Front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House (Pasadena, California)

MAKER:
Designer

Charles Sumner Greene ( American, 1868 - 1957 )


Manufacturer

Peter Hall Manufacturing Company


Manufacturer

Sturdy-Lange Art Glass Studios


Designer

Henry Mather Greene ( American, 1870 - 1954 )

DATE:
1907
more object details

General Description

These front doors were one of the most significant features of the 1907 Robert R. Blacker House in Pasadena, California. They consist of three large leaded-glass panels depicting plant vines set against richly hued, swirling glass - all suggesting the lush garden and pond landscaping the Greene brothers designated for the grounds surrounding the house.

The architects Greene and Greene were preeminent among the West Coast architects whose work is part of the early 20th century Arts and Crafts movement. Of all their buildings, the Blacker House was one of the most important. Over 12,000 square feet in size, it was the first and largest of a series of "ultimate bungalows" dating between 1907 and 1909. The Blacker estate consisted of a main house, garage, gardener's cottage, greenhouse, and garden pergola. Its sophisticated timber structure and subtle naturalistic details throughout marked it and the Greenes' other houses of the period as being in the "Japanese Style," according to contemporary critics.

Excerpt from

Kevin W. Tucker, DMA unpublished material, Label text, 2008.

Related Multimedia

Curator Kevin Tucker discusses these doors.
Learn about Charles (1868–1957) and Henry Greene (1870–1954).
Collections smartphone audio about Charles Greene and Henry Greene; related to Front Doors from the Robert R. Blacker House (1994.183.a-c) DMA Collection

Fun Facts

The front doors from the Robert R. Blacker House appear in the of the 1985 film Back to the Future. The Blacker House provided the front doors and interior views of character Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown's home, while another Greene & Greene house - the Gamble House - provided the exterior views.

Web Resources

  • University of Southern California ~ View blueprints and archival photographs of the Robert R. Blacker House in the Green & Green Virtual Archives

  • The Gamble House ~ Read a history of the Robert R. Blacker House.

  • The Gamble House
    Learn how the Robert R. Blacker house relates to the concept of Gesamkunstwerk or "total work of art."

  • LACMA ~ View furniture designed by Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene for the Robert R. Blacker House.

  • Toledo Museum of Art
    The front doors were originally accompanied by three transom windows, now in the permanent collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.