On December 17 at the National Arts Club in New York, I’m going to be speaking about federal architecture. Here’s the description from the club’s bulletin:
Justin Shubow: The Architecture of Democracy
Wednesday, December 17, 8:00 PM
The General Services Administration–which oversees the design of all federal buildings and courthouses, including the attendant artwork–is the largest patron of art and architecture in the United States. Its works are the physical embodiment of the federal government, and thus have great symbolic significance and evince America.
In 1994, GSA created the Design Excellence Program to overcome what it perceived to have been the mediocre, uninspiring buildings the government had constructed over the prior decades. The program subscribes to the Guiding Principles of Federal Architecture, which then-presidential aide Daniel Patrick Moynihan created in 1962: “It should be our object to meet the test of Pericles’ evocation to the Athenians: ‘We do not imitate–for we are a model to others.’” The program seeks out “innovation” and “creativity,” and has been successful in hiring some of the world’s most esteemed and cutting-edge architects.
This evening, Justin Shubow will discuss the history and evolution of the GSA’s architectural principles and the agency’s contributions to the American landscape. Mr. Shubow is President of the National Civic Art Society, an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting the classical and humanistic tradition in public art and architecture. Join us as we explore America’s civic architecture.