Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
6 documents - page 1 of 1

Oral history interview with Bruce Metcalf

Interviewee:
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Colorado State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Montana State University (Bozeman, Mont.)  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
State University of New York at New Paltz -- Students  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of the Arts (Philadelphia, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Adamson, Glenn  Search this
Arneson, Robert, 1930-1992  Search this
Bauer, Fred  Search this
Bennett, Jamie, 1948-  Search this
Burns, Mark, 1950-  Search this
Church, Sharon, 1948-  Search this
Clark, Garth, 1947-  Search this
Craig, Gabriel  Search this
Cummins, Susan  Search this
Daley, William, 1925-2002  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Eidelberg, Martin P.  Search this
Flynn, Pat, 1954-  Search this
Getty, Nilda  Search this
Gill, John, 1949-  Search this
Griffin, Gary, 1945-  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Hammer, Wayne  Search this
Hash, Arthur, 1976-  Search this
Jerry, Michael John, 1937-  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Koplos, Janet  Search this
Koss, Gene  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
La Plantz, David  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Long, Randy  Search this
Matzdorf, Kurt  Search this
Mawdsley, Richard, 1945-  Search this
Moran, Lois  Search this
Morris, William, 1834-1896  Search this
Pritchard, Marian  Search this
Rogers, Harriet  Search this
Rogers, Steve  Search this
Ruskin, John, 1819-1900  Search this
Schaechter, Judith, 1961-  Search this
Shaw, Richard, 1941 Sept. 12-  Search this
Slivka, Rose  Search this
Slosberg, Jill  Search this
Wilson, Anne, 1949-  Search this
Woell, J. Fred, 1934-  Search this
Extent:
96 Pages (Transcript)
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (4 hr., 10 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Place:
California -- description and travel
Seoul (Korea) -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 June 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Bruce Metcalf conducted 2009 June 10, by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Metcalf's home, in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Mr. Metcalf discusses his early years in Amherst, Massachusetts; beginnings as a maker with modeling clay and plastic airplane models; undergraduate years at Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York in the late 1960s; early interest in architecture; early disenchantment with modernist discourse and theory; introduction to Marxist theory and idealism of the 1960s; summer trip to California in 1970; return to the East Coast upon the death of his father; return to college, transferring into jewelry in his senior year; influence of his teacher Michael Jerry; seeing the work in "Objects: USA" exhibition (1969) and influence of the work of J. Fred Woell, Richard Mawdsley, L. Brent Kington; rejection of current trends in art, including conceptual art and formalism; his affinity for the medium of metal, and hammersmithing; influence of funk ceramics, including work by Fred Bauer and Richard Shaw; brief stint at Montana State University, Bozeman; working in cardboard and wood; graduate school at the State University of New York, New Paltz; working with Robert Ebendorf and Kurt Matzdorf at New Paltz; work as a production artist/craftsperson; attending Rhinebeck, New York, craft fair in the mid-1970s; the influence of writings by William Morris and John Ruskin and the notion of "dignified labor"; graduate school at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; formulating his aesthetic of narrative symbolism; publication of his first article in 1977 as a response to review of the exhibition "Forms in Metal: 275 Years of Metalsmithing in America" (1975); yearlong teaching position at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; taking a teaching position at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (1986-1991); publication of his article "Crafts: Second-Class Citizens?" in the first issue of Metalsmith, 1980; growing involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths; development of his notion of "social utility" and the role and function of crafts and making; expansion of his writing on craft; rejection of the deconstructivist school of thought in the 1980s; abandonment of sculptural objects for jewelry in the early 1990s; return to Philadelphia in 1991; early teaching of history of craft, first at Kent, then on a Fulbright scholarship in Seoul, South Korea (1990), later at the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, in the early 1990s; influence of Martin Eidelberg; development of his vision for a history of craft course; collaboration with Janet Koplos on "Makers: A History of American Studio Craft"; use of his medium and craft to explore issues of nurturing and anxiety; the psychological/social effect and aesthetic importance of wearing jewelry (for the wearer and the artist); the pros and cons of craft collectors; the problematics of installation work by craft artists; recent trends in craft, including Anne Wilson's notion of "sloppy craft" and an "anti-craft" attitude; recent artists, including Arthur Hash and Gabriel Craig; lack of exhibition opportunities for younger/emerging artists; influential recent texts, including "Shards," by Garth Clark. He also recalls Robert Arneson, Randy Long, Carol Kumata, Jamie Bennett, Steve and Harriet Rogers, Wayne Hammer, Stanley Lechtzin, Gene Koss, Henry Halem, Mark Burns, Rose Slivka, Nilda Getty, Jill Slosberg, Sharon Church, John Gill, David La Plantz, Lois Moran; Gary Griffin; William Daley, Marian Pritchard, Glenn Adamson, Pat Flynn, Susan Cummins, and Judith Schaechter.
The following oral history transcript is the result of a recorded interview with Bruce Metcalf on June 10, 2009. The interview took place in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., and was conducted by Edward S. Cooke, Jr. for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This interview is part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Bruce Metcalf has reviewed the transcript. His corrections and emendations appear below in brackets with initials. This transcript has been lightly edited for readability by the Archives of American Art. The reader should bear in mind that they are reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.
Biographical / Historical:
Bruce Metcalf (1949- ) is a jeweler and writer in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 10 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramics  Search this
Communism  Search this
Deconstructivism (Architecture)  Search this
Conceptual art  Search this
Formalism (Art)  Search this
Jewelers -- Pennsylvania -- Interviews  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.metcal09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw974054f15-9dfd-4aea-98f7-707fd609918e
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-metcal09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Mary Ann Scherr

