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California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way


Mary Ann DeWeese, 1913–93 | Woman’s swimsuit 1961 | Spandex, Lycra | Gift of Mary Ann DeWeese, DeWeese Designs | Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) | © 2011 The Warnaco Group, Inc. All rights reserved. For Authentic Fitness Corp., Cole of California. Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.


Greg Noll, b.1937, active Hermosa Beach | Surfboard c.1960 | Polyurethane foam, fiberglass cloth, polyester resin, wood | LACMA, Gift of Matt Jacobson | Photo © 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA


Catalogue now available from the QAGOMA Store and online.

2 November 2013 – 9 February 2014 | Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) | Ticketed

'California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way' introduces Australian audiences to a broad spectrum of industrial, architectural, commercial, fashion and craft design from California.

Organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and curated by Wendy Kaplan (Curator and Department Head) and Bobbye Tigerman (Associate Curator) from LACMA’s Decorative Arts and Design Department, the exhibition presents over 250 objects, including an iconic aluminium 1936 Airstream ‘Clipper’ trailer.

Pre- and postwar Californian designers introduced numerous innovations to the design process, and exploited the availability of new materials such as moulded and shaped plywood, fibreglass, wire mesh and synthetic resins — materials and techniques, which, in many cases, grew out of the defence and aerospace industries and defined modern American material culture. Objects by the acclaimed designers Charles and Ray Eames, Henry Dreyfuss, Dorothy Wright Liebes and Raymond Loewy all feature, while the household names Levi Strauss and Mattel are profiled through displays of fashion and children’s toys.

‘California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way’ is not a timed ticketed exhibition. You are able to enter the exhibition anytime between 10am-4pm daily, with the exhibition and Gallery closing at 5pm. There is no restriction on the amount of time you spend in the space during the Gallery opening hours, you can even get a pass-out to re-enter the same day if you wish.

Photography with hand-held cameras is permitted inside the exhibition space. Share your experience and connect with us on Instagram and Twitter using #caldesign and mention @qagoma. For updates on exhibition programs and events also follow us on Facebook.

Become a QAGOMA Member to receive a free exhibition ticket.

California Design Pop-up Shop

Visit the ‘California Design’ Pop-up Shop located at the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) Stanley Street entrance for a wide range of products, publications and merchandise. Browse, buy and be inspired by the innovative design, fashion, ceramics, textiles and graphics of mid twentieth-century California.

Exhibition Catalogue
California Design 1930–1965: Living in a Modern Way
Available in-store and online at a special exhibition-only price of $79.95 (normally $110) in-store

Exhibition Sponsors


Living Edge

Virgin Australia

Brisbane City Council



Exhibition organised by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California