Crossroads of the World, Hollywood, California 1936
Grandview Ship Hotel, Bedford, Pennsylvania 1928
Coinciding with a survey of Robert Cumming's photographs at the Museum of Modern Art (Mar. 19-June 15) is this gem of an exhibition featuring the artist's photos of architecture. For the past 30 years, Cumming has taken an impressive number of pictures of buildings that resemble ships or have some sort of nautical motif. On view here are 35 color and black-and-white photographs, intended for publication as a book. The buildings they document from around the world range from the absurd to the awe-inspiring.
Grandview Ship Hotel (1928) shows the perfect rest stop for Titanic fans. A rich metaphor for travel, the building in Bedford, Pa., has a concrete "hull" reinforced by steel parts of junked cars. Crossroads of the World, Hollywood, California (1936), designed by Robert Derrah, is part of a strip of office buildings inspired by Deco ocean liners.
Cumming's photographs are at once eloquent works of art and powerful archival tools. The works on view in this show constitute a persuasive case for preserving these endangered architectural specimens.
Robert Cumming, Mar. 5-Apr. 4, 1998, at Janet Borden, 560 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10012