Miles Davis's seminal recording, known as 'Birth of the Cool', is the starting point for this colorful, multi-disciplinary journey through 1950s West Coast America. 1950s West Coast style exuded "cool"; from the smooth, hypnotic strains of a Miles Davis riff through Richard Neutra's elegant, modernist residences to the hard-edged paintings of Helen Lundeberg and Karl Benjamin. This illustrated volume casts a fresh eye on Fifties West Coast style with illuminating commentary from a variety of perspectives. Designed to echo the period it celebrates, this catalog explores modernist innovations in art, architecture, design, film and music. Prominent cultural critics write on an array of topics - Thomas Hine about the culture of cool; Elizabeth Smith on domestic aspects of the period's architecture; Francis Colpitt on hard-edged abstract painting; Dave Hickey on jazz, and Bruce Jenkins on the crossover between animation and experimental film. The result is a multi-faceted exploration of the 1950s West Coast.