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Not long ago, the spiraling 1950s Bavinger House designed by architect Bruce Goff was razed by its owner, leaving just a scraped patch of dirt. Through a device you may have last experienced as a childhood souvenir — the stereoscopic View-Master — you can revisit its organic architecture in 3D. Since 1997, the Knoxville, Tennessee–based View Productions has created a series of reels highlighting 20th-century design and architecture, particularly forms that are difficult to capture in two dimensions.
Each reel comes with a short essay on its buildings, and for the one that features three houses by Goff, architect Malcolm Holzman writes:
His structures present difficulties in understanding and appreciation of the general relations between particulars that result in a clear or complete idea if only viewed from drawings or two-dimensional photographs. Goff’s continuous spaces and free-flowing forms are precisely the opposite of those most easily depicted in ordinary architectural graphics.
Of those three Goff houses — which were photographed with a stereo camera by Michael Kaplan, co-founder of View Productions and a professor of architecture at the University of Tennessee — only one still stands, the bird cage–like Ford House in Aurora, Illinois. The 1956 Shin’en Kan in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was destroyed by arson in 1996. Holzman notes that many people haven’t been able to witness Goff’s work in person, as he mostly built in locations that are off the beaten architecture path (the Japanese Pavilion at LACMA being an exception). I grew up in Bartlesville and saw Shin’en Kan firsthand before it was burned. I was startled at how sharply the View Productions photographs brought back memories of its sunken living room and soaring angles adorned with iridescent blue glass cullet. And the clicking of the View-Master, which comes with its own nostalgia, certainly reinforces the feeling of looking into the past.
Not all the View Production reels are architecture memorials, though; they also feature surviving work by Frank Gehry, Antonio Gaudi, Charles and Ray Eames, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Kaplan journeyed to lesser-known sites as well, like Hans Scharoun’s modernist buildings in Berlin, Ralph Erskine’s influential low-cost housing in Sweden, and Russel Wright’s eco-conscious Dragon Rock residence in Garrison, New York, built alongside an abandoned quarry. Much of this architecture is organic modernism, which favored fluid living spaces and blurred lines between the human-made and the natural landscape.
Kaplan, who started View Productions with architect Gregory Terry, told Hyperallergic that the company is currently “beginning to scan our many hundreds of stereoscopic film images for display on 4K 3D television. The first results are excellent.” So while View Productions remains an analogue experience right now, it may go digital in the future, allowing for expansion and greater accessibility. “This will give us the opportunity to make available all of our images, not just the few displayed on View-Master reels,” Kaplan added. “While not interactive, because these are all on film, they are at a higher resolution than anything one would see in VR using current technology.”
Architecture and design classics in 3D are available from View Productions.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…