Enfilade

New Book | Building Washington

Posted in books by Editor on February 19, 2018

From Johns Hopkins UP:

Robert Kapsch, Building Washington: Engineering and Construction of the New Federal City, 1790−1840 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018), 384 pages, ISBN: 978  14214  24873, $70.

In 1790, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson set out to build a new capital for the United States of America in just ten years. The area they selected on the banks of the Potomac River, a spot halfway between the northern and southern states, had few resources or inhabitants. Almost everything needed to build the federal city would have to be brought in, including materials, skilled workers, architects, and engineers. It was a daunting task, and these American Founding Fathers intended to do it without congressional appropriation.

Robert Kapsch’s beautifully illustrated book chronicles the early planning and construction of our nation’s capital. It shows how Washington, D.C., was meant to be not only a government center but a great commercial hub for the receipt and transshipment of goods arriving through the Potomac Canal, then under construction. Picturesque plans would not be enough; the endeavor would require extensive engineering and the work of skilled builders. By studying an extensive library of original documents—from cost estimates to worker time logs to layout plans—Kapsch has assembled a detailed account of the hurdles that complicated this massive project. While there have been many books on the architecture and planning of this iconic city, Building Washington explains the engineering and construction behind it.

Robert J. Kapsch is a researcher and principal of the Center for Historic Engineering and Architecture. He is the author of The Potomac Canal: George Washington and the Waterway West, Historic Canals and Waterways of South Carolina and Over the Alleghenies: Early Canals and Railroads of Pennsylvania.

Exhibition | Canova’s George Washington

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by internjmb on February 19, 2018

From The Frick:

Canova’s George Washington
The Frick Collection, New York, 23 May 2018 — 23 September 2018
Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, Possagno, 10 November 2018 — 22 April 2019

Curated by Xavier Salomon and Peter Jay Sharp in collaboration with Mario Guderzo

Antonia Canova, George Washington, 1818; Gesso (Possagno: Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova).

In 1816, the North Carolina Senate commissioned a full-length statue of George Washington to stand in the State House in Raleigh. Thomas Jefferson, believing that no American sculptor was up to the task, recommended Antonio Canova (1757–1822), then one of Europe’s most celebrated artists. The first and only work Canova created for America, the statue depicted the nation’s first president in ancient Roman garb, per Jefferson’s urging, drafting his farewell address to the states. It was unveiled to great acclaim in 1821, and people traveled from far and wide to see it. Tragically, only a decade later, a fire swept through the State House, reducing the statue to just a few charred fragments.

Canova’s George Washington examines the history of the artist’s lost masterpiece, probably the least well known of his public monuments. It brings together for the first time Canova’s full-sized preparatory plaster model (which has never left Italy), four preparatory sketches for the sculpture, and related engravings and drawings. The exhibition also includes Thomas Lawrence’s 1816 oil portrait of Canova, which, like the model and several sketches, will be on loan from the Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova in Possagno, Italy, the birthplace of the artist. The exhibition is organized by Xavier F. Salomon, Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, in collaboration with Mario Guderzo, Director of the Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova, the Venice International Foundation, and Friends of Venice Italy Inc. Following its presentation at the Frick, the exhibition will be shown in Italy at the Gypsotheca e Museo Antonio Canova in Possagno in the fall of 2018.

The accompanying catalogue will include correspondence relating to the commission, as well as essays by Salomon, Guderzo, and Guido Beltramini, Director of the Palladio Museum in Vicenza, Italy.

Catalogue details are available here»

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