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LAST DAY ON VIEW: Three Michigan Architects: Part 2—Robert Metcalf
Robert Metcalf's domestic and commercial buildings represent some of the most important and recognizable modern architecture in Michigan, predominantly in Washtenaw County. Born in 1923, Metcalf is a native of Nashville, Ohio and though he began his education at the University of Michigan in 1941, his studies were halted during World War II. After studying Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins under the Army Specialized Training Program and serving in Europe, he returned to Ann Arbor and finished his degree in 1950. Upon graduation, Metcalf worked as an apprentice to George B. Brigham and began teaching Architecture at the University of Michigan. He retired from his position as Emil Lorch Professor of Architecture & Urban Planning with Emeritus status in 1991. Metcalf began his own architectural practice in 1953 and completed over 120 projects Ann Arbor and the Detroit Metro area. He still lives in the home that he and his late wife, Bettie, built in 1953—his very first built project.
This exhibition presents domestic projects that span his six-decade-long career from 1953-2008, highlighting a straightforward design aesthetic that features energy-efficient building techniques. Each project exemplifies Metcalf's mid-century modern architectural vocabulary, as he designed houses that create a utilitarian space for living.
Three Michigan Architects: Part 2–Metcalf is the second in a series of three consecutive exhibitions, with subsequent presentation of domestic work by George Brigham (July 19–October 12). Part 1 of the series presented the work of David Osler (December 21, 2013 - March 30, 2013). The series will culminate in Fall 2014 with a symposium, as well as the publication of Three Michigan Architects: Osler, Metcalf, and Brigham—both of which will explore the importance of this circle of Ann Arbor-based architects, situating their regional body of domestic work into the larger context of modern architecture in the U.S. that developed on the East Coast and West Coast from the 1930s-1980s.
This exhibition is part of the U-M Collections Collaborations series, which showcases the renowned and diverse collections of the University of Michigan. This series inaugurates UMMA's collaboration with the Bentley Historical Library, and is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Lead support for Three Michigan Architects is provided by the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President for Research.
Sunday, 13 July, 2014
University of MichiganMuseum of Art
525 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1354