Joy in the Act of Drawing: Maybeck's Palace of Fine Arts focuses on Bernard Maybeck's working drawings for the surviving fragment of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Because it was originally designed as a temporary structure, it has been dismissed by some critics as the roughly detailed product of a speedy production process. However, Alexander Ortenberg shows that the working drawings were carefully produced in accordance with the professional standards of American Beaux-Arts architecture. What appear to be crude details were the product of thoughtful study, in which the charcoal of the earlier sketches was translated into the hard ink line of working drawings. Exploiting the liveliness of the drawing medium, Maybeck invented architectural details that preserved the freshness of his initial sketches and helped to define the theatrical character of the building.

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