CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/24/2014
Join Metropolis Books and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum for a lecture, launch party and signing with Cape Cod Modern authors Peter McMahon and Christine Cipriani tonight, July 29 at 7PM!
ABOVE: The Lechay Studio, built in 1959 by Hayden Walling and photographed for Cape Cod Modern by Raimund Koch.
Starting in the 1930s, in the shadow of Provincetown’s better-known painters and writers, a cosmopolitan community of architects settled in Wellfleet and Truro. Ranging from self-taught East Coast Brahmins—who flourished as bohemian design-builders—to international stars such as Marcel Breuer and Serge Chermayeff, the group used summer cottages as laboratories, places to work through ideas without spending much money. Avant-garde homes began to appear in the woods and dunes, and by the 1970s there were about 100 modern houses of interest here. These rigorous designs solved genuine problems, yet often feel as ephemeral as summer camps; built with prosaic local materials and set lightly on the fragile landscape, they exemplify what we now call green building. The result of this ferment is a body of work unlike any other, a regional modernism that fuses the building traditions of Cape Cod fishing towns with Bauhaus ideals and postwar experimentation. Published this spring with never-seen photographs, drawings, ephemera, and interviews, Cape Cod Modern tells this little-known story.
Peter McMahon curated a PAAM exhibition on the Outer Cape’s modern architecture in 2006, with artist Bill Bailey; he then founded the Cape Cod Modern House Trust to document and preserve these buildings. The Trust has since leased and restored two of the endangered modern houses owned by the National Park Service and relaunched them as platforms for new creative work; a third will be completed this summer. The work of the Trust has been featured in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Architectural Record, Preservation, Modernism, and Architectural Digest (Germany). McMahon has spoken at Harvard, Cooper Union, Pratt Institute, RISD, and the Boston Society of Architects.
Christine Cipriani has written about architecture, design, and culture for Architectural Record, Dwell, Architecture Boston, Modernism, and other publications. Previously, she edited nonfiction at publishers including Beacon Press and Penguin India. She has vacationed in Wellfleet since early childhood, and lives near Boston with her husband and daughter.
Hbk, 8.75 x 10.25 in. / 272 pgs / 130 color / 200 b&w.
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