Modernism Week 2023: The Modern Architectural Movement Chronicled - Photographer G.E. Kidder Smith

Camp Theater, Hyatt Palm Springs

285 N Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA


Michelangelo Sabatino

Image details

General Information

The newly published book G. E. Kidder Smith Builds: The Travel of Architectural Photography (Applied Research and Design Publishing, 2022) is the very first study dedicated to George Everard Kidder Smith, who passed away 25 years ago in New York. 


As an author, educator, photographer, and “builder” of books and exhibitions, Kidder Smith was a multidimensional figure within the wide-ranging field of North American architectural professionals in the second half of the twentieth century. Trained as an architect, Kidder Smith excited the imagination of the general public as well as architecture professionals by publishing photography rich books which chronicled the modern architectural movement. Brazil Builds, published in 1943 to accompany an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, was followed in 1955 by Italy Builds and other volumes on modern building in Sweden and Switzerland. Looking at Architecture, a book on architectural photography, was published in 1990.


Although Kidder Smith was propelled in his travels by a powerful wanderlust, he was no flaneur. Above all, Kidder Smith was an astute storyteller - in words and pictures - of modern architecture and the historic built environment. During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of his activism as a preservationist and architectural historian, he rallied several high-profile individuals and eventually helped prevent the Robie House and Villa Savoye from being demolished. In Kidder Smith’s 1997 New York Times obit, Herbert Muschamp described G. E. Kidder Smith as a “civic watchdog.”


Presented by Michelangelo Sabatino, Professor and Director of the PhD Program at IIT College of Architecture and introduced by Maristella Casciato, Senior Curator and Head of Architectural Collections at the Getty Research Institute.


Things to Know
  • Event Registration is $12
  • This event is for ages 12 and older.
  • Ample free public parking is available. Enter at Hyatt on Palm Canyon Drive or in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
  • Handicap parking is available. This event is wheelchair accessible.


This event is organized by Modernism Week and is part of the week-long event taking place February 16-26, 2023.