Seventeen drawings and numerous artifacts and photographs from the Guastavino archives in the Drawings & Archives are on display in a new exhibition at the Boston Public Library. Titled Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces, the exhibition was curated by a team of scholars under the direction of Professor John Ochsendorf of MIT, author of the 2009 monograph, Guastavino Vaulting. The curatorial team included Janet Parks, Curator of Drawings and Archives, Avery Library; Professor Richard Wilson, University of Virginia; Professor Christopher Capozzola, MIT; and Chrysanthe B. Broikos, curator, the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C..
Attending the exhibition were ten members of the Guastavino family and Christiane Collins, whose husband Professor George Collins secured the Guastavino archives for Columbia University. The exhibition will remain at the Boston Public Library until February 24th and then travel to the National Building Museum. A New York venue is being planned. The National Endowment for the Humanities sponsored the development and execution of the exhibition, from a Consultation Grant in 2006 to the implementation grant for the exhibition in 2011 as part of the “We the People” program. Additional funding came from the Institut Ramon Llull and the Diputació de Barcelona.
A day featuring talks on various aspects of Guastavino buildings and history will be presented on November 3, 2012, as part of the Construction History Society of America’s conference held at MIT. Janet Parks will deliver the keynote address on the relationship of Guastavino and Cass Gilbert. Nineteen papers will follow presenting research on major buildings by Guastavino and new technical studies based on preservation projects. In addition to American scholars more than ten architects and scholars from Spain will attend and present papers.