Welcome to our new illustrated series, Forgotten Modernism, by artist and architect Michael Murphy. Forgotten Modernism is the title of a body of work which attempts to re-render what Michael believes to be an important part of San Francisco’s architectural legacy: Modernist architecture.
Purchase this print at the Untapped Cities Etsy Shop
Although most people associate San Francisco with Victorian “style” architecture, what often goes unnoticed is the wonderful catalog of Modernist buildings here, spanning from the early part of the century with the European influenced work, to the Americanized Modernism usually associated with “mid-century design”, through the 70’s with the futuristic urban projects which announce that Le Corbusier finally made it over to the west coast of California.
Sadly though, most of these buildings are ignored, unappreciated, and widely forgotten not only by the general public but also by those who control the aesthetics of the built environment here.
Out of frustration with this general opinion that all architecture in San Francisco must bow to The Victorians (aka The Painted Ladies) I decided that I would illustrate some buildings that I greatly admire and see if anyone thought that they were as interesting and beautiful as I did.
This led to the very rewarding experience of investigating these buildings in greater detail and finding and appreciating new levels of understanding to their designs, and as it turns out, others not just in San Francisco but from around the world share my appreciation of the Modernists’ legacy here in San Francisco.
To start things off is “Painted Ladies,” Modernism on Parker Street and row houses as I see them. Stay tuned for a weekly series on Forgotten Modernism and check out Michael Murphy’s prints at the Untapped Cities Etsy shop.