Category Archives: Avery on the Road

Avery Library and Rare Book & Manuscript Library Major Lenders to Florine Stettheimer Exhibition in Munich


Florine Stettheimer, Self-Portrait with Palette (Painter and Faun), undated (ca. 1915), oil on canvas, 60 x 71 7/8 in., Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Gift of the Estate of Ettie Stettheimer, 1967 (1967.17.11)

Columbia University Libraries/Information ServicesAvery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and Rare Book & Manuscript Library (RBML) are pleased to announce Columbia’s participation as a major lender to the exhibition Florine Stettheimer at the Lenbachhaus in Munich, Germany, from September 27, 2014 through January 4, 2015. The exhibit will include 9 large-scale paintings from Columbia’s collections including Stettheimer’s highly regarded 1923 portraits of herself, and of her sisters Carrie and Ettie, as well as maquettes for her stage production of Four Saints in Three Acts, a collaboration with Virgil Thompson and Gertrude Stein.


Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of My Sister, Ettie Stettheimer, 1923, oil on canvas laid on board, 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 (1967.17.09)

Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) was a well-known New York City-based painter and
designer who, with her sisters Ettie and Carrie, held regular salons in their home on
the Upper West Side, socializing with avant-garde artists and writers such as
Marcel Duchamp, Alfred Stieglitz, and Leo Stein.  Stettheimer initially studied at the
Art Students’ League, then spent nearly 20 years in Europe with her mother and sisters,
where she was exposed to early modernist art forms such as Post-Impressionism and
Fauvism, which were influential on her art.  After 1917 she developed her own
idiosyncratic, fluid style that remains influential on some artists today.

“Stettheimer’s work fascinates viewers because it offers a new, feminist vision about
modernism in the early twentieth century,” said Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art
Properties.  “Rather than canvases of non-objective abstractions or gestural
brushstrokes of color, Stettheimer’s paintings emphasize narrativity and frequently
depict recognizable people in her life, but represented as if they are lithe, sinuous
dancers in timeless landscapes. We are thrilled to participate in this exhibition and
bring Stettheimer’s  extraordinary work into public view.”

Columbia University holds the largest collection of Stettheimer’s works, including more
than 60 paintings, drawings, and decorative arts in Art Properties, Avery Library.  The
Stettheimer holdings in RBML include sketchbooks, archival  papers, stage props and
costumed maquettes.  The Stettheimer collection was a bequest to Columbia’s
collections in 1967 from the estate of her sister Ettie, a graduate of Barnard College.

The Lenbachhaus in Munich is renowned internationally for its collection of works by the
Blue Rider artists, an important modernist group active in Munich prior to World War I.
In an effort to introduce European audiences to alternative approaches of modernism,
the Lenbachhaus will introduce Stettheimer as one of a series of artists who developed
their own distinctive visual languages and pioneered new approaches to art.

Art Properties oversees the art collections owned by Columbia University. Comprised of approximately 15,000 works of art in
all media, the collections include works from all cultures and time periods. Highlights include public outdoor sculpture with works by
Auguste Rodin, Daniel Chester French, Henry Moore, and others; fine art photography from daguerreotypes to Andy Warhol polaroids
to contemporary works; and the Sackler Collection of over 2,000 Asian art works. The Art Properties collections are available for
research consultation and curricular use, and also may be requested for loan to special exhibitions.

 Columbia University Libraries/Information Services (CUL/IS) is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 12 million volumes, over 160,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, and graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 21 libraries and various academic technology centers, including affiliates. CUL/IS employs more than 450 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources:

Columbia University Libraries press release
Exhibition website
Art News review



SAH Exhibition Catalogue Award for Henri Labrouste

henri-labrouste-structure-brought-to-lightThis month, the Society of Architectural Historians announced its annual awards for publications in architectural history. The Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award went to Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light, edited by Corinne Bélier, Barry Bergdoll, and Marc Le Coeur. This catalogue accompanied an exhibition that opened at the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine in Paris before traveling to the Museum of Modern Art in 2012. The show featured many architectural drawings, books, and architectural journals owned by the Avery Library, several of which were exhibited for the first time.

See also the previous exhibition blog post.

Palaces for the People at MCNY

March 26-Sept. 7, 2014

Sixteen drawings and numerous artifacts and photographs from the Guastavino archives in the Drawings & Archives are on display at the Museum of the City of New York. Titled Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile, the exhibition was curated by a team of scholars under the direction of Professor John Ochsendorf of MIT, author of the 2009 monograph, Guastavino Vaulting. The curatorial team included Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings and Archives, Avery Library; Professor Richard Wilson, University of Virginia; Professor Christopher Capozzola, MIT; and Chrysanthe B. Broikos, curator, the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.. Additional New York material has been added with the assistance of Martin Moeller.

