Open Houses

September 30, 2009

There’s a secret that I’ve been keeping for years. I would have come clean a long time ago but, well, I’m pretty embarrassed about it. Here’s my confession (deep breath)—I have never been to any of the exceptional, historic homes open to the public in L.A.

There. I said it. As a lover of house museums—the Musee Jacquemart-Andre is my favorite—it’s just plain weird that I haven’t made time to visit any of them here. So, I consulted our Decorative Arts and Design Department Head Curator, Wendy Kaplan, to help me rectify the problem. For those of you who also harbor the shame of not yet visiting one of these great places, here is Wendy’s must-see list.


The Gamble House: Hands down, this is Wendy’s favorite. It’s Arts and Crafts nirvana.

The Adamson House: Amazing for its Malibu tiles and ocean views.

The Hollyhock House: Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Enough said.

The Schindler House: Owned by the MAK Center and not a house museum per se, but was the architect’s home and is testament to his utopian modernism.

The VDL House: Designed by Richard Neutra. Only open once a week. My first stop.

Since Neutra makes me weak in the knees, I’ll be hitting up the VDL house first, but my hope is to visit all of the spots above by the by the end of the year. As I found with my recent Art Month, sometimes when you’re really busy, the only way to get the important but peripheral tasks done is to schedule them. So, off I go…

Allison Agsten