Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010 Architecture & the City Film Series

Celebrate the relationship between architecture and celluloid through this five-part series of documentary films, which spotlight the built environment, the architectural profession and the ever-mythical architect’s ego.

The films will be presented on every Wednesday in September at 6:00 pm in the San Francisco Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. Each program is free, but registration is required. Register at

September 1
- The Last Wright (directed by Lucille Carra; 55 minutes)

In 1908, when Frank Lloyd Wright was considered the most innovative architect in Chicago, he traveled to Mason City, Iowa, to design a unique, mixed-use city block—a bank and an adjoining hotel facing a park. This film offers a provocative, ironic tapestry of an American century, tracing the life, death and rebirth of a Midwest downtown through the prism of The Park Inn.

Park Inn Hotel and City National Bank Building by Frank Lloyd Wright (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

September 8 - Make No Little Plans: Daniel Burnham and the American City (directed by Judith Paine McBrien; 50 minutes)

Few individuals have had more impact on the American city than architect and planner Daniel Hudson Burnham. Among his firm’s best known works are the Flatiron building in New York, Union station in Washington, DC and The Field Museum in Chicago.

September 15 - Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner (directed by Murray Gregor; 90 minutes)

Infinite Space traces the lifelong quest of visionary genius John Lautner to create “architecture that has no beginning and no end.” As a young man, Lautner broke from his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright, and went west to California to forge his own architecture. His life was marked by innovation and inspiration, endless battles with building codes, an accidental leap into the epicenter of pop culture, bitterness at lost opportunities, and finally, monumental achievement.

Segel House in Malibu, California by John Lautner (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

September 22 - A Necessary Ruin and Other Architectural Shorts (directed by Evan Mather; 50 minutes)

A Necessary Ruin relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the history of the 1958 Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, designed according to the engineering principles of visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller. The evening also features The Image of the City and So What?, among other architectural shorts, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker.

Union Tank Car Dome by Buckminster Fuller (source: Buckminster Fuller Institute)

September 30 - FLOW (directed by Irena Salina; 84 minutes)

Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigates what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century—The World Water Crisis. Salina builds a case against the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, human rights, and the emergence of a domineering world water cartel.

These programs are a joint presentation of the San Francisco Public Library and AIA San Francisco. The film series is generously made possible in part by the LEF Foundation.

The complete schedule for the 2010 Architecture and the City Festival

A Reading List of Recent Reference Titles:

Frank Lloyd Wright From Within Outward (Guggenheim Museum, 2009).

Daniel H. Burnham: Visionary Architect and Planner by Kristen Schaffer (Rizzoli, 2003).

Between Earth and Heaven: The Architecture of John Lautner (Rizzoli International Publications, 2008).

Buckminster Fuller: Starting with the Universe (Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

California Art Research - available online

Fisherman's Wharf Boathouse by Dong Kingman (from California Art Research, volume 20, part 2). has recently finished scanning our 20 volume set of California Art Research originally published by the Works Project Administration in 1937.

Here is a list of each volume with a link to the online version.

Volume 1 - Charles Christian Nahl and the Nahl family

Volume 2 - William Keith, Thomas Hill, Albert Bierstadt

Volume 3 - Toby Rosenthal, Dominico [Domenico] Tojetti, Thaddeus Welch, Charles Dorman Robinson

Volume 4 - Jules Tavernier, Emil Carlsen, Amedee Joullin, Christian Jorgenson, Julian Rix, Virgil Williams

Volume 5 - Evelyn A. Withrow, Mary C. Richardson, Joseph Raphael, Charles Grant, Henry J. Breuer, Arthur Atkins

Volume 6 - Arthur Putnam, Robert I. Aitken, Douglas Tilden, Earl Cummings

Volume 7 - Arthur Mathews, Gottardo Piazzoni, Anne Bremer

Volume 8 - Maynard Dixon, Frank Van Sloun

Volume 9 - Ray Boynton, Ernest Peixotto, Francis McComas, H. W. Hansen, Armin Hansen

Volume 10 - Charles Dickman, Xavier Martinez, Charles R. Peters, Theodore Wores

Volume 11 - Giuseppe Cadenasso, Nelson Poole, Rinaldo Cuneo

Volume 12 - Rowena M. Abdy, Geneve R. Sargeant, E. Charlton Fortune, Clark Hobart

