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July Issue 2009

Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, Featuring American Architectural Firm - Gwathmey Siegel and Associates

The Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, is presenting the exhibit, Gwathmey Siegel: Inspiration and Transformation, on view through Jan. 10, 2010. This is the first museum exhibition featuring the work of American architectural firm Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects (New York). Gwathmey Siegel designed the Cameron Art Museum in 2002.

The exhibition explores several interrelated themes in the work of Gwathmey Siegel: the counterpoint of passion and process in art and architecture; the symbiotic relationship of art and architecture in 20th century modernism; and the impact of changing technology upon architectural practice. Exhibition curator Douglas Sprunt focuses on five "transitional and transformative" projects in this exhibition, each of which marks a transition in the work of Gwathmey Siegel as seen in projects spanning more than forty years.

The five projects include: Gwathmey residence and studio, Amagansett, New York (1965-67); deMenil residence, East Hampton, New York (1983); Bechtler Residence, Zumikon, Switzerland (1993); Glenstone, (2006); and Yale School of Art and Architecture renovation and addition, New Haven, Connecticut (2008).

The exhibition's focus upon these transitional and transformative projects demonstrates the broader cultural currents in American modernist art and architecture, as well as the more specific inspiration derived from works of art in these commissions.

The exhibition includes architectural drawings, plans, photographs, models and selected works of art associated with each of the five architectural projects. The exhibit also features artifacts and documents from the personal collection of Charles Gwathmey, many of these never before exhibited.

Robert Siegel graduated from Pratt Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1962 and received his Master of Architecture degree from Harvard University in 1963. In 1983, the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized Siegel's skill and leadership as an architect with its Medal of Honor. He received the Pratt Institute Centennial Alumni Award in Architecture in 1988 and in 1990 accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York State Society of Architects.

Charles Gwathmey, born in Charlotte, NC, in 1938, was the only child of two artists: social-realist painter Robert Gwathmey, and Rosalie Hook, a photographer who later worked as a textile-designer. Gwathmey received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and a graduate degree from Yale University, where he studied under the legendary Paul Rudolph. Soon after leaving Yale, the architect designed a 1200 square foot home and studio for his parents in Long Island (1966). That widely celebrated project quickly established his name as one of the new stars of the American architectural scene. For over thirty years, Gwathmey and partner Robert Siegel have designed many residences, public buildings and spaces designed for art: museums, galleries, schools for art and architecture, and collectors' homes.

The exhibition will be accompanied by related public programs (lectures and an architectural colloquium), and an illustrated catalogue. The publication will include interviews with the architect and selected clients.

This exhibition was generously supported by the Estate of Katherine Phillips, the Hillsdale Fund, Inc., and the Randleigh Foundation Trust, established by the late William R. Kenan, Jr., a native of Wilmington, NC.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 910/395-5999 or visit (www.cameronartmuseum.com).

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