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Cervin Robinson

Cervin Robinson
Born (1928-05-18) May 18, 1928 (age 91)
OccupationPhotographer
Years active1958–present

Cervin Robinson (born May 18, 1928) is an American photographer and author best known for architectural photography and historical writings that span his career, active from 1957 to the present.[1]

Early life

Robinson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the younger child of Frank Robinson and Mary Burchill Robinson.[2]

He received an A.B. in English Literature from Harvard University in 1950 and soon after was drafted into the U. S. Army where he gained an abiding interest in map projections and perspective. Impressed early in his life with physics and photography, he continued to photograph in earnest while stationed with the Army in Germany. Upon return to the U.S., he became the assistant for Walker Evans (1953–1957), and traveled through much of the American heartland.

Career

Detail of Chicago Stock Exchange, photo for HABS, 1963

In 1958, Robinson began contract work for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) photographing in the northeast sector from Maine to Pennsylvania and into the Middle West.[3][failed verification] At the same time, he acted as American representative for the London-based Architectural Review for which he photographed major new American buildings.[4] Thus his career in architectural photography was launched in New York with the 1958 commission to photograph the Seagram Building (Architects: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Philip Johnson).

Ever since then, Robinson has worked as a freelance photographer for architects and architectural magazines as well as Adjunct Professor of Architectural Photography in summer programs at Columbia University. More significantly, between the years 1987–2009, Robinson was an editor of photoessays for the journal, Places, and contributed many of his own works. He has also exhibited in galleries and major art museums.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

Approach to photography

Robert Campbell of the Boston Globe discussing the 2008 By Way of Broadway exhibit at MIT,[12] wrote: 'Robinson loves to find and record places where something new is collaged over something old ... A huge red Checks Cashed Open 24 Hours billboard splashes across what once, clearly, was an elegant movie theater in the Art Deco style. An auto body shop, with a phony castle-like façade, shoves itself rudely in front of a decayed object that appears once to have been a grand memorial arch. As we perceive such scenes, we visually peel back the present to reveal the past. Robinson is, among other things, a photographer of time itself.'

Grants and awards

Among several honors and acknowledgments, Cervin Robinson received a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1971[13] and two fellowship residencies at the MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH 1996 and 1998.[14]

Exhibitions

  • Photographing Places: The Photographers of Places Journal, 1987–2009, MIT Museum, Kurtz Gallery for Photography, Cambridge, MA, January 22 – August 16, 2015[15]
  • Cervin Robinson, The Century Association, New York, NY, February 25 – March 22, 2013
  • By Way of Broadway, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2008, and subsequently shown by the Municipal Society Gallery, New York, NY, 2009.[1][12][16]
  • Cervin Robinson, Cleveland, Ohio, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH, 1989[17]
  • Cervin Robinson, Photographs, 1958–1983, The Farish Gallery, School of Architecture, Rice University, Houston, TX, March–April 1983 and The Wellesley College Museum, Jewett Arts Center, Wellesley, MA, November 1983 – Jan 1984.[18]
  • Landmarks that Aren't, Municipal Art Society Gallery, New York, NY, 1982
  • Skyscraper Style: Art Deco New York, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY, 1975[19]
  • The Architecture of Frank Furness, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA,1973[20]

