Hollyhock House, set atop a spectacular property near Los Feliz, is a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. If you visit before May 27, you can catch a spectacular in-situ art installation.
Houses designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son Lloyd are scattered around Los Angeles, but the jewel in the crown (and the only one you can actually tour) is Hollyhock House, which is located on Olive Hill off Hollywood Boulevard near Los Feliz with sweeping views in all directions, notably of the Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills and out towards the shimmering Pacific.
Aline Barnsdall commissioned the house with the notion that it would be an art colony and it was built between 1919-1921, Wright’s first project in Los Angeles. Barnsdall donated the house and the 36-acre compound it sits upon to the City of Los Angeles in 1927. In 2019 it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site – meaning it is considered to have “outstanding universal value to humanity will be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy”.
If you have not appreciated or enjoyed Hollyhock House yet – now is the time.
The first reason to visit right now is because the flowers for which the house was named are in bloom, and you’ll be thrilled to note the similarities between the proud, reaching flowers and the matching motifs that dominate the stonework in and around the house.
A second terrific reason to visit now is that for the first time in the institution’s history, an in-situ art installation is on display. Entanglements: Louise Bonnet and Adam Silverman at Hollyhock House is an exhibit proposed and produced by a two artists who are married. Bonnet is a painter and Silverman a ceramicist and and their work syncs with the house magnificently.
I’ve seen three similar exhibitions this winter, that is notable architectural homes that have commissioned installations. During Frieze, I was thrilled to visit the two houses owned by the Villa Alloro Thomas Mann Foundation, and went inside the Schindler House in West Hollywood for the first time (for an Alex Katz installation). It’s a neat trick, to pair contemporary art with these modernist venues, but for me, access to these properties is actually the draw.
Perhaps because it was the artists’ idea to do the installation and not vice versa, Silverman and Bonnet’s Entanglements is next level: sublime placements and vistas that complement the house without calling too much attention to themselves.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Book a reservation here for $7 a person
- Location: 4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027 323-913-4030
- Consider making a donation to the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation which runs the programming and exhibits on the campus; their mission it is to provide a “vibrant inclusive space for creativity, cultural expression, civic conversation, and social empowerment. Arts programming for the upcoming summer season is not yet posted. Click here to make a gift.
- Read more about Adam Silverman’s ceramics here.
- Read more about Louise Bonnet’s paintings here.
- Here is an article chronicling how the couple approached Hollyhock House with the idea of doing the installation.
- Here is an LA Times article about activities on Olive Hill and at the Barnsdall Art Park.
EXTEND THE ADVENTURE
- You may not be able to tour other Frank Lloyd Wright buildings but it’s possible to drive by and get a healthy sense of a few others that are relatively close by to Hollyhock. It’s about a ten minute drive up towards Griffith Park to visit The Ennis House at 2655 Glendower Road, which has been in over 80 films (including most memorably, Bladerunner).
- If you’re coming from the westside, you can hit the John Storer House is at 8161 Hollywood Boulevard -right off of Laurel near Chateau Marmont. It’s not open to the public but a nice add-on to drive by.
- Here is a list of Frank Lloyd Wright houses to visit in California.
- For a nearby meal, I was glad to learn that Boston-based seafood newbie Saltie Girl is now open for lunch during the week. For a picnic, grab something delicious from Joan’s on Third or Mozza2Go.
All photos by me!