The seminal exhibition ‘Modern Architecture: International Exhibition,’ which opened at MoMA in 1932 and coined the term The International Style, showcased the architecture of the European pioneers of the Modern Movement, Gropius, Mies, Le Corbusier, and J. P. Oud, and came to define the modernism in formal and aesthetic terms. It is considered today as the most important event that brought modern architecture to the American conscious. Lesser known, but equally important, was the exhibition opened in 1944 at MoMA, called ‘Built in USA.’ It sought to survey modern American architecture since the previous show, and to explore the impact of European avant-garde in formulating a new and authentic American style. Two of the modernist villas selected for the show were designed by Edward Durell Stone during the Depression years, both presented as capturing machine symbolism. The Richard Mandel House, in Bedford Hills, a suburb north of New York City, designed in 1933 (above), was perhaps the first modernist villa built in America, but also the largest and most ambitious modernist house in the northeast. With a lack of applied ornament and stressing on the purity of the architectural volumes, it came to symbolize machine aesthetics. Even more ambitious was the house Stone built for A. Conger Goodyear in 1939, built while he was working on the building of MoMA, of which Goodyear was then president. Located in Old Westbury, Long Island, the house has been recently written about regarding the table which Isamu Noguchi designed for its living room (below).
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