The Hollyhock House Shot by Gaea Woods


If you’d happened to wander into L.A.’s Barnsdall Art Park in the middle of the night last Friday, you might have assumed there were concert tickets, or some newfangled iPhone model, about to go on sale the next morning: even into the wee hours, a line of people three hours long snaked all around the property. Amazingly enough, though, the massive crowd had turned out not to buy something but to experience the re-opening of Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark 1921 Hollyhock House, which we overheard certain over-caffeinated line-goers describe as “super hyped.” Built in 1921 in the so-called California Romanza style, the theater and home turned museum had been closed to the public for more than three years for restoration, and the city was celebrating the unveiling of its face-lift by giving the public continuous free access for 24 hours. We figured the best way to mark the occasion was to send a photographer to shoot the house after dark, a task we entrusted to the up-and-coming L.A. photographer Gaea Woods.

Woods, who got her BFA in photography at RISD and has an amazing ongoing personal project shooting L.A. artists in their cars, staked out the house for several hours starting at dusk in order to produce the moody black-and-white photos pictured in this slideshow. “I approached photographing the Hollyhock House the same way that I approach photographing people — it’s about capturing personality,” she says. “For me the personality of the Hollyhock House comes down to the layering of light, form, and materials within the space. I like the idea that something two-dimensional such as light and shadow can play as much of a role in forming one’s interpretation of a space as an actual physical form can.” After viewing the images at right, follow this link to read more about the history of the house, which was a turning point not only for Wright’s career in California but for those of Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra as well.