A visit to the exhibit is in many ways similar to a visit to the store until it closed in the mid-1980s. Frank would put on exhibitions of his own in the store, hanging chairs from the ceiling and employing other unorthodox displays.Among the impressive items at the exhibit are an Eames lounge chair with ottoman on loan from Ron’s wife, Nancy; some pieces by Neal Small, the “Prince of Plastic” because of his use of Plexiglas and Lucite; an inflatable chair and pillows by Phil Orenstein; and Efebo chairs from Stacy Duke.
The art of Frank Bros. Their book on the Frank Bros., also subtitled “The Store That Modernized Modern,” will be released later this month. Volland and Cara Mullio, who have collaborated on some of the finest books on Long Beach architecture, including the essential “Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis,” and “Edward A. is being celebrated now through April 9 at Cal State Long Beach’s University Art Museum, following an opening night affair that drew a staggering crowd of more than 600 visitors.“Frank Bros.: The Store That Modernized Modern” is guest curated by writing and research partners Jennifer M. Killingsworth: An Architect’s Life,” an exhaustive volume on the life and work of the Long Beach architect.
We’re not a connoisseur, though we do throw in with Ron Frank (he died in 2015 at 84), who told an interviewer “furniture has to be more than something that keeps you off the floor in a comfortable position.”Toward that end, the exhibit, designed by Marci Boudreau. The UAM exhibit is a blast of eye candy regardless of your feelings about furniture. “That would be intimidating to me but she did a great job using Frank graphics to inform her design.” “It’s a really tall order to design a show that is so design-savvy,” said Volland.
But it wasn’t until 1965 that the store, by then at a new location at 2400 Long Beach Blvd. and called Frank Bros., quickly became the epitome of style and modernity.Third-generation owner Ron Frank, 34, took over the store and through a combination of hunting down daring new furniture designers and adventurous advertising he brought national recognition and prestige to the store and made it the go-to place for home designers and buyers with a keen eye for cutting-edge craftsmanship and revolutionary design. For more than half a century people in Long Beach could buy furniture from one Frank or another, starting with Louis Frank, who opened Frank & Son on Fourth Street.