Author Archives: Ted

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library Remembers Hilary Ballon

Image credit: NYU/Abu Dhabi

Image credit: NYU/Abu Dhabi

Hilary Ballon, former professor at Columbia University’s Department of Art & Archaeology, passed away on June 16, 2017 at age 61.

She spent 22 years at Columbia University, where she won the University’s three awards for outstanding teaching and chaired the Department of Art History and Archaeology.

After leaving Columbia she was Senior Advisor to the Mellon Foundation, University Professor at NYU, and Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.

Avery Library was privileged to work with Dr. Ballon throughout her career including two major exhibitions: Robert Moses and the Modern City (2007) and The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011 (2011).

All staff at Avery will miss working with her and with the entire community mourns her loss.

New York Times obituary

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and MoMA are pleased to announce the opening of a co-presented exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, June 12 – October 1, 2017 at the Museum of Modern Art.

Drawing on the expansive Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive, jointly acquired by Avery and MoMA in 2012, the exhibition comprises approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited.

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, critically engages his multifaceted practice.

 

MoMA website

Avery Library Frank LLoyd Wright Collection

New York Times review

Avery Art Properties at Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry

Installation view at The Jewish Museum showing the triptych of sister portraits from 1923 by Florine Stettheimer, (left to right): Portrait of Myself, oil on canvas laid on board, 40 3/8 x 26 3/8 in. (102.7 x 67 cm); Portrait of My Sister, Carrie W. Stettheimer, oil on canvas laid on hardboard backing, 37 7/8 x 26 in. (96.2 x 66.2 cm); and Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, oil on canvas laid on hardboard backing, 40 3/8 x 26 1/4 in. (102.2 x 66.8 cm). Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967.

Columbia University is the major lender to the current exhibition Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry, which is now open at The Jewish Museum in New York City (May 5-September 24, 2017), and then travels to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, Canada (October 21, 2017-January 28, 2018). Columbia is the largest repository for the art of American modernist Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944). Over 65 paintings, drawings, and decorative arts objects are housed in and stewarded by Art Properties , and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library holds the Florine Stettheimer Papers . Art Properties has fifteen paintings and drawings, and a decorative heart screen, on loan to The Jewish Museum.

In preparation for this exhibition Art Properties received a conservation grant from the frame company Eli Wilner & Co., in which full restoration of one of Stettheimer’s period frames and two historical replicas were made, allowing for a rare opportunity to showcase the artist’s important 1923 ‘sister triptych’ portraits as they originally appeared in silver-leaf frames hanging in her studio and their family home. The three portraits, seen above in an installation view at The Jewish Museum, show the artist’s innovative self-portrait, her older sister Carrie decorating her dollhouse (on permanent view at the Museum of the City of New York), and her younger sister Ettie (an alum of Barnard and Columbia) in a night scene resting beside a flaming Christmas tree. To learn more about this grant and the restoration project, click here

Avery Drawing & Archives: Conrad archive

Recently opened for research is the archive of American architectural model maker Theodore Conrad (1910-1994). Conrad was a pioneer in the use of plastics and metals for models instead of the more traditional materials of wood, plaster and cardboard.  Conrad began his career making cardboard models in the office of Harvey Wiley Corbett while a student at Pratt. Upon graduation, Conrad earned a full-time job at Corbett’s firm, but soon left to establish his own shop in New Jersey. By the 1940s, Conrad’s enterprise became the largest in the country, employing at its heights 26 men and women. His assignments included work for McKim Mead and White, Edward Durrell Stone, Louis Kahn, Mies van der Rohe and Skidmore Owings and Merrill.

