Category: simplicity

ISHI CAMP SNAPSHOTS IN WILDERNESS

byron wolfe ishi

In putting together the images for our last Ishi post, we came upon the photo reconstructions of Byron Wolfe including this fantastic image taken of a second trip with Ishi, 100 years after Ishi’s own, to the same swimming hole of the legendary campout of May 1914.

Calisphere’s Guide to Ethnographic Field Photos contains the vast photo documentation of 1914 camp photos by anthropologist Alfred Kroeber and surgeon-archer Saxton Pope as they return with Ishi to his ancestral hideout and home.  Both specimen and friend, the  relationship of Ishi, the last California aboriginal, and his academic buddies from the University of California was complicated. Continue reading

ISHI CAMP SNAPSHOTS: HISTORICAL RECONSTRUCTIONS

ishi captured 355  ishi 2 at UC Museum of Anthropology 350

Ishi died 100 years ago, March 25, 1916–anthropology’s man of two worlds, the last stone age man, the last wild man, museum specimen, and closest friend.   Raised on the Ishi story, we commemorate this sad centennial with reflections on his friendships cut-short, his camping experience, his influence on modern archery, and beyond to his architectural influence and its own untimely end. Continue reading

EICHLERS: FRONT DOOR TO A SUBLIMINAL SUBURBIA

With an enthusiasm for mid-century modernism sparked by his home renovation my brother engaged in a fantastically obsessive photo study of the front doors of homes in  Eichler housing tracts at FairhillsFairhaven and Fairmeadow in  LA and Orange counties as shown above.  Continue reading

LAST OUTPOSTS: VICTORIANS AND PENTECOSTALS OF THE WESTERN ADDITION

The First Apostolic Faith Church displays a Pentecostal purity of form in stark contrast to the ornament laden Victorians that populate the neighborhood. Cleansed of its Victorian ornament to a powerful austerity and a puritanical severity, the First Apostolic Faith Church at Pierce and Bush, top, provides an affordable and architectural alternative to the prevailing upper middle class styling common in Lower Pacific Heights in Western Addition’s upper end.  It represents one of many small and endangered churches still active as its supporting congregation is pushed out of the neighborhood to make way for a less evangelical population.  Continue reading

BETTER WURSTER?

Along with San Francisco’s  Bank of America Building and Ghiradelli Square, the Clark Beach House in elevation above and immortalized on PG&E’s heliodon machine left, counts among the most published and recognized of the work from the office of the architect William Wilson Wurster, one time west coast darling, and educational innovator as  Dean at MIT and UC Berkeley’s re-envisioned Environmental Design Department.  Known for his serious understatement and disdain for luxury and over-designing, his work remains largely disregarded today seemingly as a result.  With the One Percent currently under attack, the possibility for a resurgence of  modesty in home design seems better than any time since the Reign of Terror.  Continue reading