Introduction

“New and Native”

Hailed by the American Institute of Architects as “formulators of a new and native architecture,” Charles Sumner Greene (1868–1957) and Henry Mather Greene (1870–1954) designed houses and furnishings a century ago that established a new paradigm for the art of architecture in the United States. Drawing on the skills of outstanding craftsmen, as well as their own polytechnic training, formal architectural education, and natural artistic sensibilities, Greene and Greene created legendary living environments that were both beautiful and functional.

The flowering of the Greenes’ careers together was brief and typically benefited a discriminating and wealthy clientele. They produced their most characteristic work between 1906 and 1914, primarily in and around Pasadena. Of their fully coordinated houses and interior furnishings, only the Gamble House — owned since 1966 by the City of Pasadena and preserved as a publicly accessible landmark by the University of Southern California School of Architecture — survives intact.

“A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene” presents for the first time a diverse range of Greene and Greene work — conceptual sketches, drawings, furnishings and fixtures, in many cases long-separated from their houses and from each other. Together the works highlight the component parts essential to an appreciation of the interdependent quality of Greene and Greene’s output.

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