Gail S. Davidson

The Dome and Cupola that Were Not There


This perspective tour de force dazzles the eye with the complexities of its illusionistic architecture. The story behind the work is equally compelling.
Andrea Pozzo, Architecture, Italian architecture, Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, Jesuit Order, Counter Reformation, Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Baciccio, fresco, foreshortening, dome, perspective, drawing, illusionism, Japanese, painting, cupola, Rome

Memoriam for Lebbeus Woods


After a week of nature rendering havoc on the northeastern coast of the United States, and televised images of death, drowning, and destruction, it is interesting to consider the work of the experimental architect, Lebbeus Woods, who died on October 30, 2012. Woods was a visionary for whom destruction and reconstruction were two poles of human existence. He demonstrated his world view in an exquisitely rendered drawing, Geomechanical Tower, one of two works in Cooper-Hewitt’s collection from the 1987 Centricity series.
Lebbeus Woods, Architecture, New York City, Manhattan, Hudson River, East River, Earth

High Fashion Train Interior


Of all of the pioneering industrial designers, including Norman Bel Geddes, Walter Dorwin Teague, and Henry Dreyfuss, Raymond Loewy is by far most well-known to the American public. His designs for the original Coca-Cola contour bottle and logo, the Exxon logo, and the Avanti car are icons of 1950s and 1960s design.
Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Design, Pennsylvania Railroad, trains, illustration, concept drawings, drawing

Designer (Advertised) Jeans


While recent advertising has been overwhelmingly digital, the contemporary graphic designer and former National Design Award winner, Stefan Sagmeister, relishes the opportunity to use his considerable graphic talent and imagination to create posters the traditional way, through photo offset lithography. These posters are deliberately human and personal, in response to the “cold” modernist design of some of his colleagues. In general, Sagmeister searches for ideas that elicit sensual or emotional responses from the viewer.
Sagmeister Inc., Stefan Sagmeister, Levi's, Denim, jeans, thread, clothing, graphic design, Los Angeles, San Francisco, advertising, poster, offset lithography

Searching for Perfection


Richard Meier’s Getty Center, which sits atop a hill in Santa Monica, is, arguably, the last great building of the 20th century. While some liken the complex to a fortified Tuscan hill town, and Meier himself says that he was thinking of Hadrian’s Villa in Tivoli or the Villa Farnese in Caprarola, it reminds me of another ancient hilltop complex, the Parthenon.
Richard Meier, J. Paul Getty Center, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Hadrian, Tivoli, Villa Farnese, Caprarola, Parthenon, Athens, Le Corbusier, Architecture, San Diego Freeway, stone, GRiD, Getty Research Institute, construction, drawing

Gertrude Stein's Brother Collects Architecture


Among the most important 20th-century architectural drawings in Cooper-Hewitt’s collection, this work presents four sketches for a suburban Paris two-family villa, commissioned by the modern art collectors, Michael and Sarah Stein (brother and sister-in-law of Gertrude Stein), and their close friend Gabrielle de Monzie. While De Monzie wasn’t especially interested in architecture, she still paid for Michael Stein’s experimental adventure in an avant-garde home.
Villa Stein-de Monzie, Gabrielle de Monzie, Michael Stein, Sarah Stein, Gertrude Stein, Pavilion de l’Esprit Nouveau, 1925 Paris Exposition, Le Corbusier, Architecture, Museum of Modern Art, Calvin S. Hathaway, The Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration, La Terraces, elevations, drawings, paris

Behind Closed Doors: How Royalty Lived in Nineteenth-Century Paris


Hilaire Thierry’s exquisite drawing, Salon in the Restoration Taste, from the early 1820s, is one of more than 70 19th-century European interiors from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that are on view at the Musée de la Vie Romantique through January 15, 2013. The exhibition, Intérieurs Romantiques, highlig
Hilaire Thierry, 19th century, interiors, France, drawing, Musée de la Vie Romantique, Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, Château de Saint-Cloud, Louis XVIII, Duc and Duchesse de Berry

Object of the Month: Design for Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts


This drawing was architect Rafael Viñoly’s presentation concept sketch for Verizon Hall, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as it appears from the west. Watercolors are an integral part of Viñoly’s working process, used in the early design stages to formalize his organizing concepts. Following the watercolors, more precise drawings present the actual resolution of the design.
Object of the Month, drawing, watercolor, Rafael Viñoly, architect, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Verizon Hall

Frederic Church Collection featured at the Met's new American wing


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s collection of over 2,000 oil sketches and graphite drawings by Frederic Church was mentioned recently in the New York Times in connection with the reopening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s American Wing.
Frederic Church, painter, sketches, oil, drawings, graphite, 19th century, landscape, American, Hudson River School, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Clearview Project


Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum has just acquired its first digital font, the Clearview family of typefaces. Featured in Cooper-Hewitt’s 2010 National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? exhibition, Clearview is a beautiful example of design as a form of social activism.
font, digital, Clearview, type design, Donald Meeker, James Montalbano, acquisition, highway sign, signage, legibility, readability, visibility, contrast, drivers, seniors

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