Works and publications

Chronological order by date of publication

  • O'Gorman, James F.; Thomas, George E.; Myers, Hyman (1973). The Architecture of Frank Furness. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art. OCLC 632577.
  • Robinson, Cervin; Bletter, Rosemarie Haag (1975). Skyscraper Style: Art Deco, New York. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-501873-8. OCLC 1266717.
  • Robinson, Cervin; Sobieszek, Robert A.; O'Gorman, James F. (1983). Cervin Robinson: Photographs, 1958–1983: An Exhibition Held at the Farish Gallery, School of Architecture, Rice University, March-April 1983, the Wellesley College Museum, Jewett Arts Center, November 1983-January 1984, and Other Locations. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College, Wellesley College Museum. pp. 5–7. OCLC 10121064.
  • Robinson, Cervin; Herschman, Joel (1987). Architecture Transformed: A History of the Photography of Buildings from 1839 to the Present (2nd ed.). New York, N.Y.: Architectural League of New York. ISBN 978-0-262-18121-1. OCLC 14167892.
  • Robinson, Cervin; Cleveland Museum of Art; Turner, Evan H. (1989). Cervin Robinson/Cleveland, Ohio: An Exhibition of 100 Photographs Commissioned by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art in cooperation with Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-910386-98-2. OCLC 20131057.
  • O'Gorman, James F.; Richardson, H.H.; Robinson, Cervin (1997). Living Architecture: A Biography of H.H. Richardson. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-684-83618-8. OCLC 36900948.[8]
  • Case Western Reserve University; Pytte, Agnar; Lewis, John F.; Robinson, Cervin; Baznik, Richard E. (1999). Renaissance: Twelve Years of Progress, 1987–1999. Cleveland, Ohio: Case Western Reserve University. OCLC 42871890.
  • Van Zanten, David; Robinson, Cervin (2000). Sullivan's City: The Meaning of Ornament for Louis Sullivan (1st ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. ISBN 978-0-393-73038-8. OCLC 43115061.
  • Dean, Andrea Oppenheimer; Hursley, Timothy (2002). Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and an Architecture of Decency (1st ed.). New York: Princeton Architectural Press. ISBN 978-1-56898-292-2. OCLC 47208437.
  • O'Gorman, James F.; Robinson, Cervin (2008). Henry Austin: In Every Variety of Architectural Style. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press. pp. 5–7. ISBN 978-0-8195-6896-0. OCLC 767498499.

References

  1. ^ a b Chan, Sewell (23 March 2009). "Beyond Its Lights and Stars ... Broadways Buildings". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Cervin Robinson - New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909". FamilySearch. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey: Search Results". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  4. ^ "Cite Fall, 1983, Glassman, Elizabeth S., "Cervin Robinson: Architectural Photographs"" (PDF).
  5. ^ "Author, Cervin Robinson, Arch.Boston, article".
  6. ^ "Book Review: Architecture Transformed by Cervin Robinson" (PDF).
  7. ^ Michaels, Barbara L. (June 1989). "Reviewed Work: Architecture Transformed: A History of the Photography of Buildings from 1839 to the Present by Cervin Robinson, Joel Herschman". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 48 (2): 195–197. JSTOR 990367.
  8. ^ a b Filler, Martin (7 December 1997). "Architecture". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Places, Biography: teaching, author, and editor".
  10. ^ "Papers Delivered in the Thematic Sessions of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians, (Washington, D. C. 2-6 April 1986)". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 45 (3): 318–320. September 1986. JSTOR 990177.
  11. ^ "Sullivan's City: The Meaning of Ornament for Louis Sullivan, credits".
  12. ^ a b Campbell, Robert (27 April 2008). "Giving his regard to Broadway: A photographer follows the street". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  13. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation , Fellow Awarded, Cervin Robinson, Area Photography".
  14. ^ "MacDowell Colony List of Fellows - Architects - Cervin Robinson". Archived from the original on 2009-05-26.
  15. ^ "Places Exhibition at MIT Announcement".
  16. ^ "MAS Announcement, By Way of Broadway".
  17. ^ Robinson, Cervin; Cleveland Museum of Art; Turner, Evan H. (1989). Cervin Robinson/Cleveland, Ohio: An Exhibition of 100 Photographs Commissioned by the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art in cooperation with Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-910386-98-2. OCLC 20131057.
  18. ^ Robinson, Cervin; Sobieszek, Robert A.; O'Gorman, James F. (1983). Cervin Robinson: Photographs, 1958–1983: An Exhibition Held at the Farish Gallery, School of Architecture, Rice University, March-April 1983, the Wellesley College Museum, Jewett Arts Center, November 1983-January 1984, and Other Locations. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley College, Wellesley College Museum. pp. 5–7. OCLC 10121064.
  19. ^ "Skyscraper Style, Brooklyn Museum". April 23, 2016.
  20. ^ "The architecture of Frank Furnace, Philadelphia Museum of Art".

External links