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Article

Robert M. Craig

American architectural firm incorporated in 1977 by Bernardo Fort-Brescia (b Lima, Peru, 19 Nov 1950), Laurinda Hope Spear (b Rochester, MN, 23 Aug 1950), Hervin Romney (b Havana, Cuba, 9 Feb 1941), Andres Duany (b New York, 7 Sept 1949), and Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (b Bryn Mawr, PA, 10 Dec 1950). The latter two members of the firm left in 1980 to start their own practice, as did Romney, in 1984. Arquitectonica’s modernism was youthful, unpredictable, and slightly rebellious, and essentially displaced the polemical and elitist high modern with a populist, chic, and jazzy modernism. The firm continued the colourism of Miami’s ‘tropical art deco’, but its roots remained in the Latin culture of Peru, Cuba, and Miami: ultimately their commercially hot architecture called to mind the non-academic character of Pop art, the non-conformity and pizzazz of youth, and the cultural flare and brassy musicality of Brazil 66, Tijuana Brass, and the Miami Sound Machine....

Article

Amy Meyers

(Laforest) [Fougère, Jean-Jacques]

(b Les Cayes, Santo Domingo [now Haiti], April 26, 1785; d New York state, Jan 27, 1851).

American Naturalist, painter and draughtsman of French –Creole descent. Brought up in a French village near Nantes, he developed an interest in art and natural science, encouraged by his father and the naturalist Alcide Dessaline d’Orbigny. He is thought to have moved to Paris by 1802 to pursue formal art training; although the evidence is inconclusive, Audubon claimed to have studied in the studio of Jacques-Louis David.

In 1803 Audubon travelled to the USA to oversee Mill Grove, an estate owned by his father on the outskirts of Philadelphia, PA. Uninterested in practical affairs, he spent his time hunting and drawing birds. His drawings (many in Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) from this period are executed primarily in pencil and pastel. They are conventional specimen drawings that define individual birds in stiff profile with little or no background. A number of these works, however, bear notations from Mark Catesby’s ...

Article

Margarita González Arredondo

(b Calgary, Dec 9, 1930; d Mexico City, July 12, 1992).

Canadian painter, draughtsman and sculptor, active in Mexico. After studying in Canada at the Vancouver School of Art (1944–5) and Banff School of Fine Arts (1947–8) he moved to Mexico City, where he continued his training at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura La Esmeralda (1948–9) and from 1950 worked as one of a team of assistants to David Alfaro Siqueiros. He began soon after to produce murals, such as The People Don’t Want War (acrylic, 2×2.5 m, 1952; Mexico City, Inst. Poli. N.) and Scenes from Don Quixote (acrylic on concrete, 1957; Cuernavaca), following these with many others in Mexico, the USA, Canada, Cuba and Nicaragua. He was also prolific as a draughtsman and easel painter, often working on a large scale, and to a lesser extent as a sculptor. Working in an Expressionist style and concentrating his attention on the human figure—sometimes contorted, flayed or treated in a robot-like manner—he treated biblical themes as well as more contemporary subjects such as the victims of Nazism or of the bombing of Hiroshima. In ...

Article

Luis Enrique Tord

(fl mid-19th century).

?French draughtsman and lithographer active in the USA and Peru. He lived briefly in the USA, where in 1852 he published a book containing 32 woodcuts depicting American working-class figures. Later he moved to Lima, the capital of Peru, where he published two albums of hand-coloured lithographs, Recuerdos de Lima...

Article

Jerzy Andrzej Starczewski

(b Madrid, Jan 27, 1910; d Raleigh, NC, Dec 7, 1997)).

American architect of Spanish birth, active mainly in Mexico. He trained at the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura, Madrid. After graduating in 1935, Candela opened a small studio and applied to the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando for a travel scholarship to Germany, where he intended to study the theory of shell structures. The Civil War in Spain (1936–9), however, shattered these plans. Candela joined the Republican forces, fleeing across the frontier into France after the Nationalist victory in 1939. Briefly interned in a camp in Perpignan, he then emigrated to Mexico, where, with his younger brother Antonio Candela, he opened a construction company.

At the beginning of his professional career Candela yielded to the conservative tastes of his clients, setting aside his passion for thin-shell structures until 1951, when he was commissioned to build the cosmic ray laboratory at the University of Mexico. The laboratory’s two hyperbolic paraboloid concrete vaults, 15 mm thick and spanning over 10 m, brought instant recognition and led to many building commissions and lecture invitations. More importantly, however, Candela was finally able to pursue his own particular interests. Over the period that followed, he broke the monopoly of academic science in thin shells that had been held hitherto by German and British theoreticians. In this he was strongly influenced by such architects as Antoni Gaudí and Eduardo Torroja y Miret, whose experiments with vault designs differed from conventional solutions used by Italian and German architects, emphasizing formal variety and exploring the possibilities for slender, ribless structures. The ...

