Frank Lloyd Wright's Stunning Theodore Baird House
The Only Wright Structure in Massachusetts Located in AmherstBy: - Dec 20th, 2015
A hidden jewel in a wooded residential neighborhood of Amherst, MA, the Theodore Baird House By Frank Lloyd Wright is an early Usonian style residence built in 1939 for an Amherst College professor and his wife. It is a unique example of the flamboyant master architect's craft. It is an architectural icon by an architectual legend.
The Pentalum at Lawn on D
A Marvelously Trippy Light ShowBy: - Jan 10th, 2016
A temporary structure set up for a few days by an English/French consortium that uses maze space and color to transform awareness and spatial sensation. This environment is just a lot of fun to experience--an aesthetically infused inflatable bouncy castle to the nth degree for the whole family. This was one of two exciting environmental art events produced at the Lawn on D (a park adjacent o the Boston & Convention Bureau in South Boston) in 2015.
John Stomberg Discusses Hood Museum
51 Million Expansion Designed by Tod Williams and Billie TsienBy: - Jan 13th, 2016
Recently we visited Dartmouth College where we learned that the Hood Museum of Art will close in March for renovations to begin this summer. We discussed these plans with an old friend, John Stomberg, who has just arrived in Hanover as the new director of the museum.
Design Biennial Boston 2015: Hit or Miss
Younger Architectural Firms Expressing Themselves Through Sculptural FormsBy: - Jan 11th, 2016
Contemporary architecture is not an easy fit in Boston. Hoping to stimulate higher quality and innovative design in the region, Design Biennial Boston was introduced during the dark economic days of 2008. Its mission is to showcase the distinctive work of emerging Boston architects, designers, and landscape architects. This past year, four younger firms were chosen to create an architectural statement in the form of a sculptural form. Were these pieces metaphorical or symbolic or something else?
M.I.T.’s Memorial to Officer Sean Collier
Mundane Rather than MarvelousBy: - Jan 11th, 2016
Seeming to be set in an empty MIT campus corner space, this memorial does not elicit a strongly felt aesthetic or visceral reaction. Perhaps, it was a prose statement expressed too soon rather than physical poetry done with more thought?
The Olana Summer Party
Olana '66: Fifty Years of Art & StyleBy: - Jul 07th, 2016
Fifty years ago, Olana was saved from the brink of destruction. The Olana Partnership is celebrating the past fifty years of art and style with a lawn party
Naumkeag Chinese Temple Gardens Opens
Three Years and a VisionBy: - Jul 27th, 2016
After a public 'Appeal' for the renovation of elements of Naumkeag, the first phase of the project has finished. Newly restored Chinese Temple Gardens and an updated landscape project have been completed. The new project opened its doors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently. Yo-Yo Ma and wife Jill Hornor chaired the event.
Artwashing: Gentrification or Cultural Enrichment?
Aiding Derelict Neighborhoods or Abetting Social InequityBy: - Aug 11th, 2016
For the anti-gentrification critics, urban deterioration should be left the way it is rather than reverse it through the introduction of art galleries, performance spaces, work/live lofts, and museums. This is an issue wrapped in controversy that underscores progress while perhaps marginalizing impoverished residents and pioneering artists. It is hard to determine if everyone is right or everyone is wrong.
American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style Experience
Lavish Book by Margaret Supplee SmithBy: - Sep 23rd, 2014
With holiday gift giving approaching consider this book for your ski enthusiast friends. Wake Forest professor emerita Margaret Supplee Smith combined two loves, skiing and architecture in ten years of research. This has resulted in a lavishly illustrated, beautifully designed book American Ski Resort: Architecture, Style, Experience. It will be an absorbing read both for skiers and armchair enthusiasts. Her overview from the Depression to the current era goes beyond a chronicle of the sport to address social, economic, envirnomental aspects of architetural and design issues of resort development.
National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC
A Visual Journey Through HistoryBy: - Dec 18th, 2016
President Barack Obama officially opened the National Museum of African American History and Culture on September 24, 2016, on the Washington Mall. It is actually the 19th Smithsonian Museum. My daughter Olivia and I got up early on a December day, to stand in line for one of the circa 100 free daily tickets. Otherwise, tickets can be reserved online months in advance. The short text and extensive photo essay convey our experiences.
London’s Design Museum — An Inspiring Experience
One of the Major Venues for Experiencing Art of DesignBy: - Jan 23rd, 2017
London's newly opened Design Museum is the world's leading museum devoted to contemporary design in every form from architecture and fashion to graphics, product and industrial design. The Design Museum is now open in its spectacular new location on High Street Kensington. It is now a major venue to visit in London.
