Book on LR Architects celebrated tonight

Architects of LR bookTonight, the Historic Arkansas Museum will be hosting a lecture and book signing for the recently released Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, penned by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg.

The evening will begin at 5:30 with a special presentation and lecture discussing the book. Speakers will include Bill Worthen, Historic Arkansas Museum; Tom Adams, WD&D; John Greer, WER Architects/Planners; Bobby Roberts, Central Arkansas Library and a special presentation will be given by Wesley Walls, President AIA Arkansas.

A reception and book signing will begin immediately following the lecture. All are invited to attend this special evening. “There are many ways of knowing the built environment. In their Architects of Little Rock, Mr. Witsell and Mr. Wittenberg explore the always complex relationship between buildings and the visionary thinkers—sometimes ordinary craftsman— who produced them. In so doing, they not only have uncovered the design rationales and circumstances of production that influenced a wide spectrum of Little Rock architecture but moreover have written a significant work of architectural scholarship that addresses the history of the architect’s profession,” Ethel Goodstein-Murphree, architectural historian and professor of architecture, University of Arkansas.

Architects of Little Rock: 1833–1950, is being released this month. The book is co-written by Little Rock architects, Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg and edited by Marylyn Jackson Parins. Architects of Little Rock provides biographical and historical sketches of the architects at work in Little Rock from 1833 to 1950. It is the story of the people behind the city’s most important buildings. Thirty-five architects are profiled, including George R. Mann, Thomas Harding, Charles L. Thompson, Max F. Mayer, Edwin B. Cromwell, George H. Wittenberg, Lawson L. Delony, and others. Famous buildings, including the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Old State House, the Arkansas State Capitol, St. Andrews Cathedral, Little Rock City Hall, the Pulaski County Court House, Little Rock Central High School and Robinson Auditorium are showcased, bringing attention to and encouraging appreciation of the city’s historic buildings.

Charles Witsell and Gordon Wittenberg are retired principals of the Little Rock architecture firms WER Architects/Planners (Witsell, Evans and Rasco) and WD&D (Wittenberg, Delony and Davidson), respectively.

Arts Center, studioMain present lecture on Bauhas tonight.


Photograph by Gordon Watkinson
Bauhaus Building – ‘Bauhaus Sign’

The Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s premiere center for visual and performing arts, together with studioMain, presents a special symposium, “From the Bauhaus to Our House,” discussing the history and influence of the Bauhaus movement to be held Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m., in the Arkansas Arts Center Lecture Hall. This symposium is in conjunction with the Arts Center’s current exhibition, Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy – Photographs by Gordon Watkinson, on view May 24 – September 1, in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery.

“The Arts Center is pleased to be hosting such a notable panel of expert speakers,” said Arkansas Arts Center director of education Lou Palermo. “The Bauhaus movement was inspired by a world-changing vision to unite artists and craftsmen, and we will take a deeper look into that vision with the upcoming symposium. We are so excited to be partnering with studioMain to be able to offer this event to our friends and members of the Arkansas Arts Center.”

There will then be an hour break for viewing the exhibit and refreshments, followed by a 7 p.m. discussion with a panel of architectural experts in the design fields. Admission is free and no ticket required. The symposium will feature four of the top speakers in the state to discuss this important movement in architectural history. They are as follows: Dr. Floyd Martin (UALR, Art History), John Greer (WER Architects and Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas), Mia Hall (UALR, Applied Design) and Dr. Ethel Goodstein-Murphree (UA Fay Jones School of Architecture).

This exhibition conveys the lasting philosophies of the Bauhaus, a German expression meaning “house for building” and the name of an important German School principle of architecture and design. The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 and introduced the sleek, functional architecture that is found in many of today’s modern buildings.

The exhibition is comprised of photographs, plans and elevations, and furniture that capture the essence of Bauhaus design and its influence on architecture. By pairing Bauhaus buildings with contemporary examples by leading architects, Gordon Watkinson explores the legacy of such modern ideas as passive solar, radiant heat and prefabricating housing.