Palladio and His Legacy at the Morgan

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 1, 2010

From The Morgan’s website:

Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey
The Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 2 April — 1 August 2010

Villa Rotunda, from “The Architecture of A. Palladio,” 1715-20 (RIBA Library)

Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey features thirty-one original Palladio drawings from the Royal Institute of British Architects. These exquisite drawings, which were exhibited only once before in America and never in New York, will be on view to the public for the first time in over thirty years. They are being presented with rare architectural texts to illustrate the journey from Italy to North America of Palladio’s design principles of proportion, harmony, and beauty.

Palladio’s work has significantly influenced American architecture from colonial times to the present day. Focusing on the artist’s original drawings and following the trajectory of his ideas, the show also traces the story of American Palladianism. The drawings are supported by numerous architectural models. Three large examples—the Pantheon, Villa Rotunda, and Jefferson’s unrealized design for the White House—programmatically illustrate the journey from Rome to America. Smaller models, along with rare architectural texts and pattern books through which Palladio’s ideas were primarily transmitted, reinforce the themes of the exhibition.

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This book has been written to accompany the exhibition Palladio and His Legacy: A Transatlantic Journey and shows drawings, books and images from the peerless Palladio collections of the Royal Institute of British Architects. It shows how Palladio studied and reinterpreted the architecture of antiquity, how he developed his ideas, how his message spread, and how Palladianism developed and spread across America, where Palladio’s legacy has remained longest and most widespread. Andrea Palladio lived and worked some 500 years ago in the Veneto. Yet his international influence, and particularly his impact on American architecture, has been greater than that of any architect since. Simplicity and proportion formed the basis of his idea of architecture; the villas he created in the Veneto around Venice, together with his writings, which were widely disseminated after his death, have helped shape European and American buildings for more than 400 years.

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As noted by The Art History Newsletter, the exhibition was reviewed in The New York Times by Nicolai Ouroussoff on 8 April 2010. There’s also an interview by Suzanne Stephens and William Hanley at Architectural Record.

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