Bob Geddes to Give Talk, Tour, and Book Signing at the Institute for Advanced Study

Calling all Princeton-area architecture fans: Bob Geddes will be giving a lecture, tour, and book signing of Fit: An Architect’s Manifesto, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, on Saturday, April 5th, from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM (EDT), sponsored by DOCOMOMO Philadelphia and DOCOMOMO NY/Tri-State.

Tickets and full event details are available via Eventbrite ($20 for DOCOMOMO members / $25 for non-members / FREE for IAS faculty, scholars, and staff).

Photo: Amy Ramsey, Courtesy of Institute for Advanced StudyMake it New, Make it Fit

The architecture of Geddes, Brecher, Qualls, and Cunningham (GBQC) has been largely overlooked in recent years—despite a remarkable and influential body of work beginning with their runner-up submission for the Sydney Opera House (1956). As significant contributors (along with Louis Kahn) to the “Philadelphia School,” GBQC’s efforts challenged modernist conceptions of space, functional relationships, technology, and—with an urbanist’s eye—the reality of change over time.

To explore the thinking behind the work, founding partner Robert Geddes, FAIA, will speak about his recent publication, Fit: An Architect’s Manifesto. In addition, Geddes will guide a tour through the venue for his talk, the Institute of Advanced Study’s Simmons Hall—a GBQC masterwork of 1971. Geddes will also participate in an informal discussion with participants during lunch at the IAS Cafeteria.

10:00-10:30am      Dilworth Room. Event check in. Coffee served.
10:30-11:15am        Make it New, Make it Fit Lecture by Bob Geddes
11:15-11:50am        Building Tour
11:50-12:10pm       Lunch at cafeteria where discussion continues
12:10-1:00pm         Lunch and discussion
1:00-1:30pm           Wrap up and book signing.

LOT ‘B’ enter through West Building. When you arrive at the site, please bring a copy of your tickets, either printed or displayed on your mobile phone.

About the speaker
Robert Geddes is dean emeritus of the Princeton School of Architecture and founding partner of GBQC—recipient of the AIA’s Firm of the Year Award in 1979. Educated under Walter Gropius at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, Geddes returned to his native Philadelphia in 1950 where he began his work as an educator at the University of Pennsylvania.

New Art and Architecture Catalog!

Be among the first to browse and download our new art and architecture catalog!

Of particular interest is T. J. Clark’s Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica. Was Picasso the artist of the twentieth century? In Picasso and Truth, Clark uses his inimitable skills as art historian and writer to answer this question and reshape our understanding of Picasso’s achievement. Supported by more than 200 images, Clark’s new approach to the central figure of modern art focuses on Picasso after the First World War: his galumphing nudes of the early 1920s, the incandescent Guitar and Mandolin on a Table from 1924, Three Dancers done a year later, the hair-raising Painter and Model from 1927, the monsters and voracious bathers that follow, and finally—summing up but also saying farewell to the age of Cubism—the great mural Guernica.

Also be sure to note Daniel Arasse’s Take a Closer Look. What happens when we look at a painting? What do we think about? What do we imagine? How can we explain, even to ourselves, what we see or think we see? And how can art historians interpret with any seriousness what they observe? In six engaging, short narrative “fictions,” each richly illustrated in color, Arasse, one of the most brilliant art historians of our time, cleverly and gracefully guides readers through a variety of adventures in seeing, from Velázquez to Titian, Bruegel to Tintoretto.

And don’t miss out on Monica Bohm-Duchen’s Art and the Second World War, the first book in English to provide a comprehensive and detailed international overview of the complex and often disturbing relationship between war and the fine arts during this crucial period of modern history. This generously illustrated volume starts by examining the art produced in reaction to the Spanish Civil War (often viewed as “the first battle of World War II”), and then looks at painting, sculpture, prints, and drawing in each of the major combatant nations, including Japan and China. Breathtaking in scope, this scholarly yet accessible publication places wartime art within its broader cultural, political, and military contexts while never losing sight of the power and significance of the individual image and the individual artist.

More of our leading titles in art and architecture can be found in the catalog. You may also sign up with ease to be notified of forthcoming titles at Your e-mail address will remain confidential!

If you’re heading to the College Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, IL, February 12th-15th, come visit us at booth 304 and meet our new Executive Editor for Art and Architecture, Michelle Komie. For updates and information on our new and forthcoming titles throughout the meeting, follow #CAA2014 and @PrincetonUnivPress on Twitter. See you there!

