The Model Architect
Timothy Richards of Bath, England, turned his love of design into a cottage industry. He makes architectural models—not from cardboard, blocks or foam core, but from strong British Gypsum Crystacal plaster. Richards is inspired by Jean Pierre and Francois Fouquet, the 18th- and 19th-century father-and-son team whose work in plaster was much preferred over cork or terra cotta. When Thomas Jefferson needed a model of his design for the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia, he turned to the Fouquets. When the curators for the Palladio exhibit at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York needed models, they turned to Richards. He began 23 years ago, in his attic and on his own. Today eight people busy themselves in his workshop, spending 80 to 400 hours on each project. “I’ve had to make my own market,” says Richards. “Now, we’ve got 60 models on site.”
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- Next month the Morgan Library and Museum presents a rare opportunity to see original drawings from one of the most influential classical architects in history, Andrea Palladio.
Andrea Palladio (1508–1580) is considered among the most significant and influential architects in the Western world. His clean, elegant interpretation of the architecture of classical antiquity was to spread throughout Europe and North America, and his finished buildings, drawings, and writings have become cultural touchstones.
Now, for the first time in New York, The Morgan Library & Museum presents a collection of thirty-one rarely seen drawings by Palladio from the outstanding collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust. The drawings, together with Palladio's architectural texts and pattern books, highlight the growth of his design sensibility. They range from early studies and sketches to perfectly executed later drawings of villas and other commissioned works. Also on view are a number of detailed architectural models, demonstrating the spread of Palladio's architectural theories to America, most notably in the work of Thomas Jefferson and in designs for monumental buildings in Washington, DC.
The exhibition is organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust, London, in association with the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio, Vicenza, and The Morgan Library & Museum, New York. Plaster models are by Timothy Richards.
- The 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, directed by David Chipperfield and titled Common Ground, closed on 25th November 2012, attracting 178,000 visitors.
Beginning August 20, the Yale School of Architecture Gallery will showcase its Palladio Virtuel exhibition in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. The exhibition, which focuses on villas designed by Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, is the culmination of ten years of analysis by New York architect Peter Eisenman, the Charles Gwathmey Professor in Practice. Based on this detailed deconstruction of Palladio's work, Palladio Virtuel aims to counteract the traditional views on the architect's ideology to reach a new understanding of his life's work. The exhibition will be accompanied by a free public lecture by Mr. Eisenman on Thursday, August 30, and closes October 27.
- An exhibit opening at MoMA next weekend will give Modernist pioneer Le Corbusier his just dues.
- Personally wired by Thomas Edison, J. Pierpont Morgan’s home was the first electrified residence in New York. A recent LED retrofit delivers the library into a new age.
Josef Albers (1888-1976) is the second artist in the series of small exhibitions with the heading Louisiana – on paper, focusing on prints and drawings.
The presentation of Josef Albers is something of a sensation, featuring a whole series of works that have never been shown before. In other words, a new side of an old acquaintance for visitors to Louisiana can be experienced in the exhibition. Albers was a designer in the Bauhaus stable and is well known for his abstract paintings – his ‘squares’. But what he himself called his “obsession with color” led him from 1940 on to a number of experiments with color on paper, where he investigated color and abstract form in sketches and more finished works on a smaller scale.
The exhibition has been created in collaboration with Josef Albers Museum Quadrat, Bottrop, in Germany. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is one of the venues on a major tour that also includes the Gulbenkian in Portugal and the Morgan Library in New York.
- While in New York last week I made a stop into the Morgan Library to see the new show Creating the Modern Stage: Designs for Theater and Opera, on view until August 16th.