19 April 2015

Edward Durell Stone stayed at Malcontenta

When I was in Fayetteville, Arkansas, last month, I was looking at the 2011 book on Edward Durell Stone written by his youngest son, Hicks, also an architect. The older Stone designed the 1951 Fine Arts Center, housing the art library in which I was perusing the book.

I didn't get much chance to peruse the book so I've borrowed it on interlibrary loan. Hicks Stone mentions on page 197-198 that his father was staying at the Palladio villa in Mira, Villa Foscari, known at La Malcontenta, while he and his associates were working on the U.S. Pavilion for the 1958 World's Fair in Brussels. Malcontenta is one of my favorite Palladio villas and it is intriguing to think that Stone was working on one of his important projects while staying there for the summer.

Hicks Stone started architecture school at the Harvard GSD in 1979, in the heyday of postmodernism, with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown and Michael Graves in the ascendance. When his modern architecture survey professor Alexander Tzonis reached Edward Stone's U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, the class hissed. Though Hicks and his father had been estranged since he was a child, Hicks was amazed, and continues to be amazed, that this early historicism was so derided.

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