Exhibition review: University of California Santa Barbara Art Museum, ‘Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House’ February 26 –June 17, 2012

citythreepointzero

University of California Santa Barbara Art Museum, ‘Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House’ February 26 –June 17, 2012

This is a small show, but a genuinely great one. Architecture shows often disappoint, but ‘Carefree California’ really doesn’t. The subject is Cliff May (1908-89), the de facto inventor of the ranch house, whose extensive papers are housed at UCSB. May was prolific, and hugely influential, but also self-effacing. He only built one kind of house, he said: ‘I just had one style.’ He lacked a theory, other than some hokey, rule-of-thumb wisdom: ‘if it lives like a ranch house, then it is a ranch house.’ And the only formal device he was committed to was the internal patio. That, if it did not exactly define the ranch house, was certainly a critical element.

May’s pragmatism – not to mention his commercial acumen – set him at…

View original post 276 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s