Photographer Elizabeth Felicella will be in conversation with the guest curator of the Shofuso and Modernism exhibition, William Whitaker, about photographing architectures and referencing archival photographs.
Funded with generous support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia, an installed exhibition at Shofuso and a virtual exhibition online, celebrates the friendships and transcultural exchanges among Shofuso’s architect Junzo Yoshimura (1908 – 1997, Japanese), architect and woodworker George Nakashima (1905-1990, Japanese American), designer Noémi Pernessin Raymond (1889-1980,Swiss French American) and architect Antonin Raymond (1888 – 1976, Czech American), through their collaborative architectural projects, including their nearby Bucks County, PA studios.
Carefully curated collections of archival and contemporary portraits of Shofuso, Nakashima woodworkers and the Raymond farm are presented with slide projections inside of the Shofuso. Rotating images of the sites taken at different times and seasons reveal the living relations between architecture and landscape. To prepare for this project photographer Elizabeth Felicella studied historic and archival photographs of the three locations to determine how to properly capture the atmosphere and light of the spaces.
Elizabeth Felicella photographs architecture and landscape with particular interests in public space and historic preservation. She works on assignment and on long-term projects which include a catalog of New York City’s branch libraries, a survey of the city’s shoreline, and an atlas of the periphery of Kennedy Airport. Her commissioned work appears regularly in the national and international design press.
She holds a BA from Bard College and studied fine art at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin, now Universität der Künste, as a Fulbright recipient.
Guest Architectural Curator for “Shofuso and Modernism”
Curator and Collections Manager of the Architectural Archives of the University of
Pennsylvania School of Design
Trained as an architect and architectural historian at the University of New Mexico and
the University of Pennsylvania, Whitaker primarily works on documenting and
interpreting Penn’s design collections, including holdings related to the life and work of
architect Louis I. Kahn and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, as well as that of the
husband and wife design team of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
Whitaker has organized and co-curated over 30 exhibitions, including retrospectives
on Antonin and Noemi Raymond (2006), Wharton Esherick (2008), and Anne
Griswold Tyng (2011) and served as the director of research for the landmark
retrospective, Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi,
Denise Scott Brown & Associates, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in
2001, and as curatorial consultant for Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, a major
exhibition of the architect’s work organized by the Vitra Design Museum in 2012;
currently on the world tour with venues in Rotterdam, Oslo, London, Taipei and San
Diego. Most recently he co-curated “Experiments in Environment: The Halprin
Workshops, 1966-71” (with Sarah Herda and Ellen Alderman; 2014) for the Graham
Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts as well as “Venturi’s Grandmother:
Patterns for Production” for the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (with
Kathryn Heisinger & others; 2014).
Whitaker has co-authored: The Houses of Louis I. Kahn (Yale University Press, 2013)
with George Marcus, the first comprehensive study of the architect’s house designs,
and is also a co-editor of Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of
Antonin and Noemi Raymond (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) with Kurt Helfrich.
He has lectured on a wide range of subjects related to twentieth century architecture,
landscape, and community design in the greater Philadelphia region, to audiences in the United States, Canada, Germany and India.