Samara by Frank Lloyd Wright in Indiana
One of Some 60 Compact Usonian HomesBy: - Jul 04th, 2017
Samara is one of Wright’s Usonian houses, affordable homes for middle-income families. There are about 60 of these houses in the U.S. and they are smaller and less grand than some of the famous Wright Prairie-style mansions like the Robie house or the Avery Coonley house in Riverside. But they are no less uniquely Wrightian and feature the architect’s special touches in design and functionality.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate
Less May Just Be Less At Senatorial MemorialBy: - Apr 16th, 2015
To commemorate the life and service of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a new educational and research institute was recently opened adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on Dorchester Bay overlooking Boston Harbor. Though created by a star architect Rafael ViÃ±oly, the structure is spare and initially uninviting. If such a thing can exist, it is minimalism light.
ICA to Expand
Lucky Break After Poor Initial Design IssuesBy: - May 19th, 2015
After less than a decade the land locked ICA on the waterfront has run out of space. There is a desperate plan to expand into two floors of a 17 floor adjacent building which is under construction. It has become ever more obvious that the award winning design by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. is proving to be an utter dysfunctional disaster.
Naumkeag Garden Party
A National Historic Landmak CelebratesBy: - Jul 27th, 2018
The historic home of the Choate family, Naumkeag, located in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts hosts their annual Garden Party, this Saturday. With beautiful grounds, a historic 34 room house and tours daily, this gem in Stockbridge is the place to be on July 28th.
On the BeachBy: - Apr 08th, 2015
We are returning to the hotel on the beach, exactly to the day, where we saw the Boston marathon bombing. Strange anniversary in Provincetown.
Architect Michael Graves Dies At 80
Post Modern Master Architect and Consumer Product DesignerBy: - Mar 18th, 2015
Michael Graves shook up the architectural world by taking the unadorned boxes of modern architecture and often theatrically enhancing them with color, pattern, and ornamentation. His work for Humana, Disney and others was considered kitsch by some but revolutionary by others. Though his building style faded, his often whimsical and sometimes iconic home products for first Alessi and then Target and other retailers may be his greatest continuing legacy.
Americans in Paris
Celebrating Artists and EntertainersBy: - Mar 15th, 2015
The favorable exchange rate from dollars to francs allowed Americans in Paris and the Lost Generation to live well in the city of lights. Artists, writers and entertainers were able to escape racism and discrimination in the bourgeois U.S.A.
HoneymoonBy: - Nov 30th, 2014
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Mad As HellBy: - Nov 28th, 2014
This time the My Lai massacre can be any town from Ferguson to Chicago or LA. Why is a black life in America still less valued than a white one? When is too late?
New Harvard Art Museums
Three in One by Renzo PianoBy: - Nov 26th, 2014
Arguably housing the finest university art collection in the world (over 250,000 objects in all mediums), Harvard University’s Harvard Art Museums comprise three museums. The Fogg Museum was established in 1895, the Busch-Reisinger Museum in 1903, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum in 1985. Through innovation in research, teaching, professional training, and public education, Harvard’s museums have played a leading role in the development of art history, the science of conservation, and the evolution of the art museum as an institution.
Simeon Bruner on Mass MoCA
Pioneer of Reuse Architecture.By: - Nov 23rd, 2014
During the recent press conference to announce plans for Phase Three of the development of the Mass MoCA campus we met with the museum’s chief architect Simeon Bruner. In addition to his ideas for the design of building six we discussed the approach of reuse architecture of which he and his firm Bruner/ Cott have been pioneers.
Arizona Biltmore a Phoenix Landmark
Wright Accents to Albert Chase McArthur DesignBy: - Nov 04th, 2014
When it opened at the edge of Phoenix in 1929 the Arizona Biltmore was isolated in a dessert environment. The city has grown around it with a now upscale community. The hotel has gone through different owners, fire, remodeling and renovation . It still retains the aura of Frank Lloyd Wright who was a consutlant to the architect of record Charles McArthur. It remains a landmark for scholar and appeciators of classic American luxury resort design.
Frank Lloyd Wright in ArizonaBy: - Nov 03rd, 2014
From 1928 and the Biltmore, to the founding of Taliesin West in 1937 until his death at 91 in 1959, Frank Lloyd Wright created fifty designs for Arizona. About half were built which is consistent with the average of his career. Recently we spent time exploring projects by the greatest American architect of his generation. There is an ongoing financial struggle for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation to preserve his remarkable legacy.
Arcosanti Rings a Bell
Desert Laboratory of Architect Paolo SoleriBy: - Oct 22nd, 2014
In 1946, with a degree in architecture, Paolo Soleri started a year and a half fellowship with Frank Lloyd Wright. Returning to Italy in 1950 by 1956 he and his wife Colly established a home, foundation and bell making studio Acosanti near Scottsdale Arizona. In 1970 he founded Arcosanti some 70 miles from Phoenix as a laboratory for his radical urban designs. The plan was for a community of 5,000. Only a fraction was built before his death in 2013.
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