Architecture as Muse: Selections from SUMA's Collection

January 12 - April 26, 2024

"Study in Black and White" by Jimmie Jones

Artists have long found inspiration in the natural world. Depictions of landscapes evoke emotional responses of the sublime and invite direct access to divine creation. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, however, the built environment has loomed especially large as an artistic muse, celebrating the monumental innovations of humankind and examining our place within the edifices of modernity.

"Building" by Brett Weston

Shown in conjunction with two exhibitions devoted to modernist architectural movements of the 20th century—Brutalism and mid-century modern—Architecture as Muse demonstrates how painters, printmakers, and photographers have translated whole cityscapes and individual structures into new artistic expressions. Works by ten artists, including Jimmie Jones, Brett Weston, and Clarence Millet, comprise the exhibition, exemplifying different ways architecture can be re-interpreted and re-imagined—from colorful abstractions of façades and space to the intimate settings of human activity.


Images from Top to Bottom: 
Jimmie F. Jones (U.S., 1933-2009), Study in Black and White, 1974, Oil on linen, 24 x 40 in., Gift of Jefferson and Rita Fordham (2014), SUMA

Brett Weston (U.S., 1911-1993), Building, 20th century, Silver gelatin print, 14 x 11 in., Gift from the Brett Weston Archive (2019), SUMA