The National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored the development and execution of the exhibition, from a Consultation Grant in 2006 to the implementation grant for the exhibition in 2011 as part of the “We the People” program. Additional funding came from the Institut Ramon Llull and the Diputació de Barcelona.

On April 11th, Janet Parks will moderate a panel discussion on Guastavino’s Palaces for the People: from archive to exhibition.

Exhibition website

CBS News video

Columbia University Libraries press release

Columbia University Record review & video

New York Review of Books review

New York Times review

Panel discussion with Santiago Calatrava and Jill Lerner for WNYC February 24, 2014

Panel discussion at Columbia April 11, 2014 12 pm-2 pm

Palaces for the People symposium panelists

Image credit: Jonathan Alger






Tour of old City Hall Station with the Transit Museum April 12, 2014

Panel on innovations in tile with Daniel Libeskind and more  July 7, 2014

TWC NY1 review & video

Image credit: Cathedral of St. John the Divine (interior detail); photo by Michael Freeman

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal
February 1–June 1, 2014
MoMA Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor

Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal celebrates the recent joint acquisition of Frank Lloyd Wright’s extensive archive by MoMA and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. Through an initial selection of drawings, films, and large-scale architectural models, the exhibition examines the tension in Wright’s thinking about the growing American city in the 1920s and 1930s, when he worked simultaneously on radical new forms for the skyscraper and on a comprehensive plan for the urbanization of the American landscape titled “Broadacre City.”

Projects, from the early San Francisco Call Building (1912), to Manhattan’s St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Towers (1927–31), to a polemical mile-high skyscraper, engage questions of urban density and seek to bring light and landscape to the tall building. Highlighting Wright’s complex relationship to the city, the material reveals Wright as a compelling theorist of both its horizontal and vertical aspects. His work, in this way, is not only of historic importance but of remarkable relevance to current debates on urban concentration.
Organized by Barry Bergdoll, Acting Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art, and Carole Ann Fabian, Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, with Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, and Phoebe Springstubb, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.

Exhibition website

Columbia University Libraries press release

ArchDaily review

Architect magazine

Architectural Record review

Architizer review

Artnet News review

BlouinArtInfo review & video

Columbia News review & video


New York Times review

SAH Newsletter review

27east review

Vogue review

Wall Street Journal review

Image credit:
Frank Lloyd Wright. /St. Mark’s-in-the-Bouwerie Towers/, New York Project 1927-1931.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York)

Avery Art Properties in Anna Hyatt Huntington exhibition

Art Properties has loaned an important sculpture to the exhibition "Goddess, Heroine, Beast: Anna Hyatt Huntington's New York Sculpture, 1902-1936," which runs from January 22 to March 15 at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University. Huntington (1876-1973) was one of New York City's most prominent sculptors. The subjects of her work include heroic goddesses and naturalistic animals in motion, and her works range in size from medallions to monumental public sculptures.

The bronze sculpture from Art Properties seen here is the work included in the exhibition. Entitled Cranes Rising, 1934, the sculpture shows a flock of birds first at rest in the marshes, then moving upward in a coil, with the top crane soaring into the sky. The sculpture was a gift from the artist to the University in 1950 and for decades was installed in the Philosophy Department. In 1965 Huntington also donated to Columbia her monumental sculpture of Equestrian Lincoln, which is located on the grounds of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

–by Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties

Image credit: Anna Hyatt Huntington, Cranes Rising, 1934, bronze, H. 44 in., Gift of the artist, Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York (C00.837). Photo by Mark Ostrander.

Practice Post-50: Edgar A. Tafel in New York

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Thursday, January 23, 2014

Edgar A. Tafel Hall
Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place

Well known for his role as Wright apprentice and historian, Edgar Tafel also maintained a long productive architectural practice in New York. This event celebrates the opening of the Edgar Tafel archive at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University and will introduce the archive to the architectural community. Speakers will discuss Tafel’s two most prominent projects in post-1950 New York: the Church House for the First Presbyterian Church and the SUNY Geneseo campus. The program will also take place in Edgar A. Tafel Hall, named for a person who cared deeply about bringing people together to share ideas and good stories.