Article

Carl W. Condit

(b Lawrenceburg, IN, May 23, 1820; d Nassau, Bahamas, March 8, 1887).

American engineer. His formal education ended when he was 13, and he was self-taught as an engineer. He acquired an early knowledge of river beds and currents from salvaging sunken vessels, and he launched his engineering career in 1842 with a patent for a diving bell. As an authority on the hydrography of the Mississippi, he went to Washington, DC, in 1861 to advise the Lincoln administration on the use of the river for military purposes during the Civil War. During the Mississippi campaign, 12 iron-clad boats designed by Eads were used by the Union Army.

In 1865 Eads proposed a three-span arch bridge, with two decks, to cross the river at St Louis. The bridge (1867–74; see fig.) was a pioneer work of unprecedented size: the arches, two spanning 150 m and one 156 m, were of record length for the time; the ribs, bracing and superstructure marked the introduction of ...

Article

Gensler  

Sara Stevens

American architectural firm started by Arthur Gensler Drue Gensler, and Jim Follett in 1965 in San Francisco, CA. M. Arthur Gensler jr (b Brooklyn, New York, 1935) attended Cornell University to study architecture (BArch, 1957). The firm began doing build-outs for retail stores and corporate offices, and initially established itself in the unglamorous area of interior architecture. Thirty years later and without mergers or acquisitions, it had grown to become one of the largest architecture firms in the world, having pioneered the global consultancy firm specializing in coordinated rollouts of multi-site building programmes. By 2012 the firm had over 3000 employees in over 40 offices. From the beginning, Art Gensler conceived of a global firm with multiple offices serving corporate clients whose businesses were becoming more international. Instead of the ‘starchitect’ model of his contemporaries such as I. M. Pei or Paul Rudolph, Gensler wanted an ego-free office that existed to serve client needs, not pursue a designer’s aesthetic agenda at the client’s expense. By adopting new web-based computing technologies and integrated design software in the early 1990s, the firm stayed well connected across their many offices and were more able than their competitors to manage large multi-site projects. Expanding from the services a traditional architecture firm offers, the company pushed into new areas well suited to their information technology and interiors expertise, such as organizational design, project management, and strategic facilities planning....

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(Gregoria )

(b Santiago, Chile, Oct 17, 1868; d Winthrop, MA, Feb 3, 1953).

American architect. Hayden was the first woman to graduate with a four-year degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. Her most notable design was her first and last project: the Woman’s Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. A controversial structure (as many women objected to having their work placed in a separate location), the building brought Hayden, a reserved young woman, sudden, albeit brief, national fame.

Raised in Jamaica Plains, MA, Hayden was admitted to MIT in 1886 and graduated with honors in 1890. She taught mechanical drawing at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plains and in 1891 entered the national competition for the Woman’s Building. Hayden’s design—a grand two-story Italian Renaissance-style structure with center and end pavilions, multiple arches, columned terraces and other classical features—was based on her MIT thesis and reflected her Beaux-Art training. After she won the coveted first prize, some doubted she had executed the work herself (plagiarism was an accusation faced by many women artists in that era). In response, ...

Article

Sarah Urist Green

revised by Julia Detchon

(b Santiago, Chile, Feb 5, 1956).

Chilean architect, public interventionist, installation artist, photographer, and filmmaker, active in the USA. He first studied architecture at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, then filmmaking at the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura, Santiago, concluding in 1981. Throughout his career, Jaar’s works have taken many forms in order to address global themes of injustice and illuminate structures of power. In over fifty projects he termed “public interventions,” Jaar conducted extensive research around the world to create site-specific works that reflect political and social realities near and far from his sites of exhibition. He created works—in gallery spaces and in public, often engaging spectator involvement—that present images critically and confront the social and political interests they serve.

Jaar’s first public intervention was Studies on Happiness (1979–1981), a three-year series of performances and exhibitions in which he asked the question, “Are you happy?” of people in the streets of Santiago. Inspired by ...

Article

Louise Noelle

(b Mexico City, May 7, 1931; d Mexico City, Dec 30, 2011.

Mexican architect and furniture designer, active also in the USA. He graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Arquitectura, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, in 1953. He began as a draughtsman in the studio of José Villagrán García, the leader of Mexican Functionalism, becoming his partner between 1955 and 1960. During this period he was a follower of the International Style, as seen in the Hotel María Isabel (1961–2; with Villagrán García and Juan Sordo Madaleno), Mexico City. In 1960 he set up in partnership with Noé Castro (b 1929) and Carlos Vargas (b 1938), specializing in the design of factories and office buildings, the most notable project of this period being the office building for Celanese Mexicana (1966–8; with Roberto Jean) in Mexico City, with its prismatic outline and technical brio in the use of the hanging structure. In the late 1960s, influenced by ...

