“Americans in Paris: Foundations of America’s Architectural Gilded Age”

By Kitty Ellis

What do New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the Boston Public Library, and California’s Hearst Castle have in common? They are all the works of American architects who trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris during what has been called the Gilded Age of American architecture. From the mid-19th century through the early years of the 20th century, 503 Americans passed the rigorous entrance examination that allowed them to matriculate at what was arguably the greatest school of art and architecture in Europe. It was certainly the most prestigious, and at the time admission itself, let alone completion of the demanding and competitive course of study (in French), was something to boast of. The initials EDBA (Eleve de l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts, or Pupil of the School of Fine Arts) after one’s name were often enough to impress potential clients, even if the architect had never obtained a degree. Hundreds did, and returned to the US to design and build some of the most iconic and influential structures. Margot M. Ellis will speak about the Ecole des Beaux-Arts students, their training ,and subsequent careers is abundantly illustrated by images of the buildings and their historical inspirations. Margot and her co-author, the late Jean Paul Carlhian, received excellent reviews for their extensively researched and beautifully illustrated book, Americans in Paris, copies of which will be available for purchase after the lecture.

Lecture

“Americans in Paris: Foundations Of America’s Architectural Gilded Age”
By Margot M. Ellis
Fri, Nov 25, 3pm
Sala Quetzal, La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
Free

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