Feb 24, 2017
For more than three decades, Millard Sheets and his studio of artists designed Home Savings and Loan branches, emblazing their iconic projects with mosaics, murals, stained glass and sculptures that celebrated both family life and the history of the Golden State.
The collaboration between the Millard Sheets Studio and Howard Ahmanson, Home Savings chief executive, resulted in more than forty branches designed and built between the completion of the first collaboration, in 1955, and Ahmansons death in 1968, as well as more than eighty more created before the sale of Home Savings to Washington Mutual in 1998.
These branches are the most important and most numerous among more than two hundred privately sponsored, midcentury modern commercial commissions completed by the Sheets Studio, jewels in a portfolio that also included hospitals, Masonic lodges and other public buildings. Millard Sheets remained a noted painter his entire life, but these buildings demonstrate his oft-stated commitment to making art that was at once aesthetically gripping and socially useful.
Millard Sheets historian, Adam Arenson, provides insights from the first book-length study of the art, architecture and urban context of these Home Savings buildings, which recovers Millard Sheets and Howard Ahmansons visions for these institutions as they shaped the corporate and cultural landscapes of Southern California and which argues for their preservation.
A conversation moderated by historian and author Alan Hess will follow, with Adam Arenson, filmmaker Paul Bockhorst, David Shearer-Exectutive Director of Claremont Modern and special guest Carolyn Sheets Towle, daughter of Millard Sheets.
The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office adjacent to the museum's North Parking Lot.