Roger Brown's Bequest to SAIC
At the time of his death in November 1997 Roger Brown’s bequest to the School included his home, art collection, and Spartan trailer in La Conchita, CA, a parcel of unimproved land in Lompoc, CA, and a large selection of his paintings.
Roger Brown property in La Conchita, CA
Brown’s La Conchita property included a residence and studio designed by Stanley Tigerman, Brown’s art collection and personal effects, and a Spartan mobile home. Brown intended for this gift to provide ongoing support for the RBSC and New Buffalo facilities, which directly serve the SAIC community. Prior to selling the property in 1998, the house, collection, and garden were documented thoroughly. The collection was moved to Chicago, where it is stored, and the documentation is part of the permanent archive of the RBSC. Proceeds from the sale of the La Conchita property provided much needed support for the Roger Brown Study Collection and the New Buffalo retreat.
The La Conchita art collection and Spartan trailer
The La Conchita art collection reflects Brown’s life in southern California, and enhances our understanding of his work during the last phase of his career. The collection is replete with vernacular ceramics and decorative arts objects from the 1950s through the 1980s. The Spartan trailer, a fine example of mid-century (1955) American industrial design, sparked Brown’s initial inspiration for living in La Conchita. Brown furnished the Spartan objects that directly reflected his aesthetic.
To honor Brown’s life in southern California, the Spartan was moved to Los Angeles, where it is on long term loan to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, an artists’ museum. It has been situated in the museum’s courtyard adjacent to a Spartanette, a smaller version of the Spartan, and it relates to the Museum’s exhibit, A Garden of Eden on Wheels a display of dioramas exploring mobile home living in Southern California. With this loan, Roger Brown’s presence in California is preserved in the creative environment of an outstanding artists’ museum.
Unimproved property at Lompoc
The unimproved property at Lompoc was sold, as Brown intended, to provide support for the Roger Brown Study Collection. However, architectural drawings, books, and notes found at La Conchita revealed that Brown had designed an adobe structure for the Lompoc property, which was never realized. The drawing and related materials are archived at the Roger Brown Study Collection.