Tim's parents watched Stella yesterday and we went to the Birth of the Cool Exhibit at the Blanton. We were less than overwhelmed. Unfortunately, it's a very small exhibit, we went through it in less than an hour, and it's a survey of music, architecture, design, media and even news events of the time period. It didn't go in-depth on anything. I think if you were unfamiliar with Mid-Century Modern design, it would be a great overview, but for fanatics like Tim and I, it was sort of like, "yeah, I already know this, show me a little more!" It was very cool to see Julius Shulman's Case Study House photos large, as opposed to small in books or on the internet (he took the groovy photo above), and there were some amazing photographs by William Claxton of the jazz musicians of the day, but did I really need a timeline of ALL the historical events that took place between 1959 and 1962? I mean, if they didn't have anything to do with MCM, did it need to take up space? And most of the events you would know about, if you had any understanding of history at all. I would have much better preferred to see photos from ALL of the Case Study houses rather than a history timeline.
So the verdict: You'll probably enjoy it if this is your first encounter with much Mid-Century Modern stuff, but if you, as Tim said, "Know how many case study houses there are and who designed them", it will probably be a little too surface for your tastes.
Interesting tidbit: Dobie Gillis was the first tv show to depict teens from their point of view. And his best friend was the first time a moody, beatnik teenager was shown on tv. I had no clue!