Bette Jane Cohen, director, producer, and editor of the 1990 film The Spirit in Architecture: John Lautner, passed away on October 19, 2016, after a long illness. She was 62. Cohen’s work as a filmmaker and editor is widely regarded in architecture circles, with her work on Lautner’s architecture holding high prominence for its impact on the late architect’s nearly forgotten career. The film, produced during a nadir for the groundbreaking designer’s work, brought renewed attention and interest to Southern California’s midcentury modernist heritage years before appreciation for the era’s architectural works would begin to take off in earnest. Last year, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art acquired Lautner’s Sheats-Goldstein Residence as a part of its permanent collection. Cohen’s documentary showcases the only instances of filmed interviews with the architect. Cohen had recently been traveling the world in support of an updated 25th anniver25th-anniversarythe film. Writing in 2001 for the John Lautner Foundation about her experience making the film, Cohen remarked on the sheer novelty of her focus on Lautner’s work, saying, “At the time I made the film, no books had been written on Lautner.” In the essay, Cohen recalls how she did not know Lautner when she started work on the film and had not yet asked permission to use his work in the movie, saying, “I went into Lautner's office with my proposal and introduced myself. I had never made a film before but I had been a film editor on many films. He said, ‘Well it seems like a worthwhile project and you seem tall enough to do it!’ That is how we started working together.” Cohen went on to, among other accomplishments, eventually serve as a founding member of the John Lautner Foundation Advisory Board. Services for Cohen were held Friday, October 21, 2016, at the Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in Los Angeles.
Posts tagged with "John Lautner Foundation":
Los Angeles lost an important figure in the architecture and preservation community last week. News reached AN of the passing of Karol Lautner Peterson, president of The John Lautner Foundation, which plans to host a memorial celebration in the Los Angeles area. The organization shared the following remembrance: Karol Lautner Peterson died early in the morning of August 25, 2015, in her home. She was surrounded by close, loving family members. Karol, the eldest daughter of John Lautner, was the president of The John Lautner Foundation as well as a former member of several boards and commissions in Marquette, Michigan. She was a lifetime advocate for the work of John Lautner and worked tirelessly to preserve it and to educate others about it. At the time of her death, Karol was working, along with the rest of the board of directors, with two Cal Poly Pomona professors to help list several Lautner buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. She was also studying methods for creating endowment funds in hopes of creating one that will fund the Foundation over many years, and helping develop a preservation fund. She was instrumental in developing the year-long celebration of John Lautner’s 100th birthday in 2011. One of her prime achievements as head of the Foundation was the transfer of the John Lautner archive to the Getty, where it will be protected and preserved for generations to come. She was always celebrating the work of John Lautner in one way or another. Aside from being a tireless worker for architecture, Karol was a loving mother of two, wife of many years to Bruce Peterson, oldest of seven children of her mother, enthusiastic volunteer at the DeVos Museum of Art (Marquette), preservationist of family history, and loving friend to more people than can be counted. She was always busy, and loved to relax by kayaking in Lake Superior. For 22 years she joined the walk across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day.
Now you've got another date to look forward to next month besides July 4. The city of Los Angeles has officially declared July 16, 2011, which would have been John Lautner's 100th birthday, John Lautner Day. That event will kick of the John Lautner Turns 100 Series, created by the John Lautner Foundation, which will feature a ridiculous amount of exhibitions, film screenings, home tours, symposia and receptions. By the way, if you haven't visited a Lautner house before, you better do it now. A full list of activities below, and here. July 16, John Lautner Day July 16-22, John Lautner Exhibit at LACMA, featuring Lautner's Goldstein Office July 23, MAK Center John Lautner 100th Birthday Tour, including the Sheats/Goldstein House, Schwimmer House, Harpel House and Jacobsen House. Tickets available here. July 24, Lautner Gala + Auction, Harpel Residence July 30, Lautner in Film, including the Lautner Documentary films John Lautner, the Desert Hot Springs Motel; The Spirit in Architecture: John Lautner; and Infinite Space: The Architecture of John Lautner , Egyptian Theater, Los Angeles. August 19-Nov 13, John Lautner: A Life in Architecture exhibit at DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University Fall 2011, Lautner Preservation Symposium, co-sponsored by the LA Conservancy Fall 2011, Behind The Scenes: The John Lautner Archive Collection at the Getty Center For more information, including tour times and events in other cities, go here or here.