G. E. Kidder Smith Builds: The Travel of Architectural Photography

G. E. Kidder Smith Builds: The Travel of Architectural Photography

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George Everard Kidder Smith (1913–1997) was a multidimensional figure within the wide-ranging field of North American architectural professionals in the second half of the twentieth century.

Although he trained as an architect, he chose not to practice within the conventional strictures of an architecture office. Instead, Kidder Smith “designed,” researched, wrote, and photographed a remarkably diverse collection of books about architecture and the built environment. His work and life were deeply interwoven and punctuated by travel related to the research, writing, and promotion of books that sought to reveal the genius loci of the countries whose built environments he admired and wished to share with a broader audience.

From the early 1940s to the late 1950s his interest in architecture led him to describe visually the architectural and historical identity of many European countries. After his far-flung travels over the decades, with his wife Dorothea, Kidder Smith focused on his own country and produced a series of ambitious books focused on the United States. Kidder Smith’s vision and narrative betray the gaze of the traveler, the scholar, and the architect.

Angelo Maggi is Associate Professor of Architectural History and History of Architectural Photography at Università Iuav di Venezia. Maggi trained as an architect at the Università Iuav di Venezia, and he obtained his PhD in Architecture and Visual Studies at Edinburgh College of Art.

Michelangelo Sabatino is Professor of Architectural History and Cultural Heritage in the College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology. He currently directs the PhD Program in Architecture and is the inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow. 

Samuel Pujol Smith is a fully qualified architect based in Zurich with his own studio. It was the reputation of his grandfather, G.E. Kidder Smith, that led him to study architecture