Machine Age Modern

Rudolph M. Schindler for Sardi's Restaurant, Hollywood

Exterior of Sardi's in Hollywood, 1937. Works Progress Administration Collection, Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

In 1932, restaurateur Eddie Brandstatter commissioned Ruldolph M. Schindler to design the Los Angeles restaurant Sardi’s. Located at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, Sardi’s became a local hot-spot, frequented by film industry elite including Charlie Chaplin, Maurice Chevalier, Marlene Dietrich and Joan Crawford. For the design, Schindler crafted a Machine Age façade and interior to compliment the glittering clientele while remaining steadfast to his Modernist values. For the furnishings, he utilized curvilinear forms to soften the hard-edges of the restaurant floor plan, illustrated in the present lot, a graceful dining chair in spun aluminum with rubber details.

The present design illustrated in the dining room of Sardi’s Restaurant, c. 1933. Photographer, W. P. Woodock

An interesting plainness is the most difficult and most precious thing to achieve. 

Rudolph M. Schindler

Rudolph M. Schindler 1887–1953

Rudolph Michael Schindler was an Austrian-born architect and designer who came to define the landscape of mid-century modernism in southern California. His education began at the Imperial Technical Institute in Vienna from 1906 to 1911 before studying under Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos at the Academy of Fine Arts from 1910 to 1913. Schindler eventually sought the mentorship of Frank Lloyd Wright in Chicago. In 1920, he was hired by Wright to oversee the important Hollyhock House commission in Los Angeles. Schindler would remain in California for the rest of his life.

His iconic home and studio, the Schindler Chase House on Kings Road, set the stage for California Modernism. The construction featured a minimalist approach and linear form built in sleek concrete with sliding glass doors opening to gardens—all of which became staples of the Southern California style. The space was designed for communal living and Schindler shared the space with his wife Pauline among many other important figures including Richard Neutra and John Cage. Between the years of 1920 and 1953 he designed numerous residential commissions such as the Lovell Beach House (1922), Rodriguez House (1942), Kallis House (1946), and the Tischler House (1949). While Rudolph Schindler’s death was untimely, his legacy and philosophy continues to be celebrated in his iconic structures.

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Auction Results Rudolph M. Schindler