Janet Parks, The Drawings and Archives at Avery Library
Tania Franco, The Edgar Tafel Archive
Kimbro Frutiger, Edgar Tafel’s Religious Work: Design, Traditions, Ethics
Caroline Zaleski, Edgar Tafel and SUNY Geneseo: Lessons from Frank Lloyd Wright

Robert Silman, President Emeritus, Robert Silman Associates

Organized by: Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University and AIANY Historic Buildings Committee

Register to attend:
CES/Continuing Education credits available: AIA CES: 1 LU

Avery Library’s Edgar A. Tafel finding aid:

Tafel blog:

Oculus review

Image Credit: Edgar A. Tafel, Washington Square Park, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

Avery in Grolier Club Exhibition

Selling the Dwelling: The Books that Built America's Houses

The Grolier Club
December 11, 2013-February 8, 2014

Avery Classics and Drawings & Archives have contributed to the Grolier Club's exhibition on the history of the American Dream of home ownership. Over 200 rare books, periodicals, drawings, periodicals, and printed ephemera will show how the idea of “A Home for All” was marketed in the United States, first through eighteenth-century builder’s guides, then by nineteenth-century pattern books, and finally by twentieth-century house plan catalogues.

Exhibition website

Image credit: Samuel Newsom, Picturesque California Homes no. 2, San Francisco: S. & J.C. Newsom, [1887?]. Avery Classics AT290 N478 1887. Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Avery Classics in Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis

Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis
Philadelphia Museum of Art

October 14, 2013-January 5, 2014

This fall's special exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum Léger: Modern Art and the Metropolis offers a multi-media exploration of the career of French modernist Fernand Léger (1881-1955). Curated by Anna Vallye, a postdoctoral fellow at the museum and an alumna of Columbia's Art History & Archaeology Ph.D. program, the show brings together paintings, films, architectural models, and other designs by the artist to offer new insight into his engagement with urban environments. Avery Classics loaned many items to the show, which will travel to the Museo Correr in Venice this January. These loans included ten plates from L'Architecture Vivante, the avant-garde architectural serial edited by Jean Badovici that was published in Paris throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. Classics also loaned an issue of the magazine L'Esprit Nouveau and the catalog from Friedrich Kiesler's Internationale Ausstellung neuer Theatertechnik exhibition in Vienna in 1924.

Exhibition website

Image Credit: Fernand Léger. Fresco design for a music hall (left) and Exterior fresco design for a hotel (right). Plate 9 from L'Architecture Vivante, Fall/Winter 1924. Avery Classics AB Ar433. Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Avery Art Properties in “Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth” exhibition

The Art Properties Department has loaned three significant works from the Sackler Collection to the exhibition "Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections," which opened on August 31 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, in Salem, Oregon. The exhibition brings together 64 objects related to the art and culture of the Fertile Crescent from 6000 to 500 BCE.

One of Columbia's pieces on loan is the ivory or bone plaque seen here, depicting a hunter and a lion (S0130). The other two works loaned to the exhibition are a bronze beaker depicting a lion, 7th-6th century BCE Iraq, Neo-Babylonian period (S0145), and an ivory duck-headed spoon handle, 8th-7th century BCE Iran (S0128). These objects join other important works loaned by New York-based institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition closes on December 22.

Exhibit website

–Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties

Plaque with a hunter and lion
Iran, ca. 8th-7th century BCE
Ivory or bone
1 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 14 in.  4.8 x 6 x .6 cm
Sackler Collections, Columbia University in the City of New York

Hugh Ferriss in Le Corbusier Exhibit at MoMA

Hugh Ferriss. United Nations, New York, NY - Bird's-eye perspective looking south. 1947 (1000.001.00255)

Hugh Ferriss. United Nations, New York, NY – Bird's-eye perspective looking south. 1947 (1000.001.00255)

Five drawings from Drawings and Archives are on loan to the new exhibition, Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, the first major exhibition on his work at the Museum of Modern Art. While the French architect did not build in New York, the drawings lent by Avery reflect his impact on the city and architectural culture. In 1935, Le Corbusier delivered a series of lectures to architecture students at Columbia, drawing as he spoke and leaving behind murals of his thoughts, two of which are on display. Le Corbusier left an indelible mark on New York in his participation in 1947 on the United Nations Board of Design, as seen in three drawings by Hugh Ferriss, chief renderer for the Board of Design.

Click here for more information on the exhibition.


Hugh Ferris. United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY –
Perspective drawing, preliminary study for the United Nations:
Study #62, Scheme 24, 4/2/47 (1000.001.00278)




Hugh Ferriss. United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY –
Perspective drawing, preliminary study for the United Nations, 1947