Christopher Long-author of groundbreaking studies on Adolf Loos, Josef Frank, Paul T. Frankl, and Kem Weber-explores another important figure to broaden our understanding of modern architecture and design.
Scholar and historian Christopher Long turns his attention to the little-known German-born architect and designer Jock Peters (1889-1934), presenting the modern architect's work within the context of architectural developments in Germany in the 1910s as well as positioning Peters firmly within the early history of Los Angeles modernism in the 1920s and the first years of the 1930s. Long examines Peters's work in Germany: in Hamburg before World War I, including his design for the Levantehaus; in Berlin while at the office of Peter Behrens; and later, after the war, his brick Expressionist projects for Fritz Hoger. Peters's most accomplished and compelling work, however, came after he immigrated to America in 1922. Most notable are the strikingly lavish and elegant commercial interiors Peters designed for the once-famous Hollander department store in New York City and the iconic Bullock's Wilshire store in Los Angeles; his dynamic sales office for the short-lived Maddux Air Lines; and the retail stores and modern residences he created for developer William Lingenbrink, a major supporter of the burgeoning modernism in Los Angeles. This visually rich study captures the varieties of modernism that define Peters's work-including his film sets for Famous Lasky-Players (later Paramount Pictures), under the legendary art director Hans Dreier-and includes never before published material from the architect's personal archive, still in family hands. These remarkable images, alongside Professor Long's insightful and lively narrative, demonstrate how Peters, despite his early death, managed to leave his mark on the modernist landscape in Southern California at a time when the new style was just emerging.
Christopher Long is Martin S. Kermacy Centennial Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught in Vienna and Prague and has written or contributed to more than fifty publications on modern architectural history. Among the numerous exhibitions he has curated or collaborated on are: Living in a Modern Way: California Design 1930-1965 at the Los Angeles Museum of Art (2011); Josef Frank, Architect and Designer: An Alternative Vision of the Modern Home at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts in New York City (1996); and The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin (2019). Long is currently working on an exhibition with co-curators Wendy Kaplan and Monica Penick scheduled for 2024 at Los Angeles Museum of Art: Better Living Through Science: The Home of the Future, 1920-1970.