Stone, Edward Durell: THE EVOLUTION OF AN ARCHITECT. New York: Horizon Press, 1962.

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Edward Durell Stone

Edward Durell Stone: THE EVOLUTION OF AN ARCHITECT.  New York: Horizon Press, 1962. First edition. Quarto. Red cloth stamped in gold. Photo illustrated dust jacket. Printed endpapers. 288 pp. Plates and diagrams. Architectural historian’s bookplate to front endpaper. Trace of wear overall. Jacket with two, short closed tears to rear panel. A nearly fine copy in a nearly fine dust jacket.

8 x 10.25 hardcover book with 288 pages and profusely ilustrated with b/w and color examples of Stones' principal works including government, public use and cultural centers, education, campus planning and research institutes, theatres, housing, hotels, factories, urban planning, commercial buildings.

The Horizon Press carried the Gold Standard for Architectural Book Publishing in the United States after World War II, and this edition displays the full range of the Hotrizon press's formidable skills: superb design and layout, careful typesetting, crisp reproductions and wonderful full cloth binding with embossing and blind stamping. Highly recommended.

91 projects are spotlighted in this edition, including the Ponce Museum of Art in Puerto Rico, Beckman auditorium, Huntington Hartford Collection Gallery, the original Museum of Modern Art, the Mandel House, the Conger Goodyear House and many others.

From the book: "In this monumental volume, one of the most important architects of our time gives us his own life story, and reveals the development of his work in several hundred magnificent photographs, plans and drawings.

Edward Durell Stone's (1902 – 1978) career parallels the story of modern architecture. In the early thirties he designs the famed Mandel and Goodyear houses and the Museum of Modern Art among others. In the forties, he produces an enormous number of exquisite residences, varying from small houses to large estates -- and moves with an incomparable surge of creativity into the fifties to design some of the most widely discussed buildings in the world: the United States Embassy in India (hailed for its lyrical beauty by Frank Lloyd Wright), the Brussels World's Fair Pavilion, the El Panama Hotel (virtually without corridors and doors -- a design which has since been imitated in resorts all over the world), the Graf House in Dallas, the Yardley Building in New Jersey and the Stuart Building in Pasadena, the Stanford Medical Building, etc., etc. Now, in the sixties, the most important creations of Edward Stone's inventive genius are under way around the globe!"

As a boy, Edward Durrell Stone delivered newspapers for a paper owned by Senator William Fulbright's family. That newspaper awarded Stone the first of many architectural prizes he would win throughout his life. The prize was $2.50 in a contest to design and build a birdhouse. At age 18, Stone moved to Boston where he worked in an electrical appliance store, as an office boy for an architect, and finally as a draftsman for Henry Shipley, while studying architecture at night. In a design competition, he won a year's tuition at Harvard. He later transferred to MIT but he left shortly before graduating when he was awarded a Rotch Travelling Scholarship to Europe from 1927 to 1929. . On his return, he worked for several architects and opened his own office in 1936.

Stone's first major work, designed in the starkly functional International style in collaboration with Philip L. Goodwin, was the Museum of Modern Art, New York City (1937-39). As one the the earliest American exponents of the International Style, Stone had a major impact upon architectural education in the United States during the 1950s. He helped transform the International Style modernism of the 1950s into the postmodernism of the 1960s and 1970s by substituting formalism for functionalism.

Stone's formalism developed during in his Beaux-Arts education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his apprenticeship in the New York office of Schultze and Weaver. Stone attributed his shift from a somewhat severe modernism toward the more ornamental formalism of his later career to his second wife, Maria Torchio, whom he met in 1953.

In typical modernist fashion, Stone allows his buildings to stand as isolated objects in open space. He arranges his buildings as large multi-functional central spaces ringed by smaller enclosed rooms of more definite purpose. Unlike many modernists, he uses luxurious materials and a profusion of decorative details.

Stone's later architecture responded to the middle-class taste for a vulgar display of wealth. It also satisfied the equally characteristic American preference for efficiency and straightforwardness. Stone expressed wealth and thrift by covering his large box-like buildings with vivid ornamentation.

Buildings designed by Stone include the original Museum of Modern Art, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, the U.S. Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair, Stanford Medical Center, El Panama Hotel, General Motors Building, the Huntington Hartford Museum (1962; now the New York Cultural Center), New York City. Among his later works are the Amarillo Fine Arts Museum (1969); the Univ. of Alabama law school (1970); the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (1971), Washington D.C.; and the Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula, Carmel, Calif.