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
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.”
New York Times
Pritzker Prize homepage
Avery Library welcomes new and returning students! We hope you had a great summer and are ready for the new semester.
Our hours for the Fall semester are here.
Our reference hours are here. When we are not available for reference questions, click on “Ask a Librarian” to be connected to online chat reference.
We are giving tours and orientations of the Library and its resources.
The tours take about 45 minutes & are limited to 15 people / tour.
Please sign-up at the Avery Library Service Desk & meet at the Service Desk.
Wed. 9/7 12noon
Fri. 9/9 12noon
Mon. 9/12 12noon
Tues. 9/13 12noon
Wed. 9/14 1pm
Fri. 9/16 1pm
Mon. 9/19 12noon
Wed. 9/21 12noon
Fri. 9/23 12noon
Orientation to the Drawings & Archives Department:
The session takes about 45 minutes.
There is no sign-up—simply come to the Wallach Seminar Room, Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture (next to the entrance to Drawings & Archives)
Wed. 9/14 12noon
Fri. 9/16 12noon
Scheduled 45-minute library tours as part of School/Departmental orientations:
Tues. 8/30 1pm (2 tours)
Wed. 8/31 11:45am (2 tours)
Wed. 8/31 12:15pm (2 tours)
Thurs. 9/1 12noon (PhDs)
Thurs. 9/1 2pm (Master’s)
Thurs. 9/1 3pm (Master’s/critical & curatorial studies)
On January 27th, Avery Library welcomed students from the Spring 2016 Core Architecture Studio II in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. This semester, the required studio explores the “architectural form and identity of a 21st-century library” as well as trends in architectural representation.
Teresa Harris, Curator of Classics (Rare Books), with students from the Spring 2016 Core Architecture Studio II
Avery Classics presented a selection of books that a traced the use of section drawings from the Renaissance through to the 21st century. Students viewed numerous examples ranging from the first printed architectural drawing – a perspectival section through a round temple of Venus – in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499) to Pierre Patte’s groundbreaking section of a town street showing sewers and water supplies in addition to the buildings flanking the thoroughfare (1749). The session culminated in Olafur Elliasson’s innovative laser-cut volume reproducing his own house in Copenhagen through a series of vertical cross-sections at a scale of 85:1.
Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings & Archives, with students from the Spring 2016 Core Architecture Studio II
In Drawings and Archives, the students saw an overview of library designs from Carrère & Hastings’s masterpiece, the New York Public Library at 42nd Street to the sleek modernism of Harrison and Abramovitz’s Library for the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. Charles Platt’s library for the University of Illinois was included, featuring stunning section and detail drawings of this Georgian style library. Capping the group were several drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Roux Library at Florida Southern College. The drawings were selected to highlight the transition of space within the libraries.
Giorgio Cavaglieri, Jefferson Market Library elevation, pencil on tracing paper.
Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks
Museum of the City of New York, New York
April 21-September 13, 2015
Many believe New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law, enacted in April 1965, was the key factor in the rebirth of New York in the final quarter of the 20th century. It ensured that huge swaths of the city remain a rich complex of new and old. It also ensured the creative re-use of countless buildings. At the same time, a new body of important architecture has emerged as architects, clients, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission devised innovative solutions for the renovation of landmark buildings and for new buildings in historic districts.
Saving Place is presented to celebrate the law’s 50th anniversary.
Avery Drawings & Archives has 6 drawings and 1 typescript by Talbot Hamlin in the exhibition while Avery Classics has a real estate brochure for 2 Fifth Avenue, NYC, on display
Architect magazine article
Opening Night Symposium video
New York Times review
Here is an interesting New York Times article on Adam Reed Tucker building a model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West with Legos:
Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright Lego sets we have at Avery Library:
Avery Library wishes you Happy Holidays and a great New Year!!
Avery Library will close at 5pm on
Wed. Dec. 24.
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Click here to become a Friend of Avery Library.
Relief with Guardian Figure, from the Lianhua Cave, Longmen, China, late Northern Wei dynasty, dated 533, limestone with traces of polychromy, 24 1/8 x 11 x 4 1/2 in. (61.2 x 27.8 x 11.4 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University in the City of New York, Sackler Collections (S1100).
Art Properties has loaned 10 Buddhist stone sculptures and ink rubbings taken from 2 of these works to the exhibition China Then and Now, which runs from November 22, 2014 to March 8, 2015, at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, NY. These Chinese sculptures date from the Northern Wei (386-534) to the Tang dynasties (618-907), and some of the works in the collection are believed to have been excavated from the 6th-century Buddhist cave temples at Xiangtangshan in northern China. All of these works are part of our extensive holdings in the Sackler Collections, donated to Columbia University by the physician and art collector Dr. Arthur M. Sackler. They recently had traveled as part of the large exhibition Treasures Rediscovered: Chinese Stone Sculptures from the Sackler Collections at Columbia University, held at the Wallach Art Gallery in 2008 and in other venues across the United States. The current exhibition, China Then and Now, brings our sculptures together with blue-and-white porcelains of the Ming and Qing dynasties (17th-18th centuries) loaned by the Frick Collection in New York City and contemporary ink paintings by the Beijing artist Liu Dan (b. 1953). -by Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties
Wallach Treasures Rediscovered website
On September 18 and 19, Avery Drawings and Archives hosted a senior studio class from the University of Arkansas’ Fay Jones School of Architecture. They are preparing documentation and interpretation materials on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Bachman-Wilson house, which has been disassembled and is to be reconstructed on the grounds of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Northwest Arkansas.
In addition to the Bachman-Wilson house, the students (shown here with Professor Gregory Herman) studied other Usonian houses by Wright, in order to develop a greater depth of understanding and context for the design of the Bachman-Wilson house.
Left to right: Ryan Hamrick, Prof. Greg Herman, Kyle Heflin
left to right: Grant Gilliard, Andrew Schalk
standing, left to right: Alex Little, Brian Robinson seated, left to right: Prof. Greg Herman, Paulina Paz, Ayesha Erkin