New Art and Architecture Catalog!

Art and Architecture CatalogBe among the first to check out our new art and architecture catalog!

Of particular interest is Ai Weiwei’s Weiwei-isms, edited by Larry Warsh. Ai Weiwei is one of China’s most influential and inspiring figures. Artist, architect, curator, and activist, he has been an outspoken critic of the Chinese government’s stance on human rights and democracy. This collection of quotes demonstrates the elegant simplicity of Ai Weiwei’s thoughts on key aspects of his art, politics, and life.

Also be sure to note Robert Geddes’ Fit: An Architect’s Manifesto, a book about architecture and society that seeks to fundamentally change how architects and the public think about the task of design. For further reading on architecture, check out the POINT: Essays on Architecture series, featuring titles such as David Joselit’s trenchant illustrated After Art in which the author describes how art and architecture are being transformed in the age of Google.

We’ll also see you at the College Art Association’s annual conference February 13-16 in New York, NY at booth 107. Random drawings for two signed copies of Weiwei-isms will be held. Stop by for a visit and to enter for a chance to win!


A sneak peek at Avian Architecture by Peter Goodfellow

We are publishing Avian Architecture in June. Here, author Peter Goodfellow, reflects on birds as architects which gives us a good opportunity to share some sneak peeks at some page spreads (click on the smaller images below to see larger versions). Enjoy!

This spring I was talking to a lady who said, “Oh, I’m not like you. I really do not like birds!” At the other extreme there are men and women – you may know one – who are fanatical birders, “twitchers” in fact, who must see as many species as possible.

There’s more to the topic of birds than those two points of view. Writers and lovers of wildlife have hit on one quality which birds have which suggests they are not dull or dumb creatures – their ability to be “architects”. One could even say, “We have learned all that skill from the birds, and live like them, as the following examples suggest!”

Take the American Robin Turdus migratorius for example. On arrival in their breeding territory the homely couple build a cup-shaped nest in a bush. It is just big enough to house the growing family. After hatching from four blue eggs the young are tended carefully by both parents. In contrast, the bird world has landed gentry in the impressive presence of Mute Swans Cygnus olor. These large birds build a substantial mound-nest of water weed at the edge of their territory, the lake, which is as jealously guarded by the male against intruders, as any pop-star’s villa surrounded by a wall.

Big societies have their problem inhabitants. Thieves and robbers raid as soon as our backs are turned. Pairs of Eurasian Rooks Corvus frugilegus build high in treetops in a colony of maybe several dozen pairs. Careful observation reveals that the cock birds are repeatedly quick to steal sticks from a neighbour’s nest to build up their own, rather than hunt for new ones.

Many birds are content, like we are, with small families. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird Archilochus colubris builds a tiny nest for a family of just two. The Common Eider Somateria mollissima , however, lays up to ten eggs in a nest on the ground, wonderfully insulated with its own down (mollissima means most soft), which for centuries has been harvested in northern Europe to make – you’ve guessed it – eiderdowns. The young join other families and are looked after in a crêche by other Eiders known as “aunties”.

Birds such as Purple Martins Progne subis use rented accommodation, large specially made nest boxes for several pairs. The Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla lives with maybe hundreds of others in a sea- cliff condominium. Each pair builds a sturdy nest of weed on a ledge, where they rear their two young.

In modern Human life there are two aspects which birds thought of first. A fine example of the Do-It-Yourself Bird (or Hen-pecked Husband, depending on your point of view) is the Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes. The male may build half a dozen nests in spring. He shows his chosen female a nest who just puts the finishing touches to it, lining it with feathers. In complete contrast is one of the leaders of the Women’s Liberation Movement, the Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus. She lays four eggs in a scrape in the ground. She then leaves them, and they are incubated by the male, who continues the home duties by rearing the young until they fledge after about three weeks.

Sir John Collings Squire (1884-1958) was born in my home town of Plymouth – the original Plymouth, England! He was an influential literary editor and published poet. In conclusion, I offer here his thoughts about birds and their nests, and hope that you will find birds’ nests as wonderful as he and I believe:

O delicate chain over all the ages stretched,
O dumb tradition from what far darkness fetched:
Each little architect with its one design
Perpetual, fixed and right in stuff and line,
Each little ministrant who knows one thing,
One learned rite to celebrate the spring.
Whatever alters else on sea or shore,
These are unchanging: Man must still explore.