2001

Out of the Ordinary

1


2001.07.21 12:29
one very Philadelphian daze
NY architect (and quondam Philadelphian) RE took some digital snapshots last Saturday. He and S and L where in town. I met R and L at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while S went to Temple U's campus to take site analysis pics. L, R and I toured the VSBA exhibit together, and then attended the Venturi Scott Brown tribute symposium in the museum auditorium. There were three speakers: the president of U of Mich, the present resident of the Vanna Venturi House, and Vincent Scully. I like going to architecture talks; it reminds of my school days, and they go with my thinking (which is obsessed with just thinking about architecture more and more the older I get--I don't build architecture, I just think it). At the very end of the symposium Scott Brown got up and publicly told Scully he was totally wrong about her role in the 'Venturi' history. Then she shot him with a pistol--just kidding. Denise is now my heroin. Liz thought what Denise did was uncalled-for.
Then I got to tell my Charlie Rose Show last Friday night story. The CRShow was on the two Meis exhibits in NYC-Lambert, Bergdoll and Goldberger were guests. I said, "You can tell that Lambert isn't used to being asked questions. Rose would ask her something about Mies and she would roll out the usually clichés--like God on a mountain and all that. Then Rose would ask her to elaborate. Lambert then flinched and paused at the same time, and then snapped 'WHAT?!?!'" She did that three time within the hour show. It really made me laugh each time.
Steve Izenour was wearing a cap last Saturday. It said UGLY AND ORDINARY. I guess it pays to advertise, and don't you just love the high art of museum shops? Oh yes, there was a book signing after the symposium. I told Venturi I can read his mind, and I told Scott Brown she's my new heroin. Then I injected them both with a needle--just kidding.
Well, Venturi and Scott Brown just love l, and swooped her off to dinner, while R and I had to go meet up with the other S in Center City--that's when we cafe-ed it. I still don't have a cellular phone, but I love it when the people I'm with do. L called, said they were done eating and she was ready to go back to NYC, but Venturi wanted to show her this old building (a fancy row-home) he recently came upon in North Philadelphia (maybe Wilson Eyre is the architect?). So there we were, following Venturi's lead (again!) driving through 'dangerous' neighborhoods all for the love of architecture.
Guess what, Venturi and Scott Brown still don't really know who I am. It's like 'pay no attention to that man behind the (virtual) curtain.'


2001.08.15 11:15
Re: Venturi pot at eBay
I went back to the exhibit twice since we were there for the symposium--once with A and the next day with A's cousin S. Both are now college girls and they both really enjoyed the 'billboard' part of the exhibit. You know, just maybe VSBA should make a concerted effort to get their message out to young art and communications students, rather than young architects.
S really, really liked the furniture and decorative arts stuff as well. The row of chairs actually made her gasp with joy.


2005.07.07 18:21
I wonder if Scott Brown remembers...
Wow, Denise Scott Brown (coincidentally) speaking in the quondam Constantinople!
I wonder if Scott Brown remembers how I told her, at the 14 July 2001 Out of the Ordinary book signing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, how St. Helena (a native of Drepanum, today's Yalova, Turkey) was the first master architect and planner of Christian architecture. She (Scott Brown) at least said, "That's fascinating." Now I have to tell her how Eutropia, a native Syrian and the mother of Maxentius, was what one could call the brains behind Helena's (and Constantine's) architectural operations.
14 July 2001 was also the first and last time I shook hands with Steven Izenour. He died a month and a week later...
I also told Robert Venturi he was the reason I now often visit Stenton. Venturi said, "What!?" So I explained how he, in 1983, via an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday Magazine, said Stenton was on his list of favorite Philadelphia buildings. Venturi then said, "Oh, you forget things like that."
Odd how Venturi, later that afternoon, decided to take the group I was with to a house he recently "discovered" on Girard Avenue, his latest favorite Philadelphia building.

2001.07.14
one very Philadelphian daze



R and S. and L. where in town. I met R. and L. at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, while S. went to Temple University's campus to take site analysis pictures. L., R. and I toured the VSBA exhibit [Out of the Ordinary] together...



"At the PMA symposium last summer [2001], Vincent Scully, the art historian and indefatigable Venturi defender since 1965, explained Venturi's enduring effect on architects: "He angers them because he frightens them." Just as modernism had finally stripped meaning from form, refined abstraction, and allowed architects to practice their art as escape from the real world, with an adversarial (we-know-better) attitude, Venturi "brought meaning back and cut to the root of experience." Scully claims, "He's never been forgiven." (Scott Brown, in turn, has never forgiven Scully for his inability to say "they" instead of "he.")"
Barbara Flanigan, "Born to be Bad" in Metropolis (New York: October 2001), p. 130.

...and then attended the Venturi and Scott Brown tribute symposium in the museum auditorium. There were three speakers: the president of the University of Michigan, the present resident of the Vanna Venturi House, and Vincent Scully. I like going to architecture talks; it reminds of my school days, and they go with my thinking (which is obsessed with just thinking about architecture more and more the older I get--I don't build architecture, I just think it). At the very end of the symposium Scott Brown got up and publicly told Scully he was totally wrong about her role in the 'Venturi' history. Then she shot him with a pistol--just kidding. Denise is now my heroin[e].

Then I got to tell my Charlie Rose Show last Friday night story. The CRShow was on the two Mies exhibits in NYC--Phyllis Lambert, Barry Bergdoll and Paul Goldburger were guests. I said, "You can tell that Lambert isn't used to being asked questions. Rose would ask her something about Mies and she would roll out the usually clichés--like God on a mountain and all that. Then Rose would ask her to elaborate. Lambert then flinched and paused at the same time, and then snapped 'WHAT?!?!'" She did that three time within the hour show. It really made me laugh each time.



Steve Izenour was wearing a cap last Saturday. It said UGLY AND ORDINARY. I guess it pays to advertise, and don't you just love the high art of museum shops? Oh yes, there was a book signing after the symposium. I told Venturi I can read his mind, and I told Scott Brown she's my new heroin[e]. Then I injected them both with a needle--just kidding.


At the book-signing after the VSBA symposium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I told Robert Venturi, "You're the reason I often visit Stenton."
"Stenton!? I love Stenton."
"I know. You said it was one of your favorite Philadelphia buildings in a Philadelphia Inquirer Sunday magazine piece in the mid-eighties."
"Oh. You forget about things like that."



At the book-signing after the VSBA symposium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I told Denise Scott Brown, "I'm writing a "thesis" which brings to light that the first "master planner" of Christian architecture was a woman, the mother of Constantine, Saint Helena."
Scott Brown replied, "That's fascinating."



While Venturi and Scott Brown were still signing books after the VSBA symposium at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I met Steven Izenour for the first and last time. Probably not too many others present, including myself, knew that Izenour was going to celebrate his sixty-first birthday just two days hence. And certainly no one there knew that Izenour would die of a heart attack a month and a week later.



"And finally Steven Izenour, who is our co-worker, co-author, and sine qua non."
Scott Brown and Venturi, Preface to Learning from Las Vegas (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1972), p. xi.


Well, Venturi and Scott Brown just love L., and swooped her off to dinner, while R. and I had to go meet up with the other S. in Center City--that's when we cafe-ed it.

I still don't have a cellular phone, but I love it when the people I'm with do. L. called, said they were done eating and that she was ready to go back to NYC, but Venturi wanted to show her this old building (a fancy rowhome) he recently came upon in North Philadelphia (maybe Wilson Eyre is the architect?). So there we were, following Venturi's lead (again!) driving through 'dangerous' neighborhoods all for the love of architecture.


While we were admiring Mount Sharon Baptist Church and ruminating as to who the architect might be, Denise Scott Brown asked, "Who is the architect of Peirce College?"
I said, "Oh yes. That doorway."
Scott Brown, evidently surprised by my quick apposition to her query, said, "Yes, that doorway."



As we were all focusing on the house that is now Mount Sharon Baptist Church, my eyes wandered to look at the other buildings on the block, and what is obviously a newer building caught my eye. I said, "Look at that building over there." To which Denise Scott Brown replied, "That must be by Friday [Architects]." Upon later investigations, Scott Brown was indeed correct in her assessment.



The reasons Robert Venturi likes Mount Sharon Baptist Church as much as he does are very likely the same reasons he likes the former National Bank of the Republic by Frank Furness.



Guess what, Venturi and Scott Brown still don't really know who I am. It's like "pay no attention to that man behind the (virtual) curtain."

««««

»»»»


3736c 3900c 4004 4020
www.quondam.com/42/422e.htm

Quondam © 2016.11.22