Julia Morgan: Foundation and Transition

October 4 - December 30, 2012

Reception: October 4, 2012, 6:00 p.m. - 12:00 midnight

The Riverside Art Museum (RAM) is proud to present Julia Morgan: Foundation and Transition, a historical design exhibition with special emphasis on the RAM building -- former home of the Riverside YWCA – which is one of only two currently functioning Southern California YWCA buildings designed by Julia Morgan, California’s first licensed female architect. 

Julia Morgan’s passion for historical architecture and her fearless ability to artfully combine a variety of style elements firmly placed her among the true originators of California Design. Morgan was a pioneer and an innovator whose superior talent attracted patronage from all echelons of society. She is known for her achievements such as the monumental Hearst Castle and Wyntoon for William Randolph Hearst and many YWCA buildings that have become vital points of interest for art, design, and social historians alike. 

“After 83 years of use, the Riverside YWCA/RAM building stands as an enduring example of Julia Morgan’s design and engineering expertise,” says Lindsey Rossi, guest curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition will showcase a variety of architectural plans, prints, drawings, and photographs pulled from RAM’s permanent collection, the Riverside Library Local History Archive, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Julia Morgan Archive in order to shed light on this important figure in both architecture at large and within Riverside’s history. This exhibition will also include contemporary photography of the building created by members of the museum’s Photo Artists Network (PAN). The exhibition dates are from October 4 through December 30, 2012. It opens in conjunction with the inaugural Long Night of Arts and Innovation on Thursday, October 4, from 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 midnight.

“Not only are we celebrating Riverside’s Arts and Innovations event, we are also part of a yearlong statewide celebration of Julia Morgan’s return to California from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris,” says Sarah Smith, Trustee of the Riverside Art Museum. “As a Julia Morgan-designed YWCA, RAM is perhaps the best illustration of reuse of all of Morgan’s Y buildings. Riverside is very fortunate to have this architectural gem as part of its downtown cultural landscape. We invite you to join us and help support this architectural and engineering treasure that was voted ‘The Best Museum in the Inland Empire.’”

A museum task force composed of members of the RAM Board of Trustees, local architects, local engineers, and community members have worked to organize the exhibition and related programming this fall. HMC Architects designed a commemorative poster. DLR Group devised an innovative exhibition space intended to encourage thoughtful engagement and pay homage to Julia Morgan and her design legacy. The local chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Engineers without Borders are helping to repaint parts of the museum and to build the exhibition installation.

“The community of Riverside is extremely fortunate to be a part of Julia Morgan’s architectural legacy, and the historic Riverside Art Museum displays the timeless exploration of design and craft that defined her pioneering style and continues to provide inspiration to all who visit this cultural treasure,” says Dan Benner, principal at HMC Architects and member of the museum’s Julia Morgan Celebration organizing committee.

This exhibit is sponsored by: Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione, Stronghold Engineering, Turner Construction Company, the City of Riverside, Dan Benner & M. Rene Glynn, HMC Architects, DLR Group, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Robert E. Kennedy Library, Riverside Public Library Local History Office, and the American Society of Civil Engineers Inland Empire section.