Volume 13 - Matteo Sandona, Gleb Ilyin, Peter Ilyin, Nadine Ilyin, J. Moya del Pino

Volume 14 - Ralph Stackpole, Jo Mora, Bejamino Bufano

Volume 15 - Lee Randolph, Gertrude P. Albright, Oliver Albright, Constance Macky, E. Spencer Macky

Volume 16 - Margaret Bruton, Esther Bruton, Helen Bruton, Helen Forbes, Edith Hamlin, Ruth B. Cravath

Volume 17 - Robert Boardman Howard, Charles Houghton Howard, John Langley Howard, Adaline Kent, Jane Berlandina

Volume 18 - Ray Bethers, Julius Pommer, William Gaw, Joseph M. Sheridan

Volume 19 - Lucien Labaudt, Otis Oldfield, Mathew Barnes

Volume 20, Part 1 - George Booth Post, William Jurgen Hesthall, Dong Kingman, Jacques Schnier, Sergey John Scherbakoff, Dorothy Wagner Puccinelli, Raymond Puccinelli, Yoshida Sediko, Victor Mikhail Arnautoff, Frank Walter Bergman

Volume 20, Part 2 - Maxine Albro, Chin Chee, Bernard Zakheim, Andree Rexroth, Chiura Obata

Earlier blog entry: California Art Research (April 9, 2008)

The Road by Xavier Martinez (from California Art Research, volume 10)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Large Screen Videos: Opera Series 2010

Valkyrien (1869) by Peter Nicolai Arbo (source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Audiovisual and Bernard Osher Art, Music & Recreation Centers of the San Francisco Public Library in association with San Francisco Opera Guild present their annual program of large screen videos. These programs feature selected clips of previously film productions of operas from the upcoming San Francisco Opera season. Narration and commentary is provided by Opera Guild director George F. Lucas.

The August 5th program featured a screening of excerpts from a 2005 Wiener Staatsoper performance of Werther by Jules Massenet.

On Thursday August 12, 2010 we will present The Makropulos Case by Leoš Janáček in a 1995 production from the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. This performance is conducted by Andrew Davis, with Anja Silja as Emilia Marty and Kim Begley as Albert Gregor.

The Thursday August 19 and 26 programs will be devoted to Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung. The first week will cover the Prologue and Act One. Acts Two and Three will be discussed the following week. We will show a 2009 production from Palau de les Arts "Reina Sofia" Valencia, conducted by Zubin Mehta, with Lance Ryan as Siegfried, Jennifer Wilson as Brünnhilde and Matti Salminen as Hagen.

Each screening begins at noon at the Koret Auditorium, Main Library, Lower Level and will last approximately 60 minutes. All programs at the Library are free and open to the public. This program is supported by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

The library also has scores, recordings, and libretti for The Makropulos Affair and Götterdämmerung for circulation.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Celebrity Black Book 2009 Deluxe Edition

One facet of our department's subjects of Art, Music and Recreation is that they are all intertwined with the world of celebrity. Hollywood stars, Broadway actors, rock musicians, rappers, television hosts, visual artists, photographers and athletes can all achieve notoriety
in the fields.

The current edition of the Celebrity Black Book has contact information for more than 55,000 public figures of all kinds. The information provided is limited to only mailing addresses. These mailing addresses are usually those of the celebrity's business agent, professional team, company or business, or talent agency. Only rarely is a home address provided.

The Star Guide is another similar resource, however, since it was last updated in 2005 the information may not be sufficiently current.

We also use other more specialized locating for finding contact information. For example, there is the Players Directory for Hollywood actors and actresses. This source provides head shots along with agency contact information. In the world of popular music there are two excellent resources: The Billboard International Talent & Touring Guide and Pollstar's Artist Management Directory. Finally, for locating classical musicians there is the Musical America Worldwide directory.

All of these resources are available at the Art, Music & Recreation Center on the 4th floor of the Main Library.

The Celebrity Black Book, 19th edition (Contact Any Celebrity, 2009).

Star Guide (Axiom Information Resources, 2005).

Players Directory (Now Casting, Inc., 2008).

Billboard Talent & Touring International Guide (VNU Business Publications, 2010).

Pollstar. Artist Management Directory (Pollstar, 2010).

Musical America Worldwide: International Directory of the Performing Arts (Commonwealth Business Media, Inc., 2009).