The Creating of a Timeless Memorial - July 2012
In the summer of 2011, the National Civic Art Society (NCAS) and the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art (ICA&A) Mid-Atlantic Chapter invited architects, artists and designers to engage in an open competition to design a counter-proposal to Frank Gehry's Eisenhower Memorial.
These alternative designs went on display at a kickoff reception on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at Hillsdale College's Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship on Capitol Hill.
The Vision of the Nation’s Capital - June 2009
The Society presented a pilot version of its short documentary on the legacy of the L’Enfant Plan of 1791 and the continuing relevance of Washington’s classical civic-art heritage on June 24, 2009. Aside from underscoring past achievements, despite formidable obstacles, in the configuration of the city’s great vistas, “The Vision of the Nation’s Capital” makes the powerful case for a new classical plan to once again perpetuate the legacy, just as the McMillan Plan of 1901 did. The documentary also highlights the unfortunate consequences of the neglect of the classical architectural tradition since World War II. Three veteran documentary filmmakers were invited to the screening, which took place at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown, so the Society could benefit from their critical input.
The response to the pilot, from experts and non-experts alike, was overwhelmingly positive. After the screening, the Society’s guest of honor, Congressman Jim Cooper of Tennessee, stepped up to the podium to offer his impromptu reaction. “Washington’s classical architectural heritage is appreciated by visitors from around the world,” he said. “We should also note the pride that people take in working in classically-designed Federal office buildings. The contrast between these august edifices and the cold, sterile boxes erected in the city’s center since the 1950s reminds me of Prince Charles’s ‘monstrous carbuncle’ remark.” (The Prince aimed his famous remark at a futuristic design for an addition to the National Gallery in London that was never realized.) “The National Civic Art Society is doing great work,” the congressman declared. “Keep it up.”
Among the many distinguished guests at the screening was Bruce Cole, immediate past chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The pilot was made possible by the support of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Mr. Ronald Lee Fleming.
In 2004 the Society presented its inaugural exhibition of painting, drawing, and sculpture. The exhibition was on view from April 2 until May 15 at the Arts Club of Washington, which occupies the historic James Monroe House. This important exhibition presented a generous cross-section of contemporary traditionally-oriented art and design. The Society anticipates organizing another such exhibition in the near future.
Here is a list of the distinguished exhibitors:
Neilson Carlin, Patrick Connors, Steven Gjertson, John Woodrow Kelley, James Langley, Robert Liberace, Benjamin Long, Edward Schmidt, Frank Strazzula, Ruth Stroik, William Swetcharnik, Richard Weaver, Will Wilson, William Woodward
Jay Hall Carpenter, Michael Curtis, Anthony Frudakis, George M. Kelly, Brad Parker, Alexander Stoddart, Cheryl Wheat
Elliott Banfield, Randolph Melick
Steve Bass, Cecile Devemey, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., Franck Lohsen McCrery, Milton Grenfell, David Mayernik, Thomas V. Noble, Steven W. Semes, Duncan Stroik
This exhibition was made possible in part through the generous support of Mr. Brett Rugo of Rugo Stone, Mr. Kevin Zeluck of Zeluck Architectural Wood Windows and Doors, and Mr. T.A.D. Tharp.