidney D. Gamble family ensures this annual presentation by notable authors and speakers will continue. Sponsored by the Friends of The Gamble House.

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Charles and Henry Greene’s 1908 masterpiece of the American Arts and Crafts movement

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