The visual transmission of European architecture by George Everard Kidder Smith
Materias Investigacion::Arquitectura
Architectural history
XXth century European architecture
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Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Maggi, A., (2016) ""The visual transmission of European architecture by George Everard Kidder Smith"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interpretaciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp. 140-151)
George Everard Kidder Smith has taken breath-taking photographs of buildings all around the world for nearly sixty years. He is recognized along with Julius Shulman and Ezra Stoller as one of the leading figures of the twentieth century architectural photography. During his career, he wrote and illustrated with his images a series of books, the first of which was Brazil Builds (1943), an examination of the South American modernism produced in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the early 1940’s and in the late 1950’s his interest in European architecture became quite evident in a series of volumes that were published in order to describe visually the architectural and historical identity of the three countries which he surveyed: Sweden, Switzerland and Italy. In Europe he had remarkable intuition about how to reveal newly built architecture through beautifully composed images in black and white and subtle shades of grey. His three similar grantaided volumes, Sweden Builds, Switzerland Builds (both 1950) and Italy Builds (1955), represent an anomaly in architectural photography: he took pictures to illustrate his books as well as lectures he’s given worldwide throughout his life, so he didn’t depend on architects or magazines for commissions. Later, in the 1960s, Kidder Smith would travel through Europe to research The New Architecture of Europe (1961) and The New Churches of Europe (1964). He reveals another aspect of his fascination in his introduction to “New Architecture”, describing how the advent of such technological innovations as rolled steel and reinforced concrete changed the way people build.
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