After attending the Library Great Reveal on nineteenth-century architecture this summer, Andy and Barb Ballestra donated a wonderful, rare architectural publication from 1933 to the Museum Library: number 93 of 300 printed elephant folios titled The Architectural Work of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, Chicago : and Their Predecessors, D.H. Burnham & co., and Graham, Burnham & co. It is a two-volume publication illustrated with collotype plates and architectural plans, and held by only 83 institutions, none of which are near Arkansas.
The leading architectural firm of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White began with Daniel Burnham, famous for organizing the impressive architectural display of the 1893 World’s Columbian Expedition in Chicago, and who is considered the founding father of the Chicago school of architecture. Graham, Anderson, Probst & White created some of the most recognizable American buildings: “office skyscrapers, department stores, railroad stations, public buildings and cultural institutions—all of it done at the highest level, from Beaux-Arts Classicism to Art Deco.” Among the illustrations in these volumes are Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History, Union Station, and the Wrigley Building; the Equitable Building and Chase National Bank in New York; Mount Wilson Observatory, Pasadena, California; Union Station and Cleveland Terminal Group in Cleveland, Ohio; the Alamo National Bank Building, San Antonio, Texas Pennsylvania Railroad’s Broad Street and Thirtieth Street Stations in Philadelphia. http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/rare-books/graham-ernest-probst-edward/architectural-works-of-graham-anderson-probst–white/82283.aspx
Many of you know Andy as a volunteer photographer who has been a great help documenting Museum events, programs, and more for Crystal Bridges for six years (even early Massey photos were taken by Andy!). I spent a wonderful afternoon visiting with Andy and Barb, and it was my pleasure to learn about Andy’s father, a well-known restaurateur in New York City, Cincinnati, and Chicago (including the Rainbow Room in New York City, the Gourmet Room in Cincinnati, and the Wrigley Restaurant in Chicago). He was honored in 1960 with the prestigious award of “Mr. Gourmet of the United States” from Holiday Magazine. During his career, he met many distinguished and prominent figures who always enjoyed dining at his restaurant(s), and would occasionally give him gifts as a token of their appreciation. One of those gifts was The Architectural Work of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White . . ..
Andy shared that although his father was well honored and recognized for his work in the culinary arts, he remained humble and “unaffected.” A testimony to this was that he would give away recipes he had created to those who requested them, as opposed to keeping them a secret. He believed that the culinary arts should be shared and enjoyed by all.
At the end of our visit, the couple surprised me by donating another rare and interesting architectural book: A Portfolio of Fine Apartment Houses, Chicago: Baird & Warner, 1928. Chicago lovers will appreciate this fascinating overview of over 100 early twentieth-century apartment buildings in Chicago, their layouts, and interior plans.
Thank you Andy and Barb! Your generous gifts will greatly contribute to the Library collections at Crystal Bridges and be wonderful resources for our community, scholars, and Fay Jones School of Architecture students.
NOTE: If you are interested in architecture, be sure to note our Architecture Speaker Series. The next scheduled lecture is September 24, showcasing the architecture of the new Amazeum, featuring Amazeum Executive Director Sam Dean, the museum’s architect Reb Haizlip, and his partner Mary Haizlip