june10 - PROJECT STATEMENT The Department of Rare Books...

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PROJECT STATEMENT The Department of Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation (RBSCP) is partnering with three scholars (Eugenia Ellis, Jean France, Jonathan Massey) to present a substantial reconsideration of Claude Bragdon (1866-1946), a leading innovator in architecture, art, criticism, and theater during the first three decades of the 20 th century. Linked exhibitions, a publication and symposium will explore Bragdon’s life and work. Formed by the Arts and Crafts and City Beautiful Movements, Bragdon became a first-generation modernist architect and engaged in experimental work in theater, color music, and abstract film animation. His work represents the distinctive interaction of social reform, technological innovation and artistic experimentation that flourished a century ago. With no formal training after high school, Bragdon applied his natural aptitude for drawing in apprenticeships and positions in architecture firms in the early 1890s: as a draughtsman in the Rochester office of Charles Ellis, with Bruce Price in NY, and with Green and Wicks in Buffalo. Bragdon and Harvey Ellis became friends and founded one of America’s first Arts & Crafts Societies in Rochester in 1897. Largely self-taught through voracious reading, Bragdon readily admitted his scant formal education and gave Ellis and Sullivan credit for inspiring and instructing him in architectural work. Bragdon had become familiar with the “Chicago School” through reading and the Architectural League of America; his own writing was quite well known. Sullivan’s Kindergarten Chats appeared in serialization in 1901-02, accelerating Bragdon’s development of his own organicism. Although notebooks indicate he began work on
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june10 - PROJECT STATEMENT The Department of Rare Books...

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