X-100 : The Experimental Research House

The X-100 "experimental research house" was built in 1956 as a promotional tool to help attract buyers to the San Mateo Highlands subdivision which was at the time a hard to reach location. The steel post and beam home was designed in 1955 by architects A. Quincy Jones and Frederick E. Emmons for developer Joseph Eichler. The "experiment" was a huge success, with articles in major magazines and newspapers touting it as the "home of tomorrow", the home eventually attracted over 150,000 visitors to the Highlands development.

Note the indoor gardens, which were created from gaps in concrete that exposed the actual ground.

Kitchen cabinet doors could be turned inside-out to change the color scheme.

Centrally located fireplace that "revolves like a top to face any sitting area."

A 32' long Wascolite Skydome skylight extended from above the fireplace across the core of the home.

View towards master bedroom. Note curtains act as an optional "fourth wall."

The exposed steel ceilings were light grey, contrasting beautifully with the cinnamon beams and posts.

The entire 56' x 8' back wall was built from glass windows and sliding doors; bringing the outdoors in.

Dining table with built-in Thermador stove concealed under sliding table top. Huh?

The kitchen was equipped with built-in Nutone blender and MusiCall intercom radio.

MusiCall intercom radio control panel from the X-100 house. "Dinner's ready!". via

The X-100 was featured in the Feb. 1957 issue of "Living for Young Homemakers" (link to full article below).

Exterior street view of the X-100, c. 1956. Image via Life photo archives.

X-100 outdoor furniture was created by Van Keppel-Green. Image via Life photo archives.

The above floorplan and design description are from the X-100 grand opening brochure (see link below)

X-100 ground breaking, May 1956. L to R:  A. Quincy Jones, Thomas Callan, Joe Eichler. Photo: Ernie Braun

X-100 commercial, 1956. "Everything so modern it takes your breath away and your money too!"
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X-100 House Key Information:
Design: Architects, Archibald Quincy Jones (1913-1979) and Frederick Earl Emmons (1907-1999)
Developer: Joseph Eichler (1900-1974)
Location: 1586 Lexington Avenue, The HIghlands, San Mateo, California
Built: Ground breaking May 1956; opened to public October 1956
Size: 2,310 square feet (64' deep x 56' wide), 3 bedroom, 2 bath

Points of Interest:
• Quote from grand opening brochure; "An exciting exploration into future living!... Eichler homes delve into the future with a new living form that serves as a research laboratory for testing new design concepts."
• The X-100 also acted as a product showcase; in the words of Ned Eichler (Joseph's son), "I thought we could get all those manufacturers who were hanging around our business trying to get us to use their products...a place to try out their advanced prototypes that weren't in production yet."
• A 1956 "Arts and Architecture" article stated, "One of the reason for Eichler building the home is because he thought organic building materials would be in short supply 'because we can't grow them fast enough.'"
• The home was purchased for $775,000 in 2003 by Adrienne Biendo, John Ang and Marty Arbunich who have sinced restored the X-100. It has been nominated for designation to the National Register of Historic Places.

Related Links:
Go to- Article about the X-100 titled "Tomorrow's Test Home" in the January 1957 issue of Popular Science
Go to- Eichler Network article about the home titled "Discover Eichler's San Mateo 'X-100' House of Steel"
Go to- World of Eichler Design site; a great Eichler resource with brochures for the X-100 and The Highlands
Go to- Article in the February 1957 issue of "Living for Young Homemakers" about the X-100

Images above are via; flickr, World of Eichler Design and Life Image Archives.

Sybil Andrews Modernist Linocut Prints

British-born Canadian artist Sybil Andrews (1898-1992) produced these incredible modernist linocuts.

The Gale, 1930. no 36/50. From the book Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939

Sledgehammers, 1933, no. 24/60. Christie's, 2011

The Winch, 1930, no. 35/50. The Met

The Giant Cable, 1931, no. 20/50. Museum of New Zealand

Racing, 1934, no. 50/60. Christie's, 2008

Bringing in the Boat, 1933, no 18/60. Museum of New Zealand

Skaters, 1953, no. 41/60. Keith Sheridan Fine Prints, sold

Speedway, 1934, no. 58/60. MOMA

Wimbledon, 1933. Note Sybil used the pseudonym Andrew Power for this piece. Swann Auctions

Storm, 1935, no. 10/60. Museum of New Zealand

Windmill, 1933, inscribed 'E.P.'. Christie's, 2003 

Gethsemane, 1951, no. 24/60. Below are four progressive proofs for each color. Sotheby's, 2011

Sybil Andrews in her home studio in Campbell River, B.C. Circa 1980.

