2005 Exhibitions at The Parrish Art Museum

Romantic Modernist: The Life and Work of Norman Jaffe, Architect
July 24 through Sept 18, 2005

Opening Reception, Talk and Book Signing with Alastair Gordon, Robert Lehman Curator and Curator of the exhibition
Saturday, July 23, 6 to 8 pm
Parrish Council Preview, 5 pm

Architect Norman Jaffe's first visit to Eastern Long Island was in the 1960s. Struck by the lowness of the landscape and the mysterious exchange between the sea and sky, he returned frequently until 1973 when he decided to move to Bridgehampton on a permanent basis and establish an architectural practice there. Romantic Modernist: The Life and Work of Norman Jaffe, Architect is the first major exhibition to examine the work of this renowned American architect and is organized for The Parrish by leading architectural historian Alastair Gordon, the Museum's Robert Lehman Curator.

Perhaps best remembered for his strikingly sculptural beach houses on the East End, Jaffe, during a 26-year period of practice in the Hamptons-from 1967 until his drowning death in 1993- designed more than 50 houses in the region, ranging from small weekend hideaways to large summer estates straddling the ocean dunes. The exhibition will examine Jaffe's work within the context of American architecture-from the seminal influence of Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie houses to the creation, with his contemporaries Charles Gwathmey and Richard Meier, of the "Hamptons Style."

The retrospective will focus on a dozen key projects that best convey Jaffe's talents as a shaper of form and will include a variety of documentary materials such as archival photographs, perspective renderings, working drawings, scale models and furniture as well as a selection of personal artifacts, including letters, family photographs, and a documentary video, produced and directed by Mr. Gordon, that will evoke Jaffe's unique character.

The exhibition will trace his work from the early weekend houses of the 1960s to his emergence as a recognized architect in the 1970s when several of his groundbreaking designs, like the Becker House in Wainscott (1969), were published to critical acclaim. Also highlighted will be Jaffe's efforts in planning and how he attempted to liberate the conventional subdivision through a more holistic approach, as seen at Sam's Creek in Bridgehampton, a development where the architecture of six different houses was integrated into a harmonious whole with the natural landscape. The exhibition will also emphasize Jaffe's use of natural materials and his early innovative experiments with passive solar and geo-thermal forms of design and will be accompanied by a full-color 240-page catalogue co-published by the Museum and The Monacelli Press.

The Parrish Art Museum
25 Job's Lane
Southampton, New York 11968
tel. 631.283.2118
fax 631.283.7006