Frank Bros: The Store that Modernized Modern
Jan. 28-April 9
University Art Museum
Cal State Long Beach
Celebrating a little-known chapter in the history of California modernism, the University Art Museum at CSULB presents Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern. On view from January 28–April 9, 2017, the exhibition relates the story of Southern California’s largest and most prominent mid-century retailer of modern furniture and design. Based in Long Beach from 1938–1982, Frank Bros. embodied the optimistic post-war ethos of the American consumer, bringing fresh and exciting designs to the public not only through well-sourced inventory but with an innovative program of advertising, mailers, exhibitions and off-site custom interiors. As an exemplar of California modernism, Frank Bros. fueled and shaped the market for good design.
Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern investigates the legacy of a store that blurred the boundaries between art and commerce and functioned as a laboratory for new ideas in interior design, marketing and public relations. Guest-curated by Cara Mullio and Jennifer M. Volland, the exhibition draws largely from the Frank Brothers archives at the Getty Research Institute and the Frank family personal collection. Highlights include original artwork and graphic material, newly uncovered Julius Shulman color photographs, and furniture designs by Neal Small, Stacy Dukes, and Charles and Ray Eames.
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