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Digital: "The Films of Charles and Ray Eames." $79.99, available at the Museum of Modern Art online gift shop, momastore.org.
Thanks to Pacific Standard Time and in particular to the ongoing LACMA exhibition "Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965," L.A.'s Midcentury design pioneers are back in the spotlight. One of the best ways to dig deeper into this well known body of work is through the rich variety of short films made by the husband and wife team of Charles and Ray Eames. Collected in a six-DVD set, the series includes the classic "Powers of Ten" along with "Toccata for Toy Trains," "Day of the Dead" and my personal favorite, "Blacktop."
Nondigital: "California Houses of Gordon Drake." $39.95, available at William Stout Publishers, stoutpublishers.com.
Though it is sometimes hard to believe, there are still corners of Midcentury architectural practice in Southern California that remain underappreciated. One example is architect Gordon Drake, who worked for Harwell Hamilton Harris before striking out on his own and designing a handful of small, exquisite modern houses in and around Los Angeles. Drake died in a skiing accident in 1952 at age 34. Douglas Baylis and Joan Parry wrote a study of his work four years later, "California Houses of Gordon Drake"; this year, William Stout Publishers has reissued it in beautiful form, with a new introduction by Pierluigi Serraino.
-- Christopher Hawthorne