George Edson Danforth was born in 1916 in LaHarpe, Kansas. He studied architecture as an undergraduate (1936-40) and graduate student (1941-43) under Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology (formerly the Armour Institute of Technology) in Chicago. While attending IIT, Danforth worked as draftsman in the architectural office of Mies van der Rohe from 1939 through 1944, and taught at IIT from 1941 until 1953. After serving in the U.S. Navy (1944-46), he maintained a private practice in Chicago from 1949 through 1961, and was joined by Daniel Brenner and H.P. Davis Rockwell in 1961, when the firm was renamed Brenner, Danforth, Rockwell. Danforth retired from the subsequent firm, Danforth, Rockwell, Carow, in 1980. In addition to an active practice, Danforth also maintined an academic career, teaching at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio from 1953 to 1959 and at IIT until 1975. Danforth was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1967. Danforth died in Chicago, Illinois, in 2007.
Danforth speaks about IIT before and after Mies's appointment; Mies's IIT campus plan; Lilly Reich; Ludwig Hilberseimer; Walter Peterhans; working in Mies's office; teaching; opening his own firm; Brenner, Danforth, Rockwell commissions, including the Lincoln Park Zoo, the National Design Center, the Speed Museum of Art, and H.P. Davis Rockwell's home, "House on a Bluff"; his view of Mies; Danforth's dream project.
Lincoln Park Zoo, Great Ape House, (detail), Chicago, IL, 1973. Department of Architecture, The Art Institute of Chicago.
H.P. Davis Rockwell, designer, "House on a Bluff," Olympia Fields, IL, 1963. Photograph by Richard Nickel, courtesy of H.P. Davis Rockwell, with permission of the Richard Nickel Committee.
"I knew [Mies van der Rohe, Ludwig Hilberseimer, and Walter Peterhans] so well and for so long...Hilbs was very easy to get to know quite early on. He was a fatherly sort of person....Mies was not foreboding in any way, but he was a slightly more distant personality to get to and to get to know....Mies was never the 'warm' person that Hilbs was in personality and outgoingness...Some people were put off by it, yes, who could not understand that you could be working with someone and not have the man say something every five minutes. He often didn't say anything for hours...A lot of people, of course, simply couldn't assimilate, take that kind of instruction. Hilbs would be much more vocal. Peterhans, on the other hand, was even more tacit a person in personality and would work very closely with the student. He was working with visual values, which are harder to deal with and teach anyway, problems of proportions, texture...rhythm, and all the other visual values....They were a strangely differing group of men in their personalities, in the way they worked with students. In their respective ways, once you got to know them and work with them, they were highly effective." (pp. 22-23)
Speed Museum of Art, addition, Louisville, KY, 1972. Photograph by Day Johnston, used with permission. Daniel Brenner Papers, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.
34 min 44 sec ago The Art Institute of Chicago Mary Cassatt was the only American artist to exhibit with the original Impressionist group. This sensitive portrayal of a mother and child reflects the most advanced 19th-century ideas about raising children. Scientists and physicians of the day encouraged mothers (instead of wet nurses and nannies) to care for their children and to include regular bathing in their hygiene practices to prevent disease. #5WomenArtists
See three paintings by Mary Cassatt now on view: http://bit.ly/2nl9Z68
Image: [Now on view in Gallery 273] Mary Cassatt. The Child's Bath, 1893. Robert A. Waller Fund.
4 hours 39 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago APRIL 21—Join us for After Dark in the Modern Wing!
Check out the new exhibition Go with special tours and late-night access. And catch live performances by Monakr and Mano.
Must be 21+. Hosted by The Evening Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.