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artists connected to Eichler?

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Joined: May 1 2003

Hello fellow Eichler-philes. I am a new fan of Joseph's and I am doing a report on him for an arts and humanities class. The only catch is I must compare and contrats him to another artist preferably with some connection to Eichler (like maybe modern art with Asian influence or public accessibility) and it can't be another architect. Does anyone have any ideas? Thanks!

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

To say Eichler was an "artist" is a stretch. He was a developer, a "mover and shaker." He was a businessman with a vision. The aesthetics of his homes and developments should really be applied to his architects: Jones & Emmons, Anshen & Allen, Claude Oakland, and others.

A. Quincy Jones of Jones & Emmons would work better in a compare/contrast assignment (A. Quincy Jones vs. Isamu Noguchi might work).

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Joined: May 1 2003

I guess I always considered Eichler to be a poor man's F.L. Wright, but you say he was more on the business side of things rather than the creative. I guess if I had done a little more research on Eichler before choosing my topic I would've found this out. :oops: Thanks!

Rex
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Joined: Apr 29 2003

Calling Joseph Eichler an artist may be a stretch, but it's hardly fair to say he wasn't creative. Whether what he did is "art" or not is a semantic, or perhaps just sophomoric, exercise. "Why" he did it may yield a more interesting discussion. If art is a personal expression and design is a process of practical problem solving, he may well be better described as a designer, albeit a businessman. He certainly created more by many measures than most artists!
In any case, the comparison between Eichler and Levitt (his contemporary on the East Coast) could be very rich.
To hell with the distinction "artist." It's the first step to creativity.

Actually it's a Drogin, not an Eichler.

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Joined: Mar 20 2003

being creative and being an artist are two different things. Yes, Eichler was creative, but not in a way that design homes or developments. He wasn't a designer. While I am sure he gave his architects plenty of creative freedom, but I am also sure he hindered their designs too. That's what owners of small companies do. I am sure Eichler wanted his finger prints on everything!

From a design stand point, Eichler had the ability to recognize talent and the ability and resources to employ them. I don't think he could have designed a tract home. Look at his first homes (before A+A). Not great stuff. Just kits he bought.

Comparing Eichler to Levitt would be a great idea, but not in terms of "art." Maybe to "art" of how they practiced business. But I don't think that would help our student here.

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Joined: May 1 2003

Agreed. "Creative" was a poor word choice on my part. I recognize that he was very innovative. He had a unique vision and was able to carry it out with the help of very talented designers and architects. What I didn't realize was that he was not a designer like F.L. Wright was. It would've been easy for me to choose Wright for my report and compare him to other artists but I wanted to do something a little different. Because Eichler isn't an 'artist' in the traditional sense, and this an arts and humanities class, I am not able to use him. Thanks for all your input and setting me straight on the facts. :wink:

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Joined: May 6 2003

Dear Artstudent:

If I read all the postings correctly, it sounds as if you are not going to write about Eichler because he wasn't an artist. Even if you were going to write about Eichler (if he were an artist), you can not compare him with an architect, unless that architect was also an artist, because it is an arts and humanitities class.

Well, here's a thought. What about comparing George Nakashima's furniture with a Bauhaus furniture designer's work? Like Corbusier? I'm not a scholar when it comes to Nakashima or Corbusier (or on any subject for that matter), but the contrast is pretty interesting, I think.

Nakashima was a Japanese immigrant who designed Post WW2. He was committed to world peace. He settled in Bucks County PA and primarily handcrafted very organic designs made out of fine hard woods. His work was designed to honor the tree(s). He did a few things for Herman Miller, but he was pretty much a residential studio furniture designer into wood (no metal or fabric) in the vein of Sam Maloof (hey, that's another possibility! Sam versus Corbusier).

The Bauhaus was based in Europe before WW2 though many of the designers (artists) moved to the US during or after the war (like Nakashima did). The designs live on today (as do Nakashima's through his daughter, who runs the studio today and reproduces many of the designs). The Bauhaus was all about radical, often inorganic design (lots of metal, "machine age" design) that leveraged manufacturing processes in order to deliver great design at prices affordable to the masses. Of course, the masses didn't really want the designs, finding the designs and materials too wacky, so there went the whole leverage manufacturing and make it affordable thing.

Happy paper-writing!

Brook

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Joined: May 1 2003

Brook,
Thank you for the topic suggestion, that one sounds particularly compelling! I've heard very little about Nakashima and would like to know more. However, because I was running out of time and paniking about topics I just decided on something somewhat easy. I'm comparing Alexander Calder's work, primarily his mobiles, to the paintings of Joan Miro. Well, I thought it was going to be easy but finding books on Calder that aren't autobiographical in nature has been difficult. Either way the paper is due this week so I must trudge on. I will write down your topic suggestion for future project ideas. Thanks!!

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Joined: Mar 22 2003

I love Juan Miro's work, ever since he did the cover for Dave Brubeck's Take Five album.

Cathye

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Joined: May 1 2003

Yeah, Miro's work seems very appropriate for jazz, it has a lot of movement to it.

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