Michael Graves, the world-renowned postmodernist architect and designer who died March 12, 2015, at his home in Princeton, N.J., is described as “one of the most prominent and prolific American architects of the latter 20th century, who designed more than 350 buildings around the world.” He founded Michael Graves Architecture and Design in Princeton in 1964, which is now recognized as one of the world’s leading design firms. Mr. Graves designed office buildings, resorts, retail stores, hospitals, monuments and university buildings. Among his most prominent projects: The Humana Building in Louisville, KY and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport in The Hague. He also designed the scaffolding used for the restoration of the Washington Monument in 2000.
His career accolades include a National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton, and the American Institute of Architects’ gold medal in 2000. Mr. Graves turned his “design celebrity” into a brand, collaborating with Target on a housewares collection featuring his iconic teakettle and pepper mill, and ultimately “brought quality designed products within reach of everyone in the country.”
Michael Graves Architecture and Design is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an exhibition, “Past as Prologue”, at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, N.J., on view through April 12, 2015. “Michael is a true visionary,” says Tom Moran, Chief Curator at Grounds For Sculpture. “This exhibition will feature many of his never-before-seen drawings created over five decades, which will enable visitors to experience his thought process in the same space as the finished product. He approaches every project with a human sensibility; whether it’s a hotel, office building, or product for home and health, he insists that it be intuitive and functional. And he is able to balance this requirement with streamlined design and a heightened aesthetic. He is a master at his craft, and we are so pleased to be able to share his work and celebrate the 50 years leading up to this momentous exhibition.”