Exhibition | Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 28, 2016


William Hodges and William Pars, The Pantheon, Oxford Street, London, 1770–72, by James Wyatt, oil on canvas (Leeds Museums and Art Galleries / Temple Newsam House)

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Press release (8 December 2015) from the RA:

Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 26 January – 20 April 2016

Curated by Owen Hopkins

Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture is an installation that will chart the course of British architecture from the sixteenth century to the present day through the work of twelve maverick architects: Robert Smythson, Sir John Vanbrugh, James Wyatt PRA, Sir John Soane RA, Charles Robert Cockerell RA, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Charles Holden, H. S. Goodhart-Rendel, James Stirling RA, Cedric Price, FAT and Zaha Hadid RA.

Each of the twelve mavericks has charted his or her own course, often deliberately ignoring prevailing taste, fashion and ways of working. The installation comprises of images and photographs of these maverick architects’ work, situating their work within the broader context of architectural history, through an arresting colour-gradated design by Scott-Whitby Studio. Celebrating the original and the unorthodox, the installation will pose an intriguing alternative narrative to the history of British architecture.

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Owen Hopkins, Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture (London: Royal Academy Publications, 2016), 128 pages, ISBN: 978-1910350393, £13 / $28.

The history of architecture is a story of continual innovation, and at certain points within that story come architects whose visions completely defy convention. Mavericks focuses on 12 such figures from the history of British archi­tecture, including Sir John Soane, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Cedric Price, and Zaha Hadid. From the stripped-back classicism of Soane’s Dulwich Picture Gallery to Hadid’s neofuturistic London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympics, the architects’ work is bold, frequently controversial, and often radical. It is architecture that actively resists being pigeonholed into a particular style or period. What connects this naturally disparate group of free creative spirits is the way each has charted his or her own course, often deliberately evading conventions of taste, fashion, and ways of working. This book offers a fresh take on their creations, establishing new and sometimes surprising historical connections while proposing an intriguing alternative narrative to the history of British architecture.

Owen Hopkins is Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and has written widely on architecture for The Burlington Magazine, The Architectural Review, Apollo, Dezeen, RA Magazine, C20 Magazine, The Oxonian Review, Architects’ Journal and Building Design. He is author of Reading Architecture: A Visual Lexicon (Laurence King, 2012), Architectural Styles: A Visual Guide (Laurence King, 2014) and From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion, 2015).

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All events take place at the Geological Society, Piccadilly; £12 / reductions £6

Does Architecture Need Mavericks?
Thursday 4 February, 6.30–8pm

Owen Hopkins introduces the Mavericks book and installation and chairs a debate exploring the role of unorthodox approaches and original thinking in architecture.

Maverick Architects – A Thing of the Past?
Thursday 25 February, 6.30–8pm

Faced with the crushing weight of student debt and an increasingly risk-averse building industry, the panel explore if there is any future for mavericks in architecture.

After the Age of ‘Starchitects’
Monday, 7 March, 6.30–8pm

What might life be like after the signature-style, icon-obsessed—and male-dominated—age of the ‘starchitect’? The panel explores.

The Artist as Maverick Architect
Monday, 21 March, 6.30–8pm

Sean Griffiths, co-founder of FAT, one of the architects featured in Mavericks, chairs this discussion exploring the different perspectives artists can bring to the making of architecture.

Britain’s Greatest Maverick Building – The Debate
Monday, 18 April, 6.30–8pm

Do you have a favourite quirky or unusual building? Let us know on Twitter for a chance for it to be included in this debate looking for Britain’s greatest maverick building: @architecture_RA #Mavericks


Study Day | Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill

Posted in conferences (to attend), lectures (to attend), on site by Editor on January 28, 2016

Lee Priory Banner

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From Eventbrite:

Exploring Lee Priory: A Child of Strawberry Hill
Taddington Manor, Taddington, Near Cutsdean, Gloucestershire, 1 March 2016

Organized by Peter Lindfield

This study day, based at Architectural Heritage, Taddington Manor, Gloucestershire, explores the architecture of James Wyatt (1746–1813), the most famous architect of late Georgian Britain. The day will feature talks by experts on the architecture, interiors and furniture by James Wyatt, including the development of his architecturally-aware Gothic style at Lee Priory, Kent, before his most famous house, Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire.

The relationship between Lee Priory and the most famous Gothic Revival house in Georgian Britain, Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill, will also be addressed. The conservator who worked on Strawberry Hill and a second, previously unknown, room saved from Lee Priory before its demolition in 1953, will speak about Wyatt’s work.

The highlight of the day will be the close examination of the second surviving room from Lee Priory, the Library Ante-Chamber. This room is currently for sale and the study day offers perhaps the last chance to be able to get up close and examine, under the guidance of experts, one of the most exciting Wyatt-related discoveries of the recent past.

Registration (£25) includes lunch and refreshments at Taddington Manor. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with the organiser, Dr Peter N. Lindfield, at: peter.lindfield@stirling.ac.uk. At time of booking, please advise of dietary or access requirements. Tuesday, 1 March 2016 from 10:30 to 16:30.

Art Institute of Chicago Receives $35Million Gift

Posted in museums by Editor on January 28, 2016

Dorothy Braude Edinburg, a life-long collector and longtime supporter of the Art Institute of Chicago died last year at the age of 94. Her estate has just given more than $35million dollars to the museum, building upon earlier donations that established the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection in honor of her parents, who themselves were collectors—initially of eighteenth-century French furniture, Chinese porcelain, and artists books (additional information is available at Crain’s).

From Art Daily:

Douglas Druick, President and Eloise W. Martin Director of the Art Institute of Chicago announced today the largest bequest of funds in the museum’s history. The gift from long-time, generous benefactor and collector Dorothy Braude Edinburg provides more than $35 million to acquire new works of art to build on the Art Institute’s strong holdings in Prints and Drawings and Asian Art. Coming on the heels of the largest gift of art in the museum’s history, the Edlis/Neeson Collection in April 2015, the Edinburg gift offers exciting new momentum and opportunity to realize the museum’s ambitious long-range plan.

Dorothy Braude Edinburg (1920–2014)

Dorothy Braude Edinburg (1920–2014)

“It was my great privilege to know and work with Dorothy for more than two decades, and we are thrilled and immensely grateful to receive this unparalleled bequest,” said Druick. “Together, with the leadership of Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings Suzanne Folds McCullagh and our curatorial teams, we proudly embraced Dorothy’s extraordinary collection, and we will use this incredible funding to carry Dorothy’s vision forward—to inspire, educate, and delight future generations through the collection and presentation of exceptional art.”

David Hilliard, long-time Trustee of the Art Institute of Chicago and collector and connoisseur of prints and drawings, shared, “It was inspiring to see Dorothy build such an important and world-class collection—over the course of 23 years, Dorothy gifted the museum more than 1,500 works across six centuries and from many fields. This generous bequest ensures her collection will continue to inspire and educate the public, and embodies the excellence and mission of the Art Institute. It’s an honor to support the stewardship of her legacy.”

In 2013, through a landmark gift of more than 1000 works of art to the museum, Dorothy Braude Edinburg established the Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Collection in her parents’ honor. The collection’s breadth and scope of European prints and drawings, Chinese and Korean stonewares and porcelains, and Japanese printed books, continues to spark a deeper artistic dialogue across and within the museum’s permanent collection.