Out of Stock
Gregory Ain: THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART — WOMAN’S HOME COMPANION EXHIBITION HOUSE. New York: Museum of Modern Art, May 1950. First edition. Printed stapled wrappers. 20 pp. 13 black and white illustrations. Four-page Price List for Furnishings laid in. Wrappers lightly rubbed and spotted. Fore edge starting to curl. A very good or better copy.
7.5 x 10 softcover book with 20 pages devoted to the demonstration house designed and built by Gregory Ain in the Garden at the Museum of Modern Art and open for inspection from May 19 – October 29, 1950. Primary photography by Ezra Stoller.
An architect's work is a step to enhance the quality of living. — Gregory Ain
Gregory Ain, FAIA, (1908 – 1988) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1908, but it was in Los Angeles that he studied architecture at the University of Southern California from 1927 – 28. His impulse to study architecture came from an acquaintance as a youth with R.M. Schindler's Kings Road house, and his dissatisfaction with his Beaux Arts training determined him to work in the office of Richard Neutra. Combined in all his early work, which is his finest, are Neutra's repetitive windows and monoplanar surfaces and Schindler's broken planes and accommodation of shell to plan.
Ain's interest in group housing for middle- and low-income families began in his 1937 Dunsmuir Flats, his most frequently published work. The best known view is of four staggered two-story whicte blocks, the ceiling levels defined by continuous ribbon windows; not seen are the private porches and patios. The panel-post construction was an early effort to reduce cost, followed in 1939 by prefabricated plywood walls for a model house.
In 1940 Ain received a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue his researches in low-cost housing, and throughout the 1940's he designed, with the participation of clients, a number of projects for attached and detached housing that were notable for site planning and innovative floor plans. Few were built because lending agencies opposed multiple ownership. One of the several schemes to be built was the 1948 Avenel housing for a musicians' union whose members worked in films. The twenty attached units were broken into two blocks for a shillside site, alnd private patios off the living rooms face the view.
For his more elaborate houses he borrowed freely from the flexible plan of his low-cost housing, and in most cases the alcove sleeping room became a library or guest room. Ain also adapted many contractors' practices for large or small houses to save construction time and reduce cost. Aside from Irving Gill, Gregory Ain was the first architect in California to refine and dignify the low-cost house.