A. Hays Town and the Architectural Image of Louisiana (January – March 2021)
The focus of this exhibition will be Town’s residential architecture, for which he gained national renown. It will also showcase the evolution of Town’s work over more than 70 years of practice, from the Modernist designs of his earlier commercial and civic buildings to his later iconic residences, which were inspired by the historic architecture of the American South. A rich assemblage of drawings, furnishings, photographs, architectural models, and archival records will introduce visitors to his design approach, as well as his impressive career.
In his single-family houses, Town integrated historic motifs from a variety of cultural traditions, drawing upon French, Spanish, and Caribbean building techniques and details. He achieved sensuous patinas of age through his use of recovered materials from demolished buildings—including cedar beams, heart-pine flooring, and imported marbles—as well as antique furnishings and decorative fixtures. He arranged principal rooms to emphasize views toward the landscape and often worked with clients to design their gardens. His beloved and often imitated homes are evocative of the archetypal residential architecture of Creole Louisiana, indeed, a Louisiana Style.
This exhibit is on loan from the Hilliard Museum and was guest curated by architectural historian, Dr. Carol McMichael Reese, Professor in the School of Architecture at Tulane University, where Town studied.