Breaking Ground: Henry B. Hoover, Architect

  FoMA hosted a Member Celebration and Film premiere at Lincoln’s deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum,

  on Friday, October 25, 2013 to celebrate the art and architecture of Henry Hoover and Lincoln’s unique

  heritage of Modernist houses.

  As a special thank you to members, the premier of the film, “Breaking Ground: The Architecture of Henry B.

  Hoover,” was screened. Commissioned by Hoover’s children, Harry Hoover and Lucretia Giese, and directed

  and produced by Molly Bedell, the film features biographical background, interviews, and stills and footage of

  several Hoover houses. Hoover (1902-1998) received his M.Arch. from the Harvard Graduate School of

  Design in 1926 and was among the pioneers of Modernism in Lincoln.

  Hoover designed some 100 houses from 1937 to 1988, with his last important commission in 1972.

  For Hoover, the site was all-important. He commented, when writing about one house, “the design has been

  taken care of by the site. … the view was hidden by a ledge outcropping. Distance and height were unseen

  until one climbed around the cliff side, when space seemed to burst open. It was superb.”  His objective was to

  try to “preserve that surprise.”

  FoMA was especially pleased to hold the event at Lincoln’s deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, founded

  in 1950 and an important center for Contemporary art during this period. Besides highlighting New England art,

  it was a community center for lectures, music, and studio art classes. As its founding director, Fred Walkey

  noted, “The kind of museum I believe in is a social force; I’ve always treated art as a celebration.” Walkey’s

  statement acknowledges the importance Modernists placed on the idea of “community.”  Modern architecture

  celebrated art and science and was meant to inspire community through thoughtful design, which was

  affordable and accessible to all, thereby improving daily lives and uplifting spirits.

  Approximately 124 members attended the premiere and enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, and beverage.


Photo: Henry