Architecture

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Image features illustration of Bauhaus-style urban buildings. Buildings rendered in black and white, against a blue background. An open balcony is colored red and yellow. Poster features text advertising the exhibition Bygge og Bolig Udstilling (Exhibition of Buildings and Homes) at the Forum. Lettering in black and white. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Breakout Beginning
IB Andersen (Danish, 1907-1969) was barely out of school when he designed this poster to promote the 1929 exhibition of Buildings and Homes in Copenhagen, Denmark. The exhibition was a significant one, as it featured a built model of the “House of the Future,” as designed by Arne Jacobsen (Danish, 1902-71) and Flemming Lassen (Danish,...
Image features tow black and white photographs of expositions at the Grand Palais. On the left: hot air balloons and early airplanes. On the right, lighting and airplanes. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
I Wish I Had Been There!!
This post was originally published on April 1, 2013. Between 1909 and 1948, the Grand Palais near the Champs-Elysées in Paris featured  remarkable decorative interiors which housed automotive, aeronautical and many other types of trade shows. For the buildings and other structures of the Paris Colonial Exposition of 1931, decorative lighting helped create a unity...
Image features four horizontal rows of people and trains, rendered in black ink on paper
Spot the Difference: Steinberg Edition
Born in Romania in 1914, Saul Steinberg once described himself as “a writer who draws.”[1] Steinberg fled Europe in 1941, settling in New York City by 1942. While living in the United States, he traveled widely and observed the world around him in a highly whimsical style with an eye toward criticism and satire. Steinberg’s...
Image features rectangular ceramic form showing landscape in relief featuring trees, winding river, and two ravens or rooks. Rook with outstretched wings at center top of plaque, the other perched at bottom, below the Rookwood logo. In various colored mat glazes: dark and light greens, brown, tan, pale sea-green, fuchsia and black. Border and sides in a pale sea-green. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Two Rooks
From the archives, an Object of the Day blog post on Rockwood Pottery, one of the manufacturers featured in the exhibition Passion for the Exotic: Japonism.
Image shows wallpaper with trompe l'oeil design of Gothic architecture. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Gothic Revival Wallpaper
A striking Gothic Revival wallpaper with a fairly large repeat, made possible by the woodblock printing. Inspired by Gothic cathedral architecture this design contains two different views: one showing a very deep perspective looking through a chamber with vaulted ceilings, into another with columns, and arched windows and doors, while the other view is a...
Image features a French Romanesque church, drawn in graphite, with touches of watercolor to indicate the colors of rooftops, trees, etc. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Legacy of Beauty
Stanford White’s architectural legacy of beauty and sophistication is celebrated throughout New York City. Inspired by European architecture, White was a founder of the City Beautiful movement that spread across the country at the end of the nineteenth century. In 1878, as a young artist, White had traveled throughout Normandy and Belgium by train in...
Drawing of a long, symmetrical house, dominated by rows of columns. Rendered in black and white with areas of bright green foliage.
A 1920s-1930s Architect Lives on Today
This preliminary drawing for the Lake Bluff, IL country home of investment banker William McCormick Blair reveals the early thought process of the architect David Adler. Trained at the Technische Universität, Munich and at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, Adler built his Chicago-based practice in the 1920s and ’30s designing gracious, sprawling country homes rooted in...
Image features a design for an undersea lounge seen in elevation. Drawing mounted on presentation board with wide margin at right, superimposed by text label. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Swimmin’ Sixties: Donald Deskey Associates’ Undersea Lounge
In the early twentieth century, designers often put their work out to sea. Le Corbusier, Swiss-French pioneer of modern architecture, wrote in his seminal 1931 treatise Towards A New Architecture that “a seriously-minded architect (…) will find in a steamship his freedom from an age-long but contemptible enslavement to the past.”[1] The next year, American...
Image features: Dress-weight plain weave cotton fabric printed in blue on a white ground. The overall pattern layout is an even horizontal stripe. In each band a suburban street is depicted, with houses in three different styles of architecture, one very modern. The pattern appears in positive (blue on white) and negative (white on blue) to form the stripe effect. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Suburban Living
This charming cotton dress fabric was anonymously donated and remains anonymous itself, as there are no designer or manufacturer markings in the selvedges. It was probably intended for the home-sewing market, for which many so-called “conversational” prints were produced and made into women’s full, gathered shirts or men’s casual shirts. This piece satirizes the postwar...