From the Archives...
In the spring of 1980, Francesca Woodman’s Blueprint for a Temple was included in Beyond Photography at the Alternative Museum in New York. Shown here is a portion of her original installation made from photographs projected onto architectural blueprint paper along with her sketches and pages from the exhibition catalogue. The Temple is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's permanent collection.
“This grand fifteen by ten foot collage of blueprints brings together details from New York bathrooms of a century ago— decorative tiles, details of fixtures, that echo classical motifs—with grand female figures—caryatids. The bathroom details were closely observed at friends’ apartments. The exalted caryatids were her friends posed in New York. But she had experienced at first hand the sublime caryatids of the Erectheum on the Acropolis in Athens when she was about sixteen years old,” wrote George Woodman in 2012. He often recounted the story of helping Francesca move this massive piece to Tribeca and back again, rolled up tightly and ushered onto the New York City subway between rush-hours.
As Francesca wrote on one of her blueprints:
Blueprint for a Temple
For a temple of contemplative classical proportions made out of classically inspired fragments of its modern day counterpart the bathroom
Bathrooms with classical inspiration are often found in the most squalid and chaotic parts of the city. They offer a note of calm and peacefulness like their temple counterparts offered to wayfarers in Ancient Greece
Click on the image above for a complete gallery view and details.