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The Museum of Modern Art | M V
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51 West 53 Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 Tel. 956-6100 Cable: Modernart
N0 33 F0R
April 1 2 , 1977
11 a.m.-4 p.m. PHOTOGRAPHS OF COUNTY COURTHOUSES AT MODERN MUSEUM COURTHOUSE, an exhibition of 64 photographs drawn from "one of the most original, intelligent and useful architectural documentations of recent years," sponsored by Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. as a contribution to the Bicentennial, will be on view in the Steichen Galleries of The Museum of Modern Art from April 12 through July 10. These photographs of county courthouses from all regions of the nation have been selected by John Szarkowski, Director of the Department of Photography, from the more than 8,000 photographs commissioned by Seagrams from 24 photographers.
The exhibition is being presented as a
"selective fragment" of the total archive.
In all, nearly 1,000 courthouses,
specially chosen for their architectural and/or historical interest and representing a little less than one third of the counties in the continental United States, have been documented in the project, directed by Phyllis Lambert with Richard Pare as general editor. Initiated in 1974, the courthouse project was conceived as a pictorial record of buildings that are unique expressions of American society and architecture. As John Szarkowski notes, "The subject of the document—the county courthouse in the United States—is both ambitious and coherent, and exemplary of the social and artistic history of this country."
From the spare elegance
of the Chester County, South Carolina, to the great courthouse fortress of Hennepin County (Minneapolis), Minnesota, the photographs in the show reveal the county courthouse to have served in America much as churches and.palaces have in Europe:
the physical embodiment of community values and their authority.
In asseibling the archive of material from which the exhibition is drawn, the intention was to represent the entire spectrum of existing courthouses of all periods and styles. Among the 13 photographers represented in this exhibition are Pirkle Jones,
Nicholas Nixon, Tod Papageorge, Stephen Shore, and Geoff Winningham, among others.
The only restriction on the photographers was that all work be done
with a view camera to ensure high-quality, finely detailed images. For some of the photographers this assignment provided the first occasion to use the view camera.
The photographers travelled the nation between September 1974
and April 1975 along designated routes, photographing certain assigned courthouses as well as any others that caught their interest.
Speaking of the
artistic issues that faced them, and, indeed, the problem that arises in architectural photography in general Mr. Szarkowski notes:
"A photograph of
a building is neither a replica nor a model, but the translation of an idea from an architectural to a pictorial form.
It is, inevitably, a critical act,
recording not only the building itself, but the photographer's understanding of it, and of his own medium's capacity to describe it. Like other varieties of photographs, it is made, not born." "The highly selective fragment of the total Seagram's project that is shown here can only suggest the scope of the total archive as a resource for the study of American building and social values.
It can perhaps indicate
something of the intelligence, skill, sensibility, and independence with which a group of superior photographers, mostly young, used their own art to describe in translation the radically different arts of architecture, building, and government." Later this year an expanded version of the exhibition will tour nationally, under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. THE PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE MUSEUM EXHIBITION ARE: Doug Baz Caldecotte Chubb William Clift Jim Dow Frank Gohlke
Pirkle Jones Lewis Kostiner Nicholas Nixon Richard Pare
Tod Papageorge Stephen Shore Bob Thall Geoff Winningham
Additional information available from Michael Boodro, Assistant, or Elizabeth Shaw, Director, Department of Public Information, The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53 Street, New York, New York 10019. Tel. 956-7296; 7501.
The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53 Street, New York, N.Y. 10019 Tel. 956-6100 Cable: Modernart
COURTHOUSE A p r i l 12 - J u l y 1 0 , 1977 CHECKLIST JHAROLD ALLEN
Stark County, Toulon, 111. 1856; Architect unknown
[DOUGLAS BAZ 2.
Grand Isle County, North Hero, Vt. 1821+-25; Joseph M. Mott (?), Architect
Grafton County, North Haverhill, N.H. 1971; Kenneth Di Nesco of E. Verner Johnson - Robert N. Hotvedt & Associates, Inc., Architects
CALDECOT CHUBB |4.
Edgefield County, Edgefield, 8%2, 1838-39; Robert Mills (?), Architect
WILLIAM CLIFT 1
St. Louis County, St. Louis, Mo. 1839-62; Henry Singleton, Robert S. Mitchell, Thomas D.P. Lanham, William Rumbold, Architects
Tuscarawas County, New Philadelphia, Ohio 1882-85; Thomas Boyd, Architect
Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pa. 188^-88; H. H. Richardson, Architect
Warren County, Warrenton, Mo. 1869-71; Thomas W. Brady, Architect
Miami County, Troy, Ohio 1885-88; J.W. Yost, Architect
JIM DOW 10. 1977.295
Newberry County, Newberry, S.C. I8U9-53; Jacob Graves, Architect
Macon County, Tuskegee, Ala. 1905; J. W. Golucke & Co., Architects
Grady County, Cairo, Ga. 1908-09; Alexander Blair, Architect
2JIM DOW cont'd. 13.
