Feb 17, 2017
Landscape architect Ruth Patricia Shellhorn helped define the distinctive midcentury regional aesthetic of Southern California. Most known for her work on the Bullocks department stores and Fashion Square shopping centers, projects that redefined the commercial genre as a relaxing and entertaining activity, and for her work with Walt Disney on the original design of Disneyland, Shellhorn also designed a landscape master plan for the University of California at Riverside and other campuses, as well as a number of private gardens and estates for movie stars and the business and financial leaders of the Los Angeles region.
Her professional peers considered much of her work to be elegant and timeless. Shellhorn collaborated with some of the finest architects of the era, including Welton Becket, A. Quincy Jones, and Wallace Neff. With architect Welton Becket, in particular, Shellhorn put post-war Los Angeles on the map. She created landscape designs that refined the indoor-outdoor living concept, and she developed a palette of plant materials that perfectly expressed the exuberance and optimism of the post-war era, which became known as the Southern California look. This presentation will be followed by the short film Ruth Shellhorn: Midcentury Design in Southern California (Library of American Landscape History in association with Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc., 2015). A signing of the book Ruth Shellhorn, by Kelly Comras, will take place after the film.
Kelly Comras is principal of Kelly Comras Landscape Architecture and is an attorney, practicing in Pacific Palisades, California. Comras also conducts research, publishes and lectures on topics relating to midcentury landscape design. Her most recent book, Ruth Shellhorn, is published by the University of Georgia Press and Library of American Landscape History, 2016.
The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office adjacent to the museum's North Parking Lot.