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Two Sides of the Pacific: Japan and the Architecture of Greene & Greene

Published on Mar 16, 2021

Edward R. Bosley, Executive Director of The Gamble House in Pasadena, will discuss the connection between the architecture of brothers Charles and Henry Greene and their appreciation for Japanese architecture and design in “Two Sides of the Pacific: Japan and the Architecture of Greene & Greene,” a virtual event hosted by The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, March 18.

Bosley’s presentation will include a discussion on Greene and Greene’s education, their exposure to Japanese design while students and apprentices in Boston between 1888 and 1893, the expositions and publications that influenced their developing artistic sense, and especially Charles Greene’s deeply introspective nature, which drew him towards Buddhism and other esoteric spiritual movements.

Ted Bosley is the James N. Gamble Director of The Gamble House, a program of the University of Southern California School of Architecture. For more than 40 years, he has studied, researched, lectured, and written on the work of Greene and Greene. He is author of the monograph “Greene & Greene,” published by Phaidon Press in 2000.

With author Anne E. Mallek, he was co-curator of the exhibition “A ‘New and Native’ Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene,” at The Huntington in October 2008 to January 2009. They co-edited the publication that accompanied the exhibit, a catalog that included 11 scholarly essays taking a variety of approaches toward the Greenes’ work, investigating their inspirations and their work’s individual components and historiography.

Among the essays are articles that look into the Greenes’ efforts to develop a new California style of architecture and their desire to design homes and buildings that were appropriate for the state. These articles also showed the exotic influences that impacted their work – including the Japanese and Spanish mission traditions, which suited their objective to create architecture for Southern California’s sunny climate.

Another essay discusses the Greene’s metalwork, from exterior elements such as strapwork and lanterns to interior furniture and fireplace accoutrements. In “The Spell of Japan: Japonism and the Metalwork of Greene and Greene,” author Nina Gray describes the Japanesque aspects of the metalwork, focusing in particular on its relation to traditional Japanese sword guards, or “tsuba.”

In general, most of the essays in the book demonstrate how Japanism influenced all of the Greenes’ creations.

“Two Sides of the Pacific” will be on Zoom Thursday at 4 to 5 p.m. It is free to attend but reservations are required.

To RSVP, go to


For more information, call (626) 405-2100.

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