Frank Bros / LB

Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern, at the University Art Museum at CSULB 
Curated by Cara Mullio and Jennifer M. Volland. The exhibition sources the Frank Brothers archives at the Getty Research Institute and the Frank family collection.
Photo: Julius Shulman, Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern

Unlike the Eames, the Frank Bros. were actually brothers. Maurice and Edward Frank joined forces to continue on with the family's furniture business. They opened Frank Bros in Long Beach in 1938. It was first located in downtown, and then relocated to Long Beach Boulevard, where it remained until 1982. It was one of the great retail entities bringing modern to the masses in post-war America.

 A wall of the store's Arts & Architecture magazine ads.



I didn't see this one in the exhibition, but with Maurice Martine, Eero Saarinen and Jens Risom, it's one of my favorites.

Source: Arts & Architecture


Frank Bros aligned themselves with the best architectural projects of the time, like the Mutual Housing Pilot House by A. Quincy Jones, Whitney R. Smith and Edgardo Contini. They brought the best to the Pilot House. There's Greta Grossman, Stan Hawk, and Maurice Martine.
Source: Arts & Architecture 
Pilot House interior
Source: Arts & Architecture 

It doesn't get much better than this. 

Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute

Arts & Architecture editor John Entenza went to Frank Bros for the magazine's Case Study House program. Here is CSH 23 TRIAD in La Jolla, by Edward Killingsworth.
Source: Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute


Source: Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute

The Frank Bros delivery truck in front of CSH 23. Those are Shulman mark ups on the photo.

Source: Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute via Modern San Diego


 Ed also put his money where his house is. He hired Killingsowrth to design his own home, Case Study House 25.
Killingsworth was also hired to remodel the Frank Bros showroom. 

CSH 25

 Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust. Getty Research Institute



It's no surprise where the furniture came from. This is the list from Arts & Architecture. 

More on CSH 25, here

The Scandi invasion came in the late 1950s. These pieces come directly from the Frank family home.

Dansk Kobenstyle. A modern pot in every house. 

Ephemera is gold


Frank Bros also hosted a number of exhibitions at the store. In 1968 they held one on Eames.
There's no doubt they sold a lot of Eames over the years. However, they did not sell any La Chaise lounges. Vitra didn't start producing them until 1990. Other than that, there was only one and MoMA NY has it. 


Frank Bros window display. The book says the photo is from 1969, but that sure looks like like an early round DCM frame mount on the right. The grain on the DCW is incredible. Yeah I know, Eames dorks are annoying. 
Photo: Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern

Selections from California Design X was another exhibition they held in 1968.

Items that were selected for the Pasadena Museum of Art's California Design X were on display.

Photo: Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern

Photo: Frank Bros.: The Store that Modernized Modern

The plastics came in the late 60s.


Neal Small exhibition, 1969

The museum exhibition is housed in a slightly altered Killingsworth building.

There's a book too. You should get it.

The exhibition ends on April 9th, so there isn't much time left. 

Los Manantiales / Felix Candela

Los Manantiales by Felix Candela, in Mexico City

The restaurant was designed by the Spanish-born architect in 1958. The structure, comprised of four thin-shelled concrete hyperbolic paraboloids, is referred to as "la flor" (the flower) by the locals in Xochimilco.


I spoke to the lady who runs the restaurant. She said the building was just awarded some sort of historical designation, but the government doesn't offer any funding for restoration.

The mosaic mural on the wall in front of the building shows the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, which are just behind the restaurant.

Groups rent boats and have parties as they're taken through the canals. Smaller boats pull up and offer drinks and snacks for sale.


I hired my own boat and went solo. I guess that doesn't happen often. I was getting a lot of funny looks, or maybe they just felt bad for me.

How else was I going to get this view?


Los Manantiales is about an hour car ride from central Mexico City. 

Weekend / Stuff

Bill Curry for Design Line


John Follis studio pots

Tom Tramel wood vases

Tramel vases pop up here and there, but I've always wondered where the table from California Design 10 went.

Found it!

Who knew there was a matching side table?

Then there is the jewelry chest from California Design 11.

Found that too.