17 July 2013

Living in the Berkeley Brown-Shingle House

Photos: Daniella Thompson

An illustrated lecture by Lucia Howard:

Living in the Berkeley Brown-Shingle House

Preceded by remarks by architect Christopher Wasney on the award-winning restoration of Alumnae Hall.

Thursday, 8 August 2013
Anna Head Alumnae Hall
2537 Haste Street, Berkeley

Lecture 7:00 pm; pre-lecture tour 6:00 pm

Tickets: $15
Purchase tickets by mail or online

Enjoy a summer evening in the recently restored Alumnae Hall—part of the historic Anna Head School campus and a recipient of a 2013 BAHA Preservation Award.

The evening is dedicated to celebrating Berkeley’s renowned brown-shingle architecture, of which the Anna Head School (1892) is one of the earliest exemples.

The Bay Area Shingle Style is as distinct from the East Coast version as San Francisco is from New York. In no place did Brown Shingle architecture, and all it represented, flourish and multiply so gloriously and exuberantly as in Berkeley. Architecturally adventurous clients—including scores of artists, writers, and professors—encouraged an extravagantly talented group of architects and designers to create houses designed around ideas that have come to define Berkeley. Environmentalism and passion for nature, freedom from social and institutional conventions, and belief in the value of expression and artistic pursuits—Brown Shingles represented these ideas both literally and conceptually. They were the “party houses” of their day. Social events and performances, readings and recitals, political and religious gatherings, animated and filled these houses. Though small by contemporary standards, Brown Shingles abound with built-in seats and easily spill outdoors, comfortably accommodating sizable groups. More than a century on, Berkeley’s Brown Shingles continue to embody the spirit of the place, its genius loci, far more clearly than any other architecture.

In her lecture, architect Lucia Howard, a partner in the innovative firm Ace Architects and co-author of the new book Shingle Style: Living in San Francisco’s Brown Shingles (Rizzoli, 2013), will elaborate on the unique traits of Berkeley’s beloved Brown Shingles, their history and variety.

Prior to the lecture, local historian Steven Finacom will lead a tour through the Anna Head campus, including an inside look of the old Study Hall and one of the classrooms. This tour is free of charge with a lecture ticket and requires advance reservation. The evening will conclude with a book signing.

Click the thumbnail to download the flier.

01 July 2013

:: Living with Arts & Crafts :: Fall Lecture Series

BAHA is pleased to announce three new fall lectures that will focus on many a Berkeleyan’s favorite topic. These lectures have never before been presented in California, and two of them are being created especially for BAHA.

All lectures will take place at the Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar Street, Berkeley.

Tickets: $15 per lecture, $40 for the series
Purchase tickets by mail or online

The Tiles of California Faience, Berkeley, Cal., 1913–1959

Thursday, 26 September 2013
7:30 pm

Speaker: Dr. Kirby William Brown (with Riley Doty)
Did you know that Berkeley was once home to a prestigious ceramics manufacturer? California Faience was established by William Victor Bragdon (1884–1959) and Chauncey Thomas (1877–1950), accomplished ceramicists from the East Coast. Thomas had studied at the Pratt Institute under Arthur Wesley Dow, and both Thomas and Bragdon studied at Alfred University under Charles Fergus Binns. In California, they became instructors at the California School of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.

California Faience created hand-crafted tiles and pottery for the high-end market. Their most famous and influential tile installations are to be found at Hearst Castle—a veritable treasure trove of tile. In this lecture, tile scholar Dr. Kirby William Brown, who is William Bragdon’s grandson, will present a retrospective showing the entire range of beautiful pottery and tiles made by the California Faience company, including early work by Chauncey Thomas. Featured will be several unique custom tile commissions that have never before been documented, along with a review of the tiles at Hearst Castle and examples of many architectural installations in the Berkeley area.

Dr. Brown is currently writing the definitive book on the subject and will curate the exhibition Of Cottages and Castles: The Art of California Faience (22 Feb.–17 May 2015) at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Sitting in Style: The Birth of a New Furniture Design

Thursday, 24 October 2013
7:30 pm

Speaker: Timothy L. Hansen
In this illustrated talk, Arts & Crafts scholar Timothy L. Hansen will present little-known information about the beginnings of the American Arts & Crafts Mission-style furniture. He will focus on furniture design from 1894 to 1900 in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a new explanation of how the American Arts & Crafts furniture style emerged, and its consequences. The talk will conclude with a brief reflection on why Arts & Crafts still matter today. On display will be several pieces of pre-1900 Arts & Crafts furniture.

Progressive Leaded Glass in Turn-of-the-Century America

Thursday, 14 November 2013
7:30 pm

Speaker: Theodore Ellison
In this illustrated presentation, stained-glass designer and scholar Theodore Ellison will outline the development of decorative art glass as it grew away from the European tradition toward original idioms created by progressive artists, architects, and designers all over America. Focusing primarily on domestic work, the talk will look at various regional styles and will feature rarely seen images of leaded glass installations from private residences across the country.