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December 2009
February 2010
New York
USA
Installation
150 mq
Morgan Library - New York
Mengyi Fan

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PALLADIO’S DRAWINGS AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY, NEW YORK.
CONCEPT FOR AN EXHIBITION

Palladio’s drawings are to be displayed in both a series of alcoves and in a central area. As a result, visitors will gain an impression of the exceptional nature and quality of the drawings, before examining them in detail and considering their historical and architectural ramifications.
Upon entering the Engelhard Gallery, visitors immediately recognize that they are offered a selection of unique and fascinating works. Many intriguing aspects of these drawings, their history and influence emerge from spatial recesses, as if one were opening a cupboard and discovering surprising objects.
Palladio’s original drawings must be shown in a way to convey to the fullest the draftsmanship and imagination of the architect, while the secondary material, such as books, prints, and models, is displayed at some remove.
The exhibition concept confronted the dilemma of displaying a few exquisite drawings in an inadequate spatial setting. In order to allow visitors to “peer into Palladio’s mind,” they would have moved from alcove to alcove comparing spectacular sheets on which the architect had cast his thoughts into definite lines and shapes.
“The design that you presented at our last meeting was an elegant solution to a complex problem, and throughout the period you have been working on the project you have been extremely resourceful in dealing with the challenges of a comparatively small, inflexible gallery with two public entrances and a third emergency exit. The concept is perfect.” [From a letter to the architect by William M. Griswold, director of the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, 28 January 2010.