Our John Soane

Matt McClain for the Washington Post

This weekend’s Washington Post magazine has a cover story on Frank Gehry and his design for the Eisenhower memorial. Philip Kennicott has done a fine job explaining the ins and outs on this only-in-Washington teapot tempest, but what struck me was the wonderful photo by Matt McClain of Gehry in his LA studio, surrounded by architectural models. It captures not only the architect’s working method, and the intensity of exploration that the scores of models represent, but also the sense of this remarkable artist in his own world. It reminds me of Joseph Michael Gandy’s 1818 painting of a room piled full with models of all the buildings designed by John Soane, a small figure barely visible in the foreground.

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