Pike County, Zebulon, Ga. I896; Goluck & Stewart, Architects
Chester County, Chester, S.C. c. I85O; Architect unknown
Charleston County, Charleston, S. C. 1789-92; William Drayton, Architect
Pickens County, Carrollton, Ala. 1877-78; Architect unknown
Georgetown County, Georgetown, S.C. I82U; Robert Mills (?), Architect
Tate County, Senatobia, Miss. 1875; Built under direction of J. H. Cocke
1 9 . 1977.356
Hancock County, Sparta, Ga. l88l; Parker & Bruce, Architects
Anderson County, Anderson, S.C. 1897; Architect unknown
FRANK GOHLKE •21. 1977.281
Ramsey County, St. Paul, Minn. 1932; Thomas Ellerbe & Associates, Architects
Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Minn. 1888-1906; Long & Kees, Architects
Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas 1893-95; Frederick C. Gunn & Louis Curtis, Architects
Parker County, Weatherford, Texas 188^-86; W.C. Dodson & W. W. Dudley, Architects
Denton County, Denton, Texas I895-96; W. C. Dodson, Architect
* 6 1977.360
Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Minn. 1888-1906; Long & Kees, Architects
PTKKLE JONES LJ7. 1977.32U
San Joaquin County, Stockton, Cal. 1962-6^; Courthouse Associated Architects * (Mayo, Johnson, DeWolf, Clowsley, Whipple)
Oh - 3LEWIS KOSTINER >8.
Grays Harbor County, Montesano, Wash. 1911; Watson Vernon, Architect
Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, Cal. 195^-59; Stanton, Williams, Wilson of Austin, Field & Fry, Architect;
Morgan County, Jacksonville, 111. 1868-69; G.P. Randall, Architect
Hancock County, Greenfield, Ind. 189^6-98; Wing & Mahurin, Architects
Macoupin County, Carlinville, Til. 1867-70; E. E. Myers and Son, Architects.
Jay County, Portland, Ind. 1916-18; McLaughlin & Hulsker, Architects
NICHOLAS NIXON 3*.
Essex County, Salem, Mass. l8Ul; Richard Bond, Architect
Plymouth County, Plymouth, Mass. 17^+9; Judge Peter Oliver, Architect
Wayne County, Detroit, Mich. 1953-55; Harley, Ellington & Day, Architects
TOD PAPAGEORGE 37.
Appomattox County, Appomattox Court House, Va. 196*+; Henry Judd, Architect. Reconstruction of 18U5 courthouse
Carroll County, Huntington, Tenn. 1931; Hart, Freeland & Roberts, Architects
Salt Lake County, Salt Lake City, Utah I89I-9U; Proudfoot, Bird & Monheim, Architects
HICHARD PARE ho.
St. Louis County, St. Louis, Mo. I839-6I; Henry Singleton, Robert S. Mitchell, Thomas D, P. Lanham & William Rumbold, Architects Northampton County, Eastville, Va. 1731; Architect unknown St. Louis County, St. Louis, Mo. I839-6I; Henry Singleton, Robert S. Mitchell, Thomas D. P. Lanham & William Rumbold, Architects Charles City County, Charles City, Va. 1730; Architect unknown
- 4 RICHARD PARE cont'd. ''4.
Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pa 1884-88; H. H. Richardson, Architect
Delaware County, Delaware, Ohio I876; R. N. Jones, Architect
Philadelphia County, Philadelphia, Pa. 1871-1901; vrohn McArthur, Jr., & Thomas U. WaLuer, Architect*
Geauga County, Chardon, Ohio 1869; Joseph Ireland, Architect
'STEPHEN SHORE 8.
Greene County, Greensboro, Ga. 1849; David Demorest and A. Atkinson, Architects
Greene County, Eutaw, Ala. 1868-70; George M. Figh, Builder
Georgetown County, Georgetown, S.C. 1824; Robert Mills (?)? Architect
Frederick County, Winchester, Va. 1840; Robert Cary, Architect
Hampshire County, Romney, W. Va. 1922; Architect unknown
Loudoun County, Leesburg, Va. I89I4--I898; Architect unknown
Essex County, Newark, N.J. 1902-07; Cass Gilbert, Architect
BOB THALL 55-
Wapello County, Ottumwa, Iowa 1892-93; Foster & Liebbe, Architects
Davis County, Bloomfield, Iowa I877-78; T.J. Tolan & Sons, Architects
Tippecanoe County, Lafayette, Ind. 1881-85; Elias Max, Architect
Floyd County, New Albany, Ind. 196l; Walker, Applegate, Oakes & Ritz, Architects Columns from previous courthouse by Stancliff & Vogdes of Louisville, 1865-67
Fountain County, Covington, Ind. 1936-37; Walter Scholar,. Architect Works Project Administration project
BOB THALL c o n t ' d . cO.
Vigo County, Terre Haute, Ind. 1881+-88; Samuel Hannaford, Architect Jefferson County, Louisville, Ky. 1836-^2; Cideon Shryock, Architect Completed by Albert Fink, 1858-5
GEOFF WINNINGHAM 6a
Franklin Parish County, Winnsboro, La. 1950-51; John W. Baker and Neild-Somdal Assoc, Architects
Tarrant County, Fort Worth, Texas 1893-95; Cunn and Curtis, Architects