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    Edward Durell Stone: A Belated Appreciation by Hicks Stone

    Edward Durell Stone: A Belated Appreciation by Hicks Stone

    Pops-Hicks-Agrigento-1959Edward Durell Stone was my father. Father and I had a tenuous and at times a difficult relationship. He would have found it both comically improbable and deeply touching if he had been aware that I had written his biography. Even though our relationship was distant, I had a closely-held but deeply-seated admiration for his achievements. The underlying impetus to write his biography extends back to my childhood in New York during the 1960s. Anyone who came of age during those years recalls them as a time when activists would champion the rights of people unjustly relegated to living life at the margins of society. It was this sensitivity to injustice and an activist’s desire to right wrongs that set me on the course that led me to submit a proposal to Rizzoli for my father’s biography in the spring of 2008. Simply stated, Father has been unfairly treated for over a half-century, and the time for him to be accorded the simple decency, recognition and respect that he deserves from the architectural community is long overdue.

     

     

    Paul Rudolph buildings in Buffalo and Boston under threat

    Docomomo US has been made aware of a looming threat to Paul Rudolph's Blue Cross/Blue Shield building (1960) in Boston. The city is considering five proposals from firms to develop a prominant site next to the Blue Cross/Blue Shield building. Four out of the five proposals pose no threat to the Rudolph designed building and one proposal is unclear of its effects on the building. The proposal from developer Trans National plans to demolish the building during the second phase of construction. Candidates will be interviewed in the beginning of June. Docomomo US and Docomomo US/New England are monitoring the situation as it unfolds.

     

    Future use of Breuer Library is unclear

    By Docomomo US/Georgia

    For several years members of the Atlanta/Fulton County Library Authority, the agency responsible for area library service, have proposed abandoning its Central Library, Marcel Breuer’s last built project before his death, for a new “iconic” library. The structure is similar in character to the recently restored and adapted Met Breuer, the former Whitney Museum in Manhattan. The stated justification for this proposal is one part criticism of Brutalist architecture and one part failure to maintain the relevancy of the library system in a time when the primacy of the printed book is being called in to question by a plethora of digital offerings.

    Modern Sculpture in the Garden State

    Text and Images By: Meredith Arms Bzdak

    Public sculpture in New Jersey is plentiful (numbering over seven hundred pieces statewide), with works by significant artists that tell many fascinating stories about our history, our values, and our aspirations. Generally, the sculpture created for placement in the public realm in New Jersey and beyond during the 19th and 20th centuries was always more stylistically conservative than sculpture created for broad artistic purposes, even within the oeuvre of a single artist. During the Modern era, this continued to be the case, with most works produced in a representational rather than abstract style.

    What is it? Modernism and public art at Baltimore’s public schools

    By Eli Pousson, Director of Preservation and Outreach for Baltimore Heritage, with contributions from Ryan Patterson, Public Art Administration for the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts.

    Baltimore’s public schools are home to over 120 public art commissions—most of these works tied to a local boom in school building construction during the 1960s and 1970s. While some are the work of nationally known modern artists and designers, like Michio Ihara, Gyorgy Kepes, and Harry Bertoia, others are the work of artists, architects and designers with a regional practice or local following; some of whom had few commissions outside of Baltimore, or no public work outside of these midcentury school buildings.

    Musings on Isamu Noguchi’s Hart Plaza

    By Jenny Dixon, Director
    The Noguchi Museum

    Detroit’s first ideas for a vast urban plaza at the terminus of Woodward Avenue and fronting on the Detroit River were laid in 1924, when the Detroit branch of the American Institute of Architects commissioned Eliel Saarinen to design it. The project was never fully realized. Perhaps Isamu Noguchi knew of this history when he responded to the invitation by the City of Detroit to submit plans for the Horace E. Dodge & Son Fountain at that same location just shy of fifty years later.

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