The collection is housed in Avery Drawings & Archives and is composed primarily of model photographs, account records, press clippings, and other model making documentation. For more information on the collection, please consult its online finding aid 

Avery Library Remembers Christopher Gray (1950-2016)

Image Credit: Office for Metropolitan History

Christopher Gray was a major figure in the rising swell of interest in New York City architectural history that began in the aftermath of the demolition of Pennsylvania Station. With a degree in Art History from Columbia in 1975, Chris founded the Office of Metropolitan History that same year to provide research services to historic architectural questions. His research provided historical accuracy to many publications, thereby raising the standards for the field. He became widely known to the public for his column Streetscapes that ran from 1987 to 2014, one of the highlights of the Sunday New York Times Real Estate section. Chris and his staff from the OMH, Suzanne Braley, Melissa Braverman, and Samantha Hightower, were frequently seen at Avery pursuing countless citations, photographs, and drawings.

Avery Library extends its sympathy to his wife, Erin D. Gray, a graduate of Columbia University’s Historic Preservation program, and his family.

 

New York Times Obituary

Architects Newpaper Obituary

WET PAINT!!

WET PAINT!!

The North American paint & varnish industry, as it expanded, left us with an amazing assortment of colorful vintage objects—cans, sample sets, store displays and advertising signs.

Avery Library in collaboration with private lenders, is pleased to present WET PAINT!! The exhibit displays items dating from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and is designed to complement the Avery Classics exhibit: “Color Harmony in the Home: American Paint Publications from 1870-1950” which showcases a selection of items from Avery’s extensive trade catalog and brochure collection.

Lenders to WET PAINT!! are: Mary Jablonski, Judith M. Jacob, Norman R. Weiss and Adam Woodward. Exhibit installation was done with the assistance of GSAPP Historic Preservation graduate students Tania Alam, Alex Ray and Katrina Virbitsky.

This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 6th International Architectural Paint Research Conference hosted by Columbia University GSAPP in New York City from March 15 to 17, 2017.
Both exhibitions are on view in Avery Library through April 25th.

For details and information on visiting the exhibits, contact: Avery Classics

 

Avery Classics New Acquisition

Avery Classics recently acquired a complete set of the Dutch magazine Utopia: Tweemaandelijks tijdschrift voor wetenscahpp amusement (Utopia: Bi-monthly for scientific entertainment). Utopia was published between 1975 and 1978 in Delft. Obviously influenced by Archigram‘s style, each issue features a unique format with illustrations drawing on contemporary trends such as Pop Art. The magazine explores broad cultural trends like television and architectural topics such as Dutch pavilions for world exhibitions or a proposal for a working community in the water tower complex in Rotterdam.

Pritzker Prize 2017 Awarded

Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta have been selected as the 2017 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureates.
Known for their highly collaborative practice,  the three architects’ work makes use of modern materials including steel and plastic, contextualized to local environments.
The 2017 Pritzker Prize Jury Citation states, in part: “we live in a globalized world where we must rely on international influences, trade, discussion, transactions, etc. But more and more people fear that because of this international influence…we will lose our local values, our local art, and our local customs…Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigemand Ramon Vilalta tell us that it may be possible to have both. They help us to see, in a most beautiful and poetic way, that the answer to the question is not ‘either/or’ and that we can, at least in architecture, aspire to have both; our roots firmly in place and our arms outstretched to the rest of the world.”

 

ArchDaily

New York Times

Pritzker Prize homepage

 

Visiting classes at Avery Drawings & Archives

Every semester, Avery welcomes classes to Drawings and Archives. This semester has already seen class visits from 1st year Core Architecture Studio II students, whose section is coordinated by Mimi Hoang, students from the American Architecture II history lecture being taught by Jennifer Gray, as well as a visiting group of final year undergraduate students from UCL’s Bartlett School of Architecture with their professor Guan Lee. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to Drawings & Archives to coordinate a class visit and discuss archival collections that will be relevant to their courses.Visit the Drawings and Archives website to see our full collections list and email us at: avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu

Avery Drawings & Archives Checkman archive used

Avery Drawings & Archives Checkman archive of architectural model photography was used by Columbia GSAPP for their current exhibition Stagecraft: Models & Photos.

The exhibition will be on display at The Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery from February 9 until March 10, 2017.

Read Kenneth Frampton’s article in Metropolis magazine about the exhibition here.