The La Jolla Historical Society and Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego are joining forces this year to present Irving J. Gill: Illustrating New Architecture, a collaborative exhibit that displays the famed architect’s presentation of building design and his integration of architecture in the landscape. Gill’s work is seen all over La Jolla, and is well known for his artistic eye; much of his work was done as hand-drawn sketches and watercolors, often with a mixed color palate.
Irving J. Gill, a Chicago transplant, seized the opportunity to work in San Diego during the end of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He saw the city as a blank slate with incredible potential; inspired by the coast and canyons, the sunlight and shadows, Gill created a new design language – what we now call modern architecture.
His simple, block-like designs offered simplicity, clean lines, and efficiency at a time when flashy faux-Victorian and Spanish Colonial architecture were mainstream. He developed relationships with and worked for the local elites, like our very own Ellen Browning Scripps, though his legacy was largely overlooked following his death.
Gill’s influence can be seen all throughout San Diego and especially La Jolla: from Scripps’ home (today’s Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego on Prospect Street), to the Bishop’s School, the Sacred Heart Church in Coronado, the Marston House in Balboa Park, the Americanization School in Oceanside, and the Barona Indian Reservation in Lakeside. His designs made a lasting mark on San Diego County, and much of his work influences contemporary architects.
SEE ALSO: The Legacy of Ellen Browning Scripps
Visit the exhibition at the La Jolla Historical Society starting September 24 to learn more about the man who helped create a new style of architecture revered throughout the world, but one that originated right here in San Diego.
The exhibition is part of Irving J. Gill: New Architecture for a Great Country, a collaborative project of exhibitions that will be displayed in multiple venues across San Diego, including the San Diego History Center. More details will be released next month!
For more information visit lajollahistory.org.
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