Article

Susan Snodgrass

(b Madrid, Spain, 1961).

Chicago-based American sculptor also working in photography, video and installation. He received a BA in art and art history and a BA in Latin American and Spanish literature from Williams College in 1983. In 1989 he earned a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Manglano-Ovalle’s hybrid practice emerged with Tele-vecindario: A Street-Level Video Block Party, a public art project created for Culture in Action, a community-based art program in Chicago in 1992–3. Working with Latino youth in Chicago’s West Town community, an area often challenged by substandard housing, drugs and gang violence, the artist facilitated a multimedia portrait of their lives in which these youth constructed their own images and concept of self. Issues of identity, community and migration, as they relate to both cultural and geographic borders, have been explored throughout his prestigious career that includes collaborative modes of working, as well as individual works sited within the museum or gallery. For Manglano-Ovalle, culture encompasses a broad network of systems—artistic, political, environmental, scientific—in constant dialogue, negotiated by both artist and viewer....

Article

(Mariaca )

(b La Paz, 1919; d New York, 1982).

Bolivian painter, also active in the USA. She studied art with her father, Julio Mariaca Pando, an architect, and at the Academia de Bellas Artes in La Paz, under Cecilio Guzmán de Rojas and Jorge de la Reza. Between 1948 and 1950 she worked on the newspaper La Razón as an illustrator and taught at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes. Between 1950 and 1952 Pacheco studied in Spain under Daniel Vázquez Díaz and at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. On her return from Spain she worked in La Paz until 1956, at which time she separated from her husband, Victor Pacheco, and moved with her two children to New York, where she settled. She was awarded three Guggenheim Fellowships. Her painting began within the framework of native realism but towards the end of the 1940s began incorporating other strains. After she settled in New York her paintings became totally abstract and expressive, influenced by ...

Article

America’s interest in Pre-Columbian culture began to take tangible form in the 19th century. American explorer John Lloyd Stephens (1805–52) and artist Frederick Catherwood journeyed to Chiapas and the Yucatán peninsula in 1839 to describe and document Mayan ruins. Their research was published in 1841 as Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and the Yucatan. An expanded two-volume version, Incidents of Travel in the Yucatan, was published in 1843 and contained over 120 woodcut illustrations, and provided the first pictorial views of ancient Mesoamerica.

The ancient sites of Mitla, Palenque, Izamal, Chichén Itzá and Uxmal were first photographed by French photographer and explorer (Claude-Joseph-)Désiré Charnay between 1858 and 1860. The resulting images were collected into a book published in 1863 entitled Cités et ruines américaines, which later included an essay by the influential French architect and theorist Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc. Charnay made a second trip to the region from ...

Article

C. M. Harris

(b Tortola, British Virgin Islands, May 20, 1759; d Washington, DC, March 28, 1828).

American architect, Naturalist and civil servant of British birth. Born on a West Indian sugar plantation, to which he became an heir on the death of his father in 1760, he spent his youth among his English Quaker relatives in Lancaster. He was apprenticed to a ‘practical physician’ and apothecary in Ulverston, Lancs (now Cumbria), then studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh (1781–3), receiving the MD degree from the University of Aberdeen in 1784. He continued his medical studies and pursued his other interests of drawing and painting in London and Paris, and travelled on the continent and in Scotland, before returning to Tortola in May 1785. In the autumn of the following year he emigrated to the USA.

Thornton practised medicine briefly in Philadelphia but found the fees low and the nature of physicians’ work there ‘laborious’ and ‘disgusting’. His scientific accomplishments, however, gained him election to the American Philosophical Society, and his visionary turn of mind attracted him to causes as varied as the anti-slavery campaign and John Fitch’s experimental steamboats, to which he contributed designs as well as capital. His inclination for design led him to enter the competition for the hall of the Library Company of Philadelphia, and his designs were accepted with slight alterations in ...

Article

Walter Smith

(b Puan, Argentina, Nov 2, 1944).

American architect and teacher. She graduated in architecture from the University of Buenos Aires in 1967 and studied at Columbia University, New York (1968–9). She was a principal of the Architectural Studio in New York from 1978 to 1984 and formed an independent practice in 1990. Torre also held academic appointments at Columbia, Yale and Syracuse universities and at Cooper Union, New York. She became an American citizen in 1989. From the beginning of her career, Torre was concerned with the status of women in architecture, studying the history of the subject and advocating a fuller participation of women in the field. Her work is strongly engaged in a dialogue of Modernist and Post-modernist forms. Fire Station Five (1987), Columbus, IN, for example, is a composition of geometric forms in which pitched roofs appear to form a pediment above a cylindrical tower (containing stairs and fireman’s pole), which is reminiscent of Midwestern farm silos. Clark House (...