The former home of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art at 33 Warkwick Sq, Pimlico, London. via

General Information:
Artist: Sybil Andrews
Nationality: British-born Canadian
Birth: April 19, 1898 in Bury St Edmunds, England
Death: December 21, 1992 in Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada (94 years old)
Education: Heatherly's School of Fine Art, London; Grosvenor School of Modern Art, London
Style Influences: Cubism, Futurism and Vorticism 
Subject Matter: Rural life, sports and religion

Points of Interest:
• She was involved in art at an early age; "We had a paintbox from the cradle, not with the idea of being wonderful artists, but as a way of keeping us quiet and amused."
• One of her ancestors was Sir Walter Tyrell, who "accidentally" shot and killed King William Rufus with a bow and arrow during a hunting trip in 1100.
• She worked as a welder in an aircraft factory during WWI and in a shipyard during WWII.
• From approximately 1929-1937 she produced pieces under the pseudonym Andrew Power; paying tribute to Cyril Power (1872-1951) with whom she shared a studio and collaborated with at the time.
• She began to focus on printmaking after meeting linocut pioneer Claude Flight (1881-1955) at Grosvenor School of Modern Art (1925-1939), where she worked as a secretary and attended classes.
• During her career she produced 76 color linocuts, 43 of which were made between 1929-1939.
• She moved with her husband Walter Morgan, whom she met while working in the shipyard, to Campbell River, British Columbia in 1947, where she continued to practice and teach art until here death in 1992.

Related Links:
Go to- Sybil Andrews Heritage Society website
Go to- Her wiki page
Go to- Her obituary, which has great information about her life.

Van Sickle Cubist Hoe Down

I was originally going to include this 1950's painting by American artist Joseph L. Van Sickle (1915-1985) titled Cubist Hoe Down with yesterday's "Movements & Themes" post, but decided to post it separately and include some details of the piece. The painting measures 6' x 9' and sold for $4,750 in a 2004 Antique Helper auction. Since spotting this painting I have searched for similar pieces from Van Sickle, but have had no luck.

Movements & Themes: Mid-Century Musician Art

This "Movements & Themes" post features art depicting musicians; a very popular subject matter during the mid-century. Both mass-produced decor and fine art pieces are included (no art snobs here!).

Emilio Pettoruti, Harlequin Portrait, oil on canvas. Fontaine's Auction Gallery, sold

Emilio Pettoruti, La Canción del Pueblo, 1927, oil on board. MALBA

Erik Olson, composition, 1955, color lithograph. Bukowskis Market, 2011

Ann Cushing Gantz, Cellist, 1959, oil on canvas board. Early Texas Art

Lester Rondell, guitarist, c. 1950's, oil on board. TC Donobedian

Lucio Ranucci, The Guitarist, 1970, oil on canvas. Ro Gallery

Manuel Hernández Mompó, Charanga, 1957, oil on canvas. El Poder de la Palabra

Manuel Hernández Mompó, Flute Player, 1956, oil on panel. LAMA

William McBride, abstract musician, c. 1950, oil on canvas. Treadway Gallery, sold 2008

William McBride, harlequin musician, c. 1950's. Treadway Gallery, sold 2009

Seymour Tubis, Old Musican, 1949; etching, aquatin with drypoint on zinc. Annex Galleries

Donald Myers, Practice, 1952; ink, crayon and watercolor. Annex Galleries

Louise Gilbert, Peace, c. 1965, color serigraph. Annex Galleries

Mervin Jules, Folk Singer, 1957, color woodcut. Keith Sheridan

Harlequin musician printed panels by Illinois Moulding Company. eBay at time of post

Beatnik musician wall hangings, signed M inside D, c. 1950-60. Atomic Warehouse