Maybe you know it as the house in Charlie's Angels part II: Full Throttle where irresistible, dancin' fucboi babe Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) shoots Dylan (Drew Barrymore) through a window. Or as pornographer Jackie Treehorn's sexy bachelor pad in The Big Lebowski. Or simply, perhaps the angular ceilings, azure pool and a sprawling glass skyline ring bells for the countless music videos, celebrity parties and photoshoots by Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Michel Comte, Peter Lindbergh, Ellen von Unwerth, Mikael Jansson, and Philip Lorca di Corcia, to name a few, that have taken place there - however the famous Sheats-Goldstein residence is familiar to you, no doubt it is.
In what is a huge coup for the Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art (LACMA), it was announced last week that the John Lautner-designed home, its gardens and the contents have been promised to the museum by eccentric billionaire owner, James Goldstein. Pinch yourself moment for a museum? You freaking bet.
The glass and concrete home hangs off the side of a canyon high above Beverly Hills, overlooking LA's sprawling skyline from the Hills to the Pacific Ocean, and is a highly dramatic work of architectural genius. It was designed in 1963 by Lautner and purchased Goldstein, a fashion front row regular and LA Lakers mega-fan, 35 years ago, who has been perfecting it ever since, including collaborating with the iconic architect on tiny tweaks up until his death in 1994.
The estimated $40million home features barely any 90-degree angles, glass windows that drop and rise at the push of a button and a sprawling eight acres of landscaped tropical jungle. In terms of the contents donated to the museum, that includes a James Turrell Skyspace, Above Horizon, which is housed in the gardens, an "infinity tennis court", a lap pool, screening room, a nightclub, which has famously has hosted parties for Rihanna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay Z, Mick Jagger, Snoop Dogg and more. On top of that, Goldstein is also donating his insane designer wardrobe and art collection, which includes significant works by Ed Ruscha, DeWain Valentine, Bernar Venet, and Kenny Scharf, the architectural models of the property, and his 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud. Are you drooling yet?
"Over the course of many meetings with [LACMA CEO] Michael Govan, I was very impressed with his appreciation for the history of the house and the role it has played in the cultural life of Los Angeles, as well as with his vision for continuing that tradition when the house becomes an important part of LACMA's collections," said Goldstein. "Following last year's 50th anniversary gifts to LACMA, I decided now was the perfect time to announce that I will leave my house and its contents to the museum. Hopefully, my gift will serve as a catalyst to encourage others to do the same to preserve and keep alive Los Angeles's architectural gems for future generations."
The gift is the first architectural acquirement for the museum, and an odd one at that, because generally speaking, acquiring homes, regardless of their importance, can be a costly burden for a museum, though luckily, with the Sheats-Goldstein residence comes an extra $17 million endowment. "One of the reasons I was so excited when we began talking about this house, is that this is an expression not just of design but also of an architect, John Lautner, who is one of the greatest architects of our time," said Govan of the generous gift. "And as I'm fond of saying, no patron, no project. Without the patron, artists cannot work."