In 1488 Giuliano da Sangallo arrived in Naples with his model for a new royal palace commissioned by Lorenzo de’ Medici for the king of Naples, Ferrante of Aragon. In Giuliano da Sangallo in the Kingdom of Naples: Architecture and Cultural Exchange, Bianca de Divitiis examines the design of this royal palace in the context of the cultural and diplomatic relationship between Naples and Florence, considering the architect’s attempt to respond to the ceremonial and practical requirements of the Neapolitan court and to integrate “foreign” models with elements derived from local antiquities. De Divitiis analyzes the origins of the palace design and other important projects by Florentine architects in Naples, such as the suburban villa Poggioreale. The article looks at the knowledge, stimuli, and contacts that Giuliano acquired during his sojourn in the Kingdom of Naples and the legacy he left there.
An intense national debate preceded the 1937 Paris Exposition, involving two series of competitions that summarized the issues of the entire decade of the 1930s and intersected with controversies about the future of Paris. The 1932 competition to select a new exposition site in an area where it could stimulate Paris’s growth and the subsequent competition series of 1934–35 yielded remarkable proposals. These included projects by Beaudouin and Lods, Pierre Patout, and Le Corbusier, as well as Auguste Perret’s proposal for a “Champs-Élysées of the Rive Gauche” affecting the entire southern half of Paris. In Reinventing Paris: The Competitions for the 1937 Paris International Exposition, Danilo Udovički-Selb looks at the complex discourse around the 1937 Exposition and concludes that this occasion was a missed opportunity for the “reinvention” of the French capital, which emerged only as a mirage in phantasmagoric light pageantries for the duration of the exposition.
At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the Electric Utility Industry sponsored a one-acre working model called the Electrified Farm. Facing increasing competition from the New Deal’s Rural Electrification Administration, the farm’s corporate sponsors used the exhibit to advocate a new, electrified rural lifestyle enabled by private power and industry. Sarah Rovang demonstrates that the eight buildings of the Electrified Farm, designed by the firm of Harrison & Fouilhoux, evinced a cohesive modern aesthetic that stylistically echoed the modernity of the exhibit’s electrical lighting, appliances, and farm equipment. At the exhibit, electricity rendered farm work and domestic labor more efficient and professional, but it did not fundamentally disrupt entrenched ideals of the family farm. Contextualizing the farm’s architecture within contemporary stylistic and cultural trends, Envisioning the Future of Modern Farming: The Electrified Farm at the 1939 New York World’s Fair reveals the sponsors’ multiple and ultimately incompatible ambitions for the future of American agriculture, highlighting in particular the problematic implications of the Electrified Farm for gender relations and farm labor.
After World War II, the American Academy in Rome faced a choice: remain a bastion of declining Beaux-Arts classicism or pursue a more modernist agenda. In “A Truly Liberal Orientation”: Laurance Roberts, Modern Architecture, and the Postwar American Academy in Rome,Denise R. Costanzo demonstrates how Laurance Roberts, director of the Academy from 1946 to 1959, orchestrated its reorientation and welcomed architectural modernism. Under Roberts, a reconfigured Rome Prize in architecture—with no prescribed activities or stylistic limits—attracted graduates of top modern programs. During the 1950s conservative alumni attempted a counterreformation, and Roberts’s efforts to engage prominent modernists as resident architects faltered, highlighting the Academy’s limited relevance to the postwar discipline. Despite these challenges, Roberts established a more progressive administration that allowed Louis Kahn’s and Robert Venturi’s epochal stays, kept Rome on the American architect’s map, and offered one possible model of a “modernist academy.”