Jan 15–Mar 11, 2024

The Sensuous Environment

Sim Bruce Richards, Architect
1649 El Prado, Suite #3 CA 92101, San Diego CA 92101
Wed–Sun 10 am–5 pm

The Sensuous Environment: Sim Bruce Richards, Architect traces his time as a budding young building designer, following his time at Wright’s Taliesin apprenticeship, through to becoming a licensed architect focused on highly unique wood, glass and masonry homes akin to the work of Wright, Bernard Maybeck, William Wurster, Rudolph Schindler, Irving Gill, Greene & Greene and Harwell Hamilton Harris.

This exhibit chronicles the career, architecture, art and design of Sim Bruce Richards, who created a design aesthetic unique to the San Diego region. The exhibition, curated by Keith York (modernsandiego.com), is the first retrospective in 40 years and draws upon the architectural archive of the San Diego History Center; UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Architecture and Design Museum; and the Getty Research Institute.

The Sensuous Environment: Sim Bruce Richards, Architect frames the remarkably rich portfolio of work by architect Richards leveraging the San Diego History Center’s extensive archive of his architectural drawings; and period and contemporary photography; as well as objects (including several of his furniture designs), artworks and ephemera detailing Richards’ life and career.

Curator Keith York is a historian focused on unveiling the unique history of modern art and architecture in the San Diego region. As the principal of Modern San Diego, an online resource since 2004, York has collated thousands of documents, images and interviews to tell the story of the region’s modern architecture. Following his restoration of architect Craig Ellwood’s Bobertz House (1953-55) he is engaged in restoring Sim Bruce Richards’ personal residence (1957). Having made both homes widely available to tours, visitors and photographers alike he has expressed that these are two examples of the broader narrative on regional modernism. Prior to The Sensuous Environment: Sim Bruce Richards Architect, York curated and published catalogs for the exhibitions Julius Shulman: Modern San Diego; Julius Shulman: Modern La Jolla; and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Legacy in San Diego: The Taliesin Apprentices. York contributed a chapter to the book Making L.A. Modern: Craig Ellwood -Myth, Man, Designer (Rizzoli, 2018). As a residential real estate agent focused on the sales of architect-designed homes, York connects clients to homes by an array of architects and designers and guides them on restorative processes, historical designation. The accompanying monograph to the exhibition was also authored by curator.