Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Boulder Dam & AT&T Building Models

Wright auction house in Chicago, which specializes in modern and contemporary design pieces, is auctioning two spectacular miniature buildings. Fellow collector Russell K. tipped me off to this auction. An amazing cast aluminum replica of the Boulder DamAmerican sculptor Gladys Caldwell Fisher created the model of the Boulder Dam (now known as the Hoover Dam) in 1935. Her model features sidepanels with stylized Art Deco reliefs, representing flood control, power, irrigation, navigation, and water supply to one side and a wing-spread eagle to the other side. The model opens up to reveal the detailed diversion
tunnels while the interiors of the panels list the consultants, contractors, and government officials (up to and including Franklin Delano Roosevelt) involved with the project, and specifications for the dam’s structure, such as the diameter of the penstocks and the amount of concrete used to complete the Boulder Canyon Project. Few examples of this striking and detailed model are known. It measures 19.5 w x 14 d x 7 h inches. The second is a presentation model of the Philip Johnson & John Burgee AT&T Headquarters building in New York. Created in 1979, the architectural model is constructed of foam board, bass wood, mono-filament and sheet acetate mounted on a painted steel plate. It measures 7.25 w x 6.25 d x 19.5 h inches. The iconic buildings stands out in New York's skyline with its pink granite fa├žade and its "Chippendale" ornamental top. The model was a gift from Philip Johnson to Christine Roussel at the outset of the project.

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