Office of Media Relations
May 26 through July 2
Bell Gallery Displays Retrospective of Friedrich St.Florian’s Career
The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a retrospective of Friedrich St.Florian’s work, opening Friday, May 26, and running through Sunday, July 2, 2006. The exhibition honors the architect at the time of his retirement from teaching and on the occasion of being awarded an honorary degree during Brown University’s 238th Commencement.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Friedrich St.Florian: A Retrospective, featuring more than 80 architectural drawings, sketches, designs and models, will be on display at the David Winton Bell Gallery from Friday, May 26, through Sunday, July 2, 2006, with an opening reception held on Thursday, May 25, at 5:30 p.m.
The exhibition, accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, spans his career from the early 1960s to the present, exploring his “imaginary architecture,” residential and commercial projects, competition entries, and design for the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. It honors St. Florian at the time of his retirement from teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design and on the occasion of a Doctor of Fine Arts degree, honoris causa, to be conferred by Brown University at its 238th commencement on Sunday, May 28. A concurrent exhibition at The RISD Museum, Friedrich St.Florian: Building an Architect, explores the architect as teacher through his preliminary drawings and sketches.
“This series of events brings together neighboring institutions to honor Friedrich St.Florian’s career as a teacher and his unwavering commitment to both an imaginary architecture and the seriousness of architectural inquiry,” said Dietrich Neumann, co-curator of the exhibition and professor of the history of art and architecture at Brown.
Neumann co-curated the Retrospective exhibition with Jo-Ann Conklin, director of the Bell Gallery. The concept grew out of a graduate seminar held in the fall of 2005. Led by Neumann, the participants were Erin Eckhold, Elisa Foster, Divya Rao Heffley, I-Fen Huang, Amanda Lahikainen, Julia Lazarus, Miranda Mollendorf, and Lisa Tom.
St.Florian will also deliver a lecture, titled “Designing the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C.,” at the List Art Center Auditorium on Saturday, May 27, at 1 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
Born in 1932 in Graz, Austria, Friedrich St.Florian studied architecture at the Graz University of Technology, where he graduated in 1960. He won a Fulbright Fellowship and came to the United States to study at Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in urban design. After teaching at Columbia University for one year, St.Florian joined the Rhode Island School of Design faculty in 1963. During his years as a professor at RISD, St.Florian served as dean of architecture and design, acting provost, and chief critic of the European Honors Program in Rome. St. Florian has also taught at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England; M.I.T in Cambridge, Mass.; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and the University of Texas–Austin.
In addition to teaching, St.Florian has been a practicing architect since 1974. He earned worldwide recognition for his design of the World War II Memorial for the Mall in Washington, D.C., which opened in 2004. He served as the design architect in a large team that designed the Providence Place Mall, a retail and entertainment center in downtown Providence and the largest construction project ever undertaken in Rhode Island. St.Florian was also the sole architect of the Providence Skybridge, between the mall and the Westin Hotel.
St.Florian’s work is included in many private collections as well as in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, M.I.T, the RISD Museum, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. St. Florian has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards in national and international design competitions, including a second prize in the Georges Pompidou Center Competition in Paris. He is also a fellow of the American Academy in Rome and received an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Rhode Island College in 2005.
The David Winton Bell Gallery, located on the first floor of List Art Center, 64 College St., is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. During Commencement Weekend, the gallery will have extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. The Bell Gallery will be closed on Memorial Day. For more information, call (401) 863-2932.