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Göran Schildt

Finnish architect and designer, active also in America. His success as an architect lay in the individual nature of his buildings, which were always designed with their surrounding environment in mind and with great attention to their practical demands. He never used forms that were merely aesthetic or conditioned by technical factors but looked to the more permanent models of nature and natural forms. He was not anti-technology but believed that technology could be humanized to become the servant of human beings and the promoter of cultural values. One of his important maxims was that architects have an absolutely clear mission: to humanize mechanical forms....

Article

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

After the closure in 1933 of the Bauhaus in Berlin, its staff and students dispersed. Many found their way to the USA, where they became highly influential teachers as well as artists and architects. The pedagogical methods developed at the school, particularly in the preliminary course, became commonplace in all levels of art education, as the former centrality in America of life drawing to instruction in the visual arts was now challenged by experimentation with abstract principles of composition and the qualities of individual materials....

Article

Robert Winter

American architect. Although Becket was based in the Los Angeles area, he also had an international reputation. His work was in the modernist mode and he was important in popularizing the style in public buildings throughout Southern California and elsewhere.

Becket studied architecture at the University of Washington (...

Article

Melissa Marra

American fashion designer. A modernist, Beene’s inventive geometric cuts and in-depth understanding of the human body made him one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century.

In deference to a family tradition, Beene enrolled as a pre-med student at Tulane University in 1943...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 14 June 1904, in New York City; died 27 August 1971, in Darien, Connecticut.

Photographer, photojournalist. Social documentary, advertisements, landscapes, genre scenes.

Modernism.

Margaret Bourke-White received her first training in photography at the Clarence White School of Photography in 1922, while a student at Columbia University. Bourke-White was intrigued by the American industrial landscape, and her first important industrial series featured the Otis Steel Mills near Cleveland. At this time Bourke-White developed her hallmark style, using the cinema trick of magnesium flares to flood the dark factory floor with bright light. Her commercial images similarly used multiple light sources and crisp focus to highlight repeated forms and shapes....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 10 July 1868, in Boston; died 1962, in New Jersey.

Draughtsman, illustrator, poster artist. Toys.

Art Nouveau.

Will Bradley was the son of a caricaturist who worked on the Daily Item, a newspaper published in Lynn, Massachusetts. At the age of 12, he became apprentice to a printer and then began drawing and illustrating, making this his full-time occupation ...

Article

Anna Rowland

American furniture designer and architect of Hungarian birth. In 1920 he took up a scholarship at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, but he left almost immediately to find a job in an architect’s office. A few weeks later he enrolled at the Bauhaus at Weimar on the recommendation of the Hungarian architect Fred Forbat (...

Article

Experimental architectural program that ran from 1945 to 1966 and involved the building of Modernist houses, largely in California. John Entenza (1903–84) hit upon the idea just after World War II of spreading the word of the Modern Movement in architecture through an actual building program. As editor of the left-leaning journal ...

Article

Sandra L. Tatman

American architectural competition held in 1922 by the Chicago Tribune newspaper for its new corporate headquarters. The competition changed American views of European modernism and the course of American Skyscraper architecture. The 1922 Chicago Tribune Competition’s call for competitors attracted more than 260 architects from 23 countries with the offer of a $50,000 prize for the winning design. Although the company may have issued this competition as a way of attracting attention to its newspaper, competitors from around the world, drawn by what was in ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 12 April 1883, in Portland, Oregon; died 23 June 1976 in San Francisco, California.

Photographer. Portraits, figures, nudes, still-life, landscapes.

Pictoralism, Modernism. Group f/64.

With the aim of becoming a photographer, Cunningham majored in chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle. To pay her tuition she photographed specimens for the botany department, establishing a life-long love of floral subject matter. After completing her degree, she worked in the photography studio of Edward S. Curtis (...