Interviewee:
Scherr, Mary Ann, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Douglas, Mary F., 1956-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Parsons School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
Penland School of Handicrafts  Search this
Extent:
71 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 April 6-7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mary Ann Scherr conducted 2001 April 6-7, by Mary Douglas, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
This interview took place in the artist's home and studio, Raleigh, N.C.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Ann Scherr (1921- ) is a jeweler from Raleigh, N.C. Mary Douglas (1956-) is a curator at the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in Charlotte, N.C.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 9 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 34 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Jewelers -- North Carolina -- Raleigh  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Philosophy  Search this
Industrial design  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women jewelers  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.scherr01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw984262d07-5cf7-4dcb-aeae-367127ef39a3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-scherr01
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Lisa Gralnick

Interviewee:
Gralnick, Lisa, 1956-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Kent State University -- Faculty  Search this
Kent State University -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Parsons School of Design  Search this
Kounellis, Jannis, 1936-2017  Search this
Lightman, Alan  Search this
Matzdorf, Gary Bengier  Search this
Mimlitsch-Gray, Myra  Search this
Scherr, Mary Ann, 1931-  Search this
Extent:
12 Items (Sound recording: 12 sound files (7 hr., 4 min.), digital, wav)
111 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2007 October 29-30
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Lisa Gralnick conducted 2007 October 29-30, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Gralnik's home, in Madison, Wisconsin.
Gralnick speaks of her father's illness; taking a jewelry-making class as a teenager; the honors college at Kent State; her master's thesis and the Cosmogonic Cycle; teaching enameling at Kent State to support her studio art; the metals program at Parsons School of Design; a black rubber house in upstate New York; creating structures out of black plastic; her introduction to computers; working with gold; drawing inspiration from physics and machinery; her fascination with dentistry tools; being a hands-on learner; satisfaction from the labor of art; working with metal; her methodological form of teaching; teaching a graduate class and focusing on body parts; the relationship between ambition and hard work; teaching in an art department as opposed to a craft department; her recent reliquary and jewelry work; poetic and musical influences; showing abstraction and emotion in her work; the creation of The Gold Standard pieces. Gralnick also recalls Mary Ann Scherr, Gary Bengier Matzdorf, Jannis Kounellis, Alan Lightman, Myra Mimlitsch Gray, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Lisa Gralnick (1956- ) is a metalsmith and professor from Madison, Wisconsin. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 12 digital wav files. Duration is 7 hr., 4 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Educators -- Wisconsin -- Madison  Search this
Metal-workers -- Wisconsin -- Madison  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.gralni07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9c2a7111e-21f5-4e98-b6fc-2e70b8cfc9cb
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gralni07
Online Media:

Oral history interview with William Keyser, Jr

Creator:
Keyser, William A., Jr. (William Alphonse), 1936-  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Interviewer:
Cooke, Edward S., 1954-  Search this
Names:
Carnegie Institute of Technology -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Rochester Institute of Technology -- Faculty  Search this
Extent:
107 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2003 April 25-May 2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of William Kesyer Jr. conducted 2003 April 25 and May 2, by Edward S. Cooke Jr., for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Victor, N.Y.
Keyser describes his childhood, including his early interest in construction through his father's home wood shop and the Soap Box Derbies of the 1950s; his participation in the Fisher Body Division automobile design competition and science fairs in high school; studying engineering and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University; working at Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Company; his studies at Kent State University and the School of American Craftsmen at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT); his teaching positions at RIT and Ohio University; the curriculum he established at RIT and the goals and structure of the woodworking program; he discusses moving away from teaching in the 1990s; the advantages and disadvantages of commissions; his liturgical and speculative work; the influence of furniture and art movements on his furniture; the importance of his family and his Catholic faith; the benefits of university involvement and summer arts programs; his travels in New England and Scandinavia; being well received as a regional artist; the importance of publications in furniture and art; four objects that were terminal points in his career; and the future of woodworking. He also recalls Mel Someroski, Tage Frid, Michael Harms, Jere Osgood, Wendell Castle, James Krenov, Craig McArt, Doug Sigler, Daniel Jackson, Robert Johnston, Lamar White, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
William Keyser, Jr. (1936- ) is a woodworker from Victor, N.Y. Edward S. Cooke, Jr. is a professor.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 55 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Woodworkers -- New York (State) -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Coaster cars  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.keyser03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9ea3b8ab9-935f-434a-8fcc-52408ea9ff99
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-keyser03
Online Media:

Philip G. Freelon Architectural Archive

Creator:
Freelon, Philip G., 1953-2019  Search this
Names:
American Institute of Architects  Search this
Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup  Search this
Freelon Bond Architects  Search this
Freelon Group  Search this
Hampton University (Va.)  Search this
Harvard University  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Search this
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. School of Architecture  Search this
National Organization of Minority Architects (U.S.)  Search this
North Carolina Board of Architecture  Search this
NorthStar Church of the Arts  Search this
PPG Industries, Inc.  Search this
Perkins & Will  Search this
Adjaye, David, 1966-  Search this
Bond, J. Max, Jr.  Search this
Freelon, Allan Randall, 1895-1960  Search this
Extent:
5.1 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Place:
North Carolina -- United States
United States of America -- North Carolina -- Durham County -- Durham
United States of America -- Massachusetts -- Suffolk County -- Boston
United States of America -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia County -- Philadelphia
United States of America -- New York -- New York
Date:
bulk 1939-2017
Scope and Contents:
The Philip G. Freelon Architectural Archival Collection documents the life and career of architect, educator, cultural heritage preservation advocate and artist Philip G. Freelon. The collection highlights his distinguished career from its inception to his role as the "architect of record" for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Freelon was one of the leading African American architects of his generation and he created a focus designing and constructing buildings that paid reverence to African Americans and other underrepresented communities. This collection is comprised of business records, photographic materials, ephemera, correspondence, architectural drawings, and clippings.
Arrangement:
The materials in this collection have been separated into seven series. The materials have been ordered and organized based on the content and chronology. Within each series and sub-series, the folders are organized as close to the collection's original order as when it was acquired.
Biographical / Historical:
Philip Goodwin Freelon was born March 26, 1953, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Allan Freelon, Jr. and Elizabeth Neal Freelon. Freelon was greatly influenced by his grandfather, Allan Freelon Sr., a notable Harlem Renaissance visual artist, educator, and civil rights activist. His grandfather's values and artistry inspired him to create a career that focused on creating historical and cultural spaces in African American communities. Freelon attended high school at the former predominantly white elite all-boys school, Central High School located in upper North Philadelphia from 1967 to 1971. His attendance at this school during of the Civil Rights Movement afforded him the unique experience that inspired him to attend a historically Black college (HBCU). Freelon selected Hampton Institute (Hampton University) to develop his veneration of the composition and design of the buildings that held cultural and artistic treasures. Located in the Tidewater area of Virginia, Hampton was renowned among HBCUs for its architecture program. His professor and mentor at Hampton, John Spencer, pushed Freelon academically as he moved easily through the school's curriculum. After two years at Hampton, Spencer helped Freelon transition to a more challenging program at North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh, North Carolina. Freelon graduated in 1975 with a bachelor's in environmental design in architecture.

Later in the fall of 1975, Freelon enrolled at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to pursue a master's in architecture. During the summers, Freelon worked with one of former his NC State professors at the architectural firm of John D. Latimer and Associates. After graduating from MIT in 1977, Freelon returned to North Carolina to take his Architecture Registration Examination (ARE), becoming the firm's youngest person to receive licensure. He also began teaching classes at his alma mater, NC State. It was there that Freelon met his future wife, Nnenna Pierce. Pierce, a Massachusetts native was attending Simmons College in Boston at the time. The connection was immediate, and the pair was married in 1979 and welcomed their first son, Deen in 1980. After a brief employment for a large Texas firm 3/D International, Freelon returned to Durham to join O'Brien Atkins Associates. He was the firm's youngest partner, eventually serving as principal and vice president of architecture. Freelon worked on a wide variety of projects throughout the state including learning centers, university buildings, churches, and parking garages. Along with Freelon's budding career, his family was expanding as well. Phil and Nnenna welcomed their daughter Maya in 1982 and their son, Pierce in 1983. During this time, Freelon was being highly recognized for his work. The American of Institute of Architects (AIA) awarded him the Honor Award for his design of Terminal 2 of the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, which has since been rebuilt.

By the end of the decade, Freelon and his wife Nnenna needed a change of pace. Nnenna pursued a professional career in music while Phil took a break from his career to expand his skillset and reinforce his intellectual approach to design. In 1989, Freelon was granted the Loeb Fellowship for one year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He also pursued a longtime hobby of furniture design, calling the practice "small architecture". He received industry awards like first prize in the PPG Industries, Inc. Furniture Design Competition as well as AIA Honor Award for conference table designs. With a year away from the field to clarify his vision, Freelon opened his own firm, simply titled, the Freelon Group in 1990. Beginning as a one-man operation, the Freelon Group grew to become one of the largest African American owned architectural firms in the country with over 50 employees, forty percent of which were women, and thirty percent were people of color. With freedom within his own firm, Freelon focused on designing learning centers, libraries and museums and vowed to never build anything that did not bring cultural and intellectual value to a community.

Over the next twenty years, Freelon would assert himself as a force in designing notable cultural institutions and community-driven projects in and around the country including the Sonja Haynes Stone Center at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD), Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA), Harvey B. Gantt for African American Arts and Culture (Charlotte, NC), the Anacostia and Tenley-Friendship branches of the District of Columbia Public Library , National Center for Civil Rights and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA), Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (Jackson, MS) and Emancipation Park (Houston, TX). Alongside his architectural career, Freelon served as a lecturer and adjunct professor at several colleges and universities including North Carolina State University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Maryland College Park, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Syracuse University, and the Florence, Italy program at Kent State University. Freelon was awarded a full-time appointment as professor of Professional Practice at MIT in 2008. The Professional Practice (4.222) course was a requirement for the master's in architecture and he used examples from his extensive career and personal experience to illustrate legal, ethical, and management concepts. Nnenna's music career was also thriving. She would go on to record twelve albums and be nominated for six Grammys. This fusion of education, the arts, and music inspired another generation of Freelons: their son, Pierce Freelon is a hip-hop artist, educator, and political activist; daughter Maya Freelon is a visual artist; and son Deen Freelon is a professor.

In 2001, George W. Bush established a commission to create a new museum on the National Mall. Freelon wanted to enter his firm to participate in the international design competition. Freelon would partner with famed African American New York City architect, J. Max Bond, Jr. and by 2006 the two officially formed the Freelon Bond Architects.The Freelon Bond group submitted their proposal and soon after were elected to create programming and pre-design work for the museum. When the official design competition for the museum was announced in 2008, UK-based architect David Adjaye joined the team as the lead designer, and along with the partnering firm SmithGroup, the new architectural team became Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup. The three black architects combined a variety of distinctive elements from Africa and the Americas to create the building's unique, historically significant design. The Freelon Group served as the "architect of record" and were responsible for ensuring that key design ideas were upheld. Freelon and key firm members such as Zena Howard were active as on-site project managers during the museum's construction process to certify that the building would be developed according to plan. Freelon, Adjaye, and Bond were tasked with taking the collective history of the African American experience-- generations of pain, triumph, and perseverance-- and forming it into a structure. The team looked to African sources, such as Yoruban architecture, for inspiration. They sought to connect the building's design to the geographic and cultural roots of African Americans. Their design choices also reference the contributions of enslaved and free black metalworkers made to the landscape of the American South. Their goal was to make the museum an extension of its contents, and an expression of the stories told inside. By the groundbreaking for NMAAHC in 2012, Freelon had been appointed to the U.S. Commission of the Fine Arts by President Barack Obama. In an effort to broaden his resources and expand his firm, The Freelon Group merged with Perkins & Will, a firm originating in Chicago that grew to have offices across the United States. Freelon was appointed the managing director and later lead design director at the firm's North Carolina offices in Charlotte and Durham in 2014. By the next year, Freelon understood that his work in architecture and education was a necessary voice to preserve, which he did through donation of the bulk of his personal papers to his alma mater, NC State University. The year 2016 proved to be a year of triumph for Freelon as NMAAHC opened its doors on September 24th to much jubilation and celebration. That same year, Freelon's legacy was further cemented as the Phil Freelon Fellowship Fund was established at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a fellowship designed to broaden opportunities for African Americans and other underrepresented communities in architecture and design.

Unfortunately, this triumphant year was met with difficulty as Freelon was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disease that affects the nervous system. He would continue to work and lecture for the next two years until it became too challenging. One of those projects was the renovation and opening of The NorthStar Church of the Arts in early 2019. A passion project with his wife and son, Pierce, a former church was renovated and repurposed as an arts and cultural space for all. This space was created in an effort to support the Durham cultural community as it began to feel the effects of gentrification. When Freelon lost his battle with ALS on July 9, 2019, in his home in Durham, North Carolina, the family requested that in lieu of flowers that donations be sent to the NorthStar Church to continue the center's mission and Phil's dream to give back to the Durham community.

Historical Timeline

1953 -- Philip Goodwin Freelon was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Allan Freelon Jr. and Elizabeth Neal Freelon.

1971 -- Freelon graduated from Central High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and entered School of Architecture, Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia as a design student.

1973 -- Freelon transferred to College of Design at the North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

1975 -- Graduated with a Bachelor's in Environmental Design in Architecture from NC State University. He received the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Book Award for Outstanding Work in Architectural Design. In the fall, he began his master's program in architecture at MIT.

1976 -- Began working as aide for architectural firm, John D. Latimer and Associates.

1977 -- Graduated with a Master's in Architecture and Design from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT.)

1978 -- Freelon became youngest architect to pass the North Carolina Architecture Registration Exam. Freelon started teaching at North Carolina State University.

1979 -- Married Chinyere "Nnenna" Pierce. Freelon began working for, 3/D International in Houston, Texas.

1980 -- Son Deen Freelon was born.

1981 -- Freelon returned to Durham, NC to join O'Brien Atkins Associates as the firm's youngest partner.

1982 -- Daughter Maya Freelon was born.

1983 -- Son Pierce Freelon was born.

1989-1990 -- Received Loeb Fellowship for independent study at Harvard University. Freelon received AIA Honor Award for American Airlines Terminal 2 at Raleigh-Durham Airport, NC (RDU).

1990 -- Freelon left O'Brien Atkins Associates to open his own firm The Freelon Group.

1991 -- Won first prize in the PPG Furniture Design Competition.

1992 -- Won the AIA Honor Award for Conference Table Designs.

2001 -- Won the AIA Firm Award for The Freelon Group and the AIA Design Award for Parking Structure, RDU Airport. Began attending meetings of President George W. Bush's commission on new National Mall museum dedicated to African American history and culture.

2003 -- Freelon merged his firm with New York architect Max Bond to create Freelon Bond Architects.

2004 -- Sonja Haynes Stone Center at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC) was completed.

2005 -- Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture (Baltimore, MD) and Museum of African Diaspora (San Francisco, CA) were both completed.

2008 -- UK-based architect David Adjaye and Washington, DC based architecture firm, Smithgroup joined the team, creating the Freelon Adjaye Bond Group/SmithGroup Freelon began teaching at MIT's school of Architecture and Design.

2009 -- Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smithgroup won the official design for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Harvey B. Gantt for African American Arts and Culture (Charlotte, NC) was completed.

2010 -- Anacostia branch of the District of Columbia Public Library (Washington, DC) was completed.

2011 -- Tenley-Friendship branch of the District of Columbia Public Library (Washington, DC) was completed.

2012 -- Construction began on NMAAHC.

2014 -- The Freelon Group merged with Perkins & Will, a much larger architectural firm. Freelon became managing director and lead design director of the North Carolina branches in Durham and Charlotte. National Center for Civil Rights and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA) was completed.

2016 -- Freelon was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

2017 -- Mississippi Civil Rights Museum (Jackson, MS) and Emancipation Park (Houston, TX) were completed.

2019 -- Freelon died in his home in Durham, North Carolina at age 66 on July 9.
Related Materials:
Phil Freelon Papers, 1975-2019 at North Carolina State University Libraries.
Provenance:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Philip G. Freelon.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.
Rights:
The NMAAHC Archives can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes.
Topic:
Architecture  Search this
Business  Search this
Construction  Search this
Entrepreneurship  Search this
Local and Regional  Search this
Design  Search this
Education  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Museums  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Citation:
Philip G. Freelon Archival Collection, 1939-2017. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAAHC.A2017.51
See more items in:
Philip G. Freelon Architectural Archive
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3ba3ca2a2-5495-45cf-801c-f3d66a7002fd
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmaahc-a2017-51

Directory of African American Architects...by the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Collection Creator:
Sklarek, Norma Merrick, 1926-2012  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Date:
1991
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The NMAAHC Archives can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes.
Collection Citation:
Norma Merrick Sklarek Archival Collection, 1944-2008. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Norma Merrick Sklarek Archival Collection
Norma Merrick Sklarek Archival Collection / Series 4: Professional Ephemera and Business Records, 1969-2002; undated
Archival Repository:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/io3a224e5cb-e865-4ce0-930a-560b001dd01d
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmaahc-a2018-23-ref35
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Directory of African American Architects...by the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio digital asset number 1

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By