Patience and Fortitude: The New York Public Library Turns 100

Paul Gunther

Read Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s President Paul Gunther’s Huffington Post Blog: Patience and Fortitude: The New York Public Library Turns 100

Posted by Sara Durkacs on | Leave a comment

Patience and Fortitude: Heads Held High as the New York Public Library Turns 100

Paul Gunther

A message from our President, Paul Gunther

The nicknames for the two great lions guarding the terrace of this great Carrère and Hastings landmark (just around the corner from ICAA national headquarters) as it approaches its centennial recall two attributes of the Institute at its steady best, working as we do around the country to uphold our mission. They likewise recall the rigorous path required to learn and apply the classical tradition whether in design, urban plan, landscape, building crafts, and the fine arts. Little worth doing can be achieved without them especially when it comes to shaping a better-built future or advancing artistic excellence.

"Lion" (aka "Fortitude") by Edward Clark Potter, sculptor, Attilio Piccirilli, carver (Anne Day)

Read more »

Posted by Paul on | 2 Comments

Beaux-Arts Atelier Video

By now you’ve likely seen the e-mail messages, read about “it” on our Web site, or on our Facebook page, but now you can watch it!

Ryan Greene, ICAA’s new Education Programs Associate, was hard at work last week putting together images and text (and appropriate soundtrack) for a video about the Beaux-Arts Atelier, beginning Fall 2011.

Want to help spread the word?  Watch the video until the end, wait until you see the http: link, copy and paste the link to share it in an email or on your Facebook page!

Be sure to check out the Beaux-Arts Atelier Youtube channel for more video in the near future.

Posted by Nora Reilly on | Leave a comment

Celebrating 30 Years of the Arthur Ross Awards

Ross AwardsEstablished in 1982 by Classical America chairman of the board, Arthur Ross, and its president, Henry Hope Reed, the Arthur Ross Awards were created to recognize and celebrate excellence in the classical tradition. From the beginning, the awards have recognized the achievements and contributions of architects, painters, sculptors, artisans, landscape designers, educators, publishers, patrons, and others dedicated to preserving and advancing the classical tradition.

Tonight the Institute fetes its 2011 Arthur Ross Award winners: Franck and Lohsen Architects, Evergreene Architectural Arts, Andrew Zega and Bernd H. Dams, Ralph Lauren, The New York Botanical Garden, and Clem Labine at the University Club.

View the complete list of award recipients here and read below for more information about past winners in the Architecture category.

Read more »

Posted by Sara Durkacs on | 1 Comment


By Calder Loth
Senior Architectural Historian for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and a member of the
Institute of Classical Classical Architecture & Art‘s Advisory Council.

Calder Loth

Figures of Greek and Roman mythology have served as architectural adornments from ancient times to modern. Throughout the western world pediments, friezes, balustrades, and niches have been embellished with representations of ancient deities and their kin. However, two of the most dramatic celebrities of the Homeric family, Telamon and Atlas, have been applied to buildings only rarely, and almost never in recent decades. In the Illiad, Telamon was the son of King Aeacus and father of the Greek hero, Ajax. He is remembered chiefly as the first to break through the Trojan wall, an act that enraged Heracles, but who was placated when Telamon built an altar in his honor. The name Telamon derives from a Greek word meaning support or bearer. Telamon is thus shown in sculpture as a brawny male bearing a weight or burden. His name has become the architectural term for a sculpted figure with arms aloft holding a cornice or a lintel.

Probably the earliest and most impressive use of Telamon or Telamones (pl.) on an architectural work was at the Temple of the Olympian Zeus in Agrigento, Sicily, dating from the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. One of the largest Greek temples ever conceived, it was built to commemorate the Greeks’ defeat of the Carthaginians. It apparently was never finished as the Carthaginians conquered Agrigento while the temple was under construction. A model in the archaeological museum at Agrigento shows the conjectural placement of the Telamones in the upper portions of the temple’s bays. (Fig. 1) We can grasp their gigantic scale through a surviving but badly weathered Telamon assembled from fragments for display in the museum. (Fig. 2) The temple collapsed in an earthquake in 1401 and many of its stones were robbed for constructing the nearby town.

Fig. 1: Temple of Olympian Zeus model, Agrigento Archaeological Museum, Sicily (Loth)

Read more »

Posted by Calder on | 7 Comments

A Book Review by Seth Joseph Weine

Seth Joseph Weine

Classical Architecture for the Twenty-First Century: An Introduction to Design

by Jean-François Gabriel
W. W. Norton, New York, 2004

Did you ever have a mentor whose experience and knowledge was so vast and deep, that you wished you could “download” his brain for the future benefit of all? This desire becomes particularly urgent when the brain in question belongs to someone well along in lifespan, or who has retired from teaching or practice. Anyone who’s met Henry Hope Reed will recognize the feeling, and a lucky generation of Syracuse students taught by Jean-François Gabriel would know it as well.

In the latter case, the wish is bountifully fulfilled. At the end of his decades of work, Professor Gabriel has a parting gift for our community.  Classical Architecture for the Twenty-First Century: An Introduction to Design is a treatise that richly and completely sets out what he knows. And what he knows about design is about everything worth knowing. It is a complete curriculum and summary of the principles of composition and massing; defining and laying out space; drawing and presentation; types and use of ornament; articulation and refinement of a design; the acknowledgment and treatment of edges and transitions; and much more—all presented with attention to how space, form, and materials are directly experienced.

Although this book, part of the “Classical America Series in Art and Architecture,” was published in 2004, it deserves another look now. It is certainly worthy of our attention. Yes, a number of comprehensive treatises have been printed before, offering a totalistic vision—but I don’t think any of them can match Gabriel’s for the diversity and number of illustrations he uses to convey the principles of design. Moreover, these examples are offered in the most engaging way: every page is sprinkled with plans, sketches, snapshots, elevations, and diagrams. It’s a multitude of images—“two scoops of raisins!”—and they certainly move the message forward.

Remember that great 1960s film, The Time Machine? At the end, the hero returns to his own time, and selects three books from his vast library to take back to the future to help him rebuild civilization. We are left to wonder which three he chose—an endlessly interesting speculation! Gabriel’s book, so rich a resource, would be a contender.

Seth Joseph Weine, a founding Fellow of the ICAA, has been doing architecture and getting things built for a long time. He frequently provides book reviews for THE FORUM and we look forward to more of his singular reviews both in the newsletter and on this blog. Seth is available at

Posted by Kelly Cordova on | 1 Comment