Michael Graves

Images of a Grand Tour

Karen Nichols, Patrick Burke, Caroline Hancock

     7 × 9 in (17.8 × 22.9 cm)
272 pages
90 color illustrations, 210 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 10/1/2005
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568985299

In 1960, before his skyscrapers and teapots made him a household name, Michael Graves set out on a journey once considered obligatory for a young architect: a grand tour of the great monuments of Europe. As a recipient of the prestigious Prix de Rome, Graves traveled through Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, England, Germany, and France, studying and recording the masterworks of both ancient and modern architecture. Michael Graves: Images of A Grand Tour collects for the first time the stunning artwork produced during this trip. Delicate pencil sketches, striking ink washes, and colorful photographs show the deep connection Graves had to the places he visited, from the Roman Forum to the Grecian Acropolis to Wiltshires Stonehenge. They also tell something of the education of an architect, bringing to light the classical buildings that caused Graves to reexamine his early devotion to modernism. A foreword by Graves reflects on these travels from the distance of forty years, while author Brian Ambroziak puts the tour into the context of Graves's life and work.

Brian M. Ambroziak studied under Michael Graves at Princeton University and worked for four years as a project designer for Michael Graves & Associates. In 1999, he co-authored Infinite Perspectives: Two Thousand Years of Three-Dimensional Mapmaking. He is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee's College of Architecture and Design.

Reader Comments

A Grand Collection (rating 5 out of 5):
Prior to creating post-modernist architecture and becoming a household name (thanks to Target), Michael Graves' career took him to the American Academy in Rome from 1960 through 1962. While there, Graves immersed himself in the architecture of Rome, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, and the United Kingdom which have been collected into a book aptly entitled "Michael Graves: imageFiles of a Grand Tour". The drawings within "imageFiles if a Grand Tour" are grand themselves as they vary from quick pencil sketches to elaborate pen and ink sketches of full building perspectives, details, and partial cityscapes. All of the drawings exhume a certain elegance in their composition and mannerism despite the level of time and detail Graves may have paid to them. Two important lessons can be drawn from the collection of Graves drawings. The first is that the importance of drawing to the representation of architecture - be it built or conceived - is unparalleled. The drawings contain gestures of ideas, form, etc. that Graves was highly interested in. This point is further reinforced with the inclusion of Graves' writing entitled "The Necessity for Drawing". The second lesson that can be observed from this collection is the emergence of Michael Graves as an Architect. Graves' noted architectural style evolves with his studies during those two years, and one can begin to see many of the forms and shapes arise from what Graves is immersed in. Whether or not one may love or loathe the work of Michael Graves, "imageFiles of a Grand Tour" is a superb collection of drawings that are worthy of note and worthy of owning.
- Stan from Cleveland, Ohio (02/26/2006)

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