Architects and architecture critics from across the nation gathered in New York last week to remember the first lady of architecture criticism, Ada Louise Huxtable, who died in January.
Among the speakers at the memorial were Robert Shapiro of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts; Garrison Keillor; Paul Goldberger, of the New York Times; Christopher Hawthorne, of the Los Angeles Times; and Frank Gehry.
Gehry, the only architect to speak, recalled, “Even though I think I wished for her attention, I was scared of it. When she finally poked her nose into my world, she was a tough critic, as everybody explained, [but] wonderful, the words were beautiful. She was positive, critical, encouraging.”
Also on display at the gathering was the New York-Los Angeles rivalry over Huxtable's legacy. Huxtable was born in and wrote mostly about New York, but L.A.'s J. Paul Getty Museum owns her papers. The tribute, which was co-sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Trust was “a revealing memorial that pried Ada Louise from her native New York to give her to the nation via Los Angeles,” writes Joseph Giovannini.
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