Bowen House, Woodstock, Connecticut, c. 1846. Joseph C. Wells, architect. Courtesy Historic New England.
“A major component of the American pursuit of happiness has long been a home of one’s own (the automobile is a distant second: the one a castle, the other a chariot).” – James F. O’Gorman, lead curator for Drawing Toward Home.
When talking about art we often highlight forms such as painting, theater, sculpture, dance, and photography – just to name a few. However, often overlooked are the artistic endeavors of both the historic and modern architectural community. The newest exhibition at the National Building Museum, called Drawing Toward Home, highlights the intricate and often-complex domestic architectural drawing.
As a traveling exhibition organized by Historic New England in celebration of their Centennial, the 100-plus drawings featured provide a unique look into the vast history of the New England Style home. Ranging from the Federal to the International Style and spanning over 200 years, Drawing Toward Home “reminds us that the architecture of New England is a touchstone of American Architecture”. The exhibition is uncomplicated; simple to follow and clearly displayed. Organized chronologically into four sections, beginning circa 1800 and ending around 1980, Drawing Toward Home is much like the foundation of the architectural drawing itself – a cohesive way to convey pure information.