The evening began in the lobby of the beautiful Autry National Center, where attendees enjoyed delicious food and drinks while they mingled. Trusteeship member Lisa See opened the program, speaking about her long-term involvement at the Autry and its importance in spotlighting the history of women in the settling of the West. “People think about cowboys and Indians,” said Lisa, “but it’s so much more than that.” Members and guests were then introduced to Bill Stern, Curator and Director of the Museum of California Design and also Curator of the California’s Designing Women: 1896-1986 exhibit. Bill led a tour of the exhibit with the addition of lively anecdotes from two talented Trusteeship sisters-Deborah Sussman and April Greiman-whose work is part of the exhibit.
The tour provided a fascinating look into the history of women designers in California, as well as enlightening the group about the relationship between design and what’s going on around it. “You can see the Chinese influence when there was major immigration from that country…and in the post-World War II period there was a definite turn to modernity and functional furniture when tens of thousands of ex-military personnel came to our state,” said Bill. Clothing, posters, furniture, toys, computer graphics, artwork-each distinct element added up to what turned out to be a history lesson without the studying!
Judy Frank, Chris Essel & Claire Rothman
Anne Reiss Lane & Jean Bixby Smith