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Student Project, Memorial Tablet for John Wellborn Root, Perspective

A work made of ink and watercolor on paper.

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  • A work made of ink and watercolor on paper.




Paul Durbin McCurry
American, 1903-1991

About this artwork

Architectural education in the United States began under the model of the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts and shared the French school’s focus on draftsmanship and neoclassical styles until well into the 20th century. Paul McCurry was a student at the Armour Institute in Chicago (now the Illinois Institute of Technology) in the decade before the school’s transition to a modern curriculum under the chairmanship of the German émigré Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. McCurry’s education began with careful study of the Classical orders by reproducing elements from Ancient Greece and Renaissance Italy. Although this form of education came under strong criticism during the 20th century, it gave students a holistic attitude towards the arts, including artistic principles such as proportion and rhythm. Sculpture was an integral part of the architect’s work, and in this freshman exercise, a memorial to the great Chicago architect John Wellborn Root, McCurry created a group of sculptural elements, including an urn and a column capital, that would allow him to design the façade of a museum, library, or government building.


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Architecture and Design


Paul Durbin McCurry (Architect)


Student Project, Memorial Tablet for John Wellborn Root, Perspective


United States




Ink and watercolor on paper


91 × 61 cm (35 13/16 × 24 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Paul D. McCurry

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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