The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, November 23, 2014


Only three weeks left to see 'Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile'
Ellis Island Registry Room. Photo: Michael Freeman
NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of the City of New York today announced that visitors have just three weeks left to see Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile—a major exhibition examining the engineering and architectural beauty of spaces designed and built by Spanish immigrant Rafael Guastavino and his son, Rafael Jr. Lauded as “extremely cool” and “awesome” by CBS New York, Palaces for the People offers visitors a unique view of the Guastavino’s thin-tile structural vaults, which grace more than 250 architectural landmarks in New York City, including Grand Central Terminal and the Ellis Island Registry Room. Visitors can view the exhibition through Sunday, September 7, 2014.

“As you walk through New York City, look up. You will see the Guastavino Company’s treasures hiding in office buildings, parks, and even subway stations,” said Susan Henshaw Jones, the Ronay Menschel Director of the City Museum. “We are thrilled that Palaces for the People has revealed the Guastavinos’ profound influence on New York City’s architectural character to so many and hope many more will visit before the show closes in September.”

Palaces for the People showcases original architectural drawings, artifacts, contemporary color images, and historic photographs that examine the achievements of Rafael Guastavino, Sr., and Rafael, Jr. as they rose from newly arrived immigrants to successful entrepreneurs. The exhibition includes contemporary photographs, original drawings from Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, and a video installation that enables viewers to “visit” Guastavino spaces in the gallery. Palaces for the People was first organized by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s John Ochsendorf. The City Museum and guest curator Martin Moeller revamped the exhibition to focus on Guastavino tile structures that grace more than 250 architectural landmarks in New York City, including Grand Central Terminal, the Ellis Island Registry Room, and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.

“The [City Museum’s] compact display, which occupies a single large gallery, includes drawings, photographs, plans, tile fragments, and an illuminating video that explains the Guastavinos’ proprietary masonry techniques.” — Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books

“Originally shown last year at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., the exhibit has been adapted for a New York audience with archival and interactive content focused on the Guastavinos' local work. The results give viewers a sense of not only how stunning their work appears today, but just how innovative their signature vaults and arches were when they were new.” — The Atlantic’s City Lab





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