By David Brussat
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Mark your calendars for this Wednesday, May 4, and Wednesday, May 25. Two lectures sponsored by the chapter will explore two regions of classical thought: millwork in the architecture of colonial classical interiors, and classical blood in the family tree of modern architecture. (Details of time or place, etc., that are unstated will be filled in as soon as I learn of them.)
The first lecture will begin at 6 p.m. at the Algonquin Club, left, at 217 Commonwealth Ave., near the College Club of Boston (44 Commonwealth), pictured below, where most chapter meetings and events are held. The Algonquin was designed by Charles Follen McKim of McKim Mead & White and will be icing on the cake for attendees, worth the $25 (nonmembers $35) fee for the lecture. Christine Franck and Brent Hull will discuss their book Winterthur Style Sourcebook: Traditional American Rooms.
Ms. Franck is a big wheel of long standing in the affairs of the ICAA. (The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, as it was recently renamed; it had been the ICA & CA, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Classical America). In 2002 she was honored by Prince Charles with his Foundation’s first public service award. She is a designer and educator with a practice in New York City. Mr. Hull is a master builder and a leading expert on architectural design and historic construction. Their book examines in photography and drawings the millwork at the Winterthur Museum, in Delaware, which has period rooms from all 13 colonies, and their lecture will discuss its influence on and relevance to design and craftsmanship today.
Exactly three weeks later, on Wednesday, May 25, at 6 p.m., Allan Greenberg will deliver a lecture at the architectural offices of Shepley Bulfinch, 2 Seaport Lane, near the World Trade Center. The price is $25 for members and $35 for others at the door. Register here.
Asking the titular question “Can Modern Architecture be Classical,” the great architect and classicist will consider whether folks like Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe are full of it when they say their modernist work has roots in classical architecture.
Mr. Greenberg’s web site says that the lecture “deals with the classical structure that drives the work of some modernists.” So Corbu and Mies do have walls, roofs, windows, doors – and hence are indebted to classical architecture? No, I don’t think that’s what he’ll be saying. He will probably refer to proportion and, um, well, we’ll just have to attend the lecture and find out.