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G.E. KIDDER SMITH BUILDS

ANGELO MAGGI, FOREWORD BY MICHELANGELO SABATINO

First comprehensive overview about a talented twentieth-century writer, photographer, and ‘builder’ of books who greatly impacted architecture appreciation in America and beyond.

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The volume represents the very first book dedicated to George Everard Kidder Smith, who passed away 25 years ago in New York. It deals with his life and work underlining his ability to document and interpret historical architecture and the great buildings. His books were aimed at the layman, and books such as Brazil Builds, Italy Builds, The New Churches of Europe, Pictorial History of Architecture in America, to mention only a few of them, received tremendous critical and popular acclaim.

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As an author, educator, photographer, and “builder” of books and exhibitions, G. E. (George Everard) Kidder Smith (1913–1997) was a multidimensional figure within the wide­ranging field of North American archi­tectural professionals in the second half of the twentieth century (Fig. 1). From his start during the volatile years leading up to, during, and immediately following the Second World War, Kidder Smith excited the imagination of the general public as well as architecture professionals by publishing photography­rich books about new and old buildings in a range of countries. Although Kidder Smith was propelled in his travels by a powerful wanderlust, he was no flaneur.

His body of photographs consistently con­veys an engaging and empathetic approach to framing buildings and the people that use them. Almost always, Kidder Smith captured human figures within his photographs. The photographs aim to reveal intimate relation­ships between buildings, landscapes, and people. More times than not, Kidder Smith’s framing eschews documentary­style “com­pleteness” in favor of more nuanced glimpses aimed at enticing the viewer to engage with the rest of the building on their own terms.

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“It is difficult to think of any great building in the history of architecture which did not represent a union of the talents of the architect with those of the painter and the sculptor.”

“The Philosophy and know-how of the anonymous builders presents the largest untapped source of architectural inspiration for industrial man. The wisdom to bee derived goes beyond economic and esthetic considerations.”

“The Philosophy and know-how of the anonymous builders presents the largest untapped source of architectural inspiration for industrial man. The wisdom to bee derived goes beyond economic and esthetic considerations.”

“The Philosophy and know-how of the anonymous builders presents the largest untapped source of architectural inspiration for industrial man. The wisdom to bee derived goes beyond economic and esthetic considerations.”

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Because America does not realize the fundamental approach of modern architecture and the great benefits (which we hope to make clear) accompanying it, it neither knows nor cares about it. It does not seek buildings generated by plan instead of façade; it does not look for living beauty and restfulness in its houses; it is horrified at anyone proposing that some responsible and capa­ble authority plan its subdivisions, approaches, and highways in an effort to make its cities and surroundings coherent and beau­tiful. It seemingly frowns on other than the false­fronted and compromising colonial.
—“The Tragedy of American Architecture,” Magazine of Art, November 1945, 255

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Selected Works

The Landscape ProjectProject type

Landscape ApproachDr. Shelagh McCartney, Samantha Solano, Sonja Vangjeli, Hannes Zander

Colors of RhetoricMaría Fullaondo

Koolhass For PradaProject type

Creatures are StirringJoseph Altschuler & Juila Sedlock

Innovation In PracticeValeria Federighi

Colors of RhetoricMaria Fullaondo

CONTACT US
USA - San Francisco Bay Area
Tel: +1(415) 883-3300
USA - New York
Tel: +1(646) 322-2466
Asia - Singapore & China
Tel: +(65) 9068-1860
Tel: +(86) 755-84556863

CONTACT US
USA - San Francisco Bay Area
Tel: +1(415) 883-3300
Asia - Singapore & China
Tel: +(65) 9068-1860
Tel: +(86) 755-84556863

CONTACT US
USA - San Francisco Bay Area
Tel: +1(415) 883-3300
USA - New York
Tel: +1(646) 322-2466
Asia - Singapore & China
Tel: +(65) 9068-1860
Tel: +(86) 755-84556863

© 2022 Applied Research And Design / ORO Editions. All Rights Reserved.

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