Japanese Architecture, Craft, And Modernism Meet In Philadelphia
Shofuso Japanese House and Gardens in Philadelphia, PA opens its new major exhibition Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia, on view through November 29, 2020.
Organized by The Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia (JASGP) with support from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, the exhibition celebrates the friendships and trans-cultural exchanges between architect Junzo Yoshimura (1908 – 1997, Japan), woodworker George Nakashima (1905-1990, US), designer Noémi Pernessin Raymond (1889-1980, Swiss French, born in Geneva) and architect Antonin Raymond (1888 – 1976, Czech), through their collaborative architectural projects. The exhibition is curated by Yuka Yokoyama and guest curator William Whitaker.
The Czech-born architect Antonin Raymond and his French wife, Noémi Pernessin Raymond, first moved to Tokyo in the late 1910s as employees of Frank Lloyd Wright. Together, they worked on Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel. But Raymond became frustrated with the experience and split with Wright to set up, in February of 1921, the American Architectural and Engineering Company in Tokyo with Leon Whittaker Slack.
In December 1928, while a student at Tokyo’s Fine Arts College, Yoshimura began part-time work at Raymond’s office, becoming full-time after he graduated in 1931. Through the teachings of Wright, and through their own encounter with and study of Japanese culture, the Raymonds were able to integrate the theories of modernism with classical Japanese architectural principles.
Designed by the architect Junzo Yoshimura, Shofuso was constructed for the Museum of Modern Art in New York as the third installment of “The House in the Museum Garden” outdoor exhibition in 1954, before being moved to its permanent home in West Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Shofuso provides an authentic re-creation of what is regarded as a definitive, and highly influential, movement in Japanese architecture. In Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia, the creative relationships which shaped and influenced the architect’s life are explored through archival images, objects, and artifacts from Yoshimura alongside Nakashima and the Raymonds.
On display within Shofuso are Noemi’s signature textiles – inspired by Japanese and American landscapes and culture – a toy chest Nakashima made for his daughter in the internment camp in Idaho, in the 1940s and a table Nakashima made in the milk house at the Raymond Farm shortly after moving to New Hope from an internment camp and other collaboratively designed pieces such as chairs and lamps. Carefully curated collections of archival and contemporary architectural portraits of Shofuso, Nakashima and Raymond sites are presented with a set slide projector. Rotating images of places in different times and seasons reveals the living life of architecture, interior, exterior and landscape as a cohesive total design.
Shofuso is open on Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Following guidance from the CDC and the City of Philadelphia, all visitors age 3 and over must wear a mask. Visitor capacity will be limited. Tickets are first come, first served. More here.
Nils Schweizer's Nobska House For Sale
Perched on a peninsula enveloped by the tranquil waters of Nobska Pond, the distinctive Woods Hole, MA residence known as "Nobska House" feels perfectly at one with its environs, featuring abundant use of handsome wood and oversized windows blurring the lines between indoors and out. Now, the house and its over 4 acre estate are for sale for $4.6 million dollars.
Designed in 1959-60 by Taliesin-trained architect Nils Schweizer as a gift for the original owners, the residence features many Wrightian design elements: a minimalist natural palette, an easy open floor plan, a clean simplicity, gentle organic and geometric forms, and an integration with nature through the astute use of glass. Other highlights include an eye-catching tressed roofline, soaring “sky domes,” striking ceiling beams, and plentiful floor-to-ceiling windows that capture glorious light and refreshing views of the setting. Check out more info and photos here.
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Reveals New Vision & Mission Statements
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation recently adopted brand new Vision & Mission Statements to better reflect both the deep commitment toward Wright’s legacy and the ultimate forward-reaching impact on the world that his work and ideas contribute toward making life better and richer today and relevant well into the future.
VISION: In the words of Frank Lloyd Wright, "to make life more beautiful, the world a better one for living in, and to give reason, rhyme, and meaning to life."
MISSION: The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation inspires people to discover and embrace an architecture for better living through meaningful connections to nature, the arts, and each other."
As a mission-driven organization, the work is focused on three primary groups of actions:
PRESERVING the buildings, landscapes, and communities of Taliesin and Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s own homes and studios and the most personal expressions of his work, to provide experiences that will inspire and challenge visitors to build and live better.
EDUCATING a worldwide audience about the continued relevance of Wright’s architectural and cultural legacy through tours, exhibits, performances, school and youth programs, and digital engagement.
INFLUENCING the growth of architecture, design, and planning by collaborating with universities, scholars, practitioners, and industry at the intersection of nature and the built environment.
The new statements are the culmination of a collaboration of Foundation staff, members of the Board of Trustees, and community leaders. Through research funded by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust’s AGILE program, the Foundation gathered data from recent visitors and those new to Wright’s legacy, staff, volunteers, Trustees, and experts in Wright’s work, to better understand how and why people want to engage with the Foundation.
T.K. McClintock, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, was part of the working group that developed the new mission. “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Board of Trustees and staff share a passion with a worldwide audience for Wright’s work and the ways he changed how we build and live forever,” explains McClintock. “We also know that continuing to provide opportunities to experience his work and legacy teach us how to live with more beauty, purpose, happiness, and health, encouraging deeper investment in our communities. We are proud to introduce this new mission that expresses how we believe the incomparable resources of Taliesin West and Taliesin, along with Wright’s broader legacy, make a difference in our Arizona and Wisconsin communities and across the globe.” Read the entire article here.
Virtual Camp: A Digital Summer In Review
The unexpected circumstances of 2020 compelled the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Education team to come up with a new and free way to best serve the community, parents, and K-12 children during such turbulent times. The Foundation’s educators and public engagement staff were determined to quickly launch a virtual format of camp instilled with innovative Wright-inspired, STEAM-based learning for families in need around the globe.
A new format for Frank Lloyd Wright Art & Architecture Camp was born. Through Zoom, two-week versions of virtual camp were created, with four available sessions over the summer for families to choose from. The Education team taught a total of eight weeks of virtual summer camps in 2020. 233 parents signed their kids up and 168 kids completed the two week sessions in their entirety. Read the results here.
See a Video Tour of Lautner's Stevens House
John Lautner's Stevens House in Malibu, CA (1968) is an architectural masterpiece located on approximately 37 feet of sandy beach with a large beach deck, grassy yard, and swimming pool. Built of wood and concrete, it has been said that Lautner created the five-bedroom structure to resemble the ocean waves it faces. You might not be able to ever see the home in person, but you can enjoy a video peek inside this wonderful architectural work here.
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