Cool Julius Shulman Photo in "Birth of the Cool" Show at OCMA

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo that ran in Wednesday's L.A. Times Calender section with Christopher Knight's review of the midcentury modern show "Birth of the Cool" at the Orange Country Museum of Art . Taken by the master, Julius Shulman, it shows a Pierre Koenig interior of Case Study House #21. (I'm told that is Koenig and his Suzy Parker-lookalike wife in the photo).

This photo really does capture the allure of the mythically effortless modern California lifestyle. But, honestly, I'm rather burnt out on the midcentury modernist fabulosity. I still LOVE it, don't get me wrong. But it's a shame that it's become so ridiculously elitist -- especially since most of its founders believed in providing good design for the masses. (Think a more durable, deluxe but still-cheap Ikea.) Still, it doesn't get much cooler than this. Some of my fellow oldsters might remember the glory days of finding a Herman Miller original in the thrift stores for a pittance! Sigh. No more. No more. Then again, maybe in some of those Orange County Goodwills....

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