Gibbes Museum of Art presents Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien PHOTO BY JASON SMITH

On Nov. 19, the Gibbes Museum of Art will present its annual Distinguished Lecture featuring New York-based and internationally acclaimed architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien whose design of the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art is critically acclaimed. On July 28, President Barack Obama presented Williams and Tsien with the National Medal of Arts, recognizing their contributions to architecture and arts education. “Whether public or private, their deliberate and inspired designs have a profound effect on the lives of those who interact with them, and their teaching and spirit of service have inspired young people to pursue their passions,” said President Obama.

Their studio, located in New York City, focuses on work for cultural nonprofits, particularly museums and schools, organizations that value issues of aspiration and meaning, timelessness and beauty. Their inspired buildings are carefully made and useful in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit. A sense of rootedness, light, texture, detail and most of all experience are at the heart of what they build.

Founded with the generous support of Gibbes Board member and philanthropist Esther Ferguson, the Distinguished Lecture Series brings outstanding, world-renowned artists, architects, art collectors, museum leaders, philanthropists and art historians to Charleston to stimulate public discussion about the visual arts and creativity.

Williams and Tsien’s compelling body of work includes the critically acclaimed Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the Natatorium at the Cranbrook School, the American Folk Art Museum in New York, the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, the Asia Society Center in Hong Kong, the Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago and the new LeFrak Center in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. The firm, with Davis Brody Bond, was awarded the commission to design the New Embassy Compound in Mexico City. Parallel to their practice, Williams and Tsien maintain active teaching careers and lecture worldwide.

The lecture will take place Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St. in Charleston. Tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members. The Gibbes Museum Distinguished Lecture Series is sponsored by Charleston Magazine and PDA.

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