’50s Atomic Age art at Pomona College

0708_NWS_IDB-L-Allen-08

An atomic whirl that adorned a Pomona College science hall since 1958 is back with a new coat of paint after 18 months in storage as the building was torn down and rebuilt. Sculptor Albert Stewart crafted the piece for the opening of Millikan Lab and it’s added a dose of verve to the facade ever since. I write about the sculpture and the symbol, as well as the refurbished building, in Wednesday’s column.

Below is a view of the sculpture and building in 2013 by the college’s Carrie Rosema. Notice the piece is against a blank facade — the window is just one of the improvements.

atom4

Below are Stewart’s two other sculptures across College Avenue, one illustrating mitosis, from the Seaver South biology building, and the second depicting particles, from the Seaver North chemistry building. (I’ll have to take everyone’s word for it.) All three are cited in Charles Phoenix’s “Cruising the Pomona Valley 1930 Thru 1970” guidebook.

atom2

atom3

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: The Huntington is closer than you think

Sunday’s column has a bunch of Claremont items, starting with the odd coincidence (or is it?) that both the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Huntington Library in San Marino are from Claremont. (Will we Claremont residents get a discount? Are we in with the in crowd?) Also, malaprops are discussed after a recent flub of mine. Incidentally, the “editor’s note” in this column is mine. I just thought a reaction was called for.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Betsy-Tacy and Claremont are now bench friends

Revisiting a couple of columns from early 2014, Wednesday’s column provides an update on the worn bench outside the Claremont Public Library dedicated to children’s author and onetime Claremont resident Maud Hart Lovelace and her Betsy-Tacy books. The bench has been repainted and repaired and is back in place. Also, the library now has all 10 of the books on the shelves.

(I really didn’t think it would require 13 months to be able to follow up on this, but the wheels of government apparently turn slowly.)

In other news in my column, exhibits on comic books and Dr. Seuss are on view at the Pomona Public Library, and new county supervisor Hilda Solis makes a surprising comment that does not involve Pomona.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Column: Documentary paints picture of Claremont art scene

A documentary, “Design for Modern Living: Millard Sheets and the Claremont Art Community 1935-1975,” has its world premiere Sunday in Claremont (where else?). Friday’s column gives the details on that and a quick primer on the theme. Also, there are two cultural notes, and an item about an Ontario walking tour Saturday. I’ll be there selling my book.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Studio Art Hall, Pomona College

studioarthall1

Pomona College has an ambitious new building, the Studio Art Hall, deemed important enough to be visited and considered by the LA Times’ architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, who called it “absolutely worth visiting, despite the imperfect results. He further says:

“It’s hard to think of another recent project in Southern California where the forms are so forward and the material and color palette so muted. Imagine a piece of writing in all-caps but small type, or the Sex Pistols played at extremely low volume.” Ha ha!

I’m no architecture critic, nor do I have the time for a tour of the finer points, but I checked out the exterior the other morning; the building is southeast of Bridges Auditorium and replaces our old friend, the Replica House, the home built in 1937 as a replica of Pomona College’s 1888 founding building.

The outdoor stairs are, to employ architectural jargon, pretty cool.

studioarthall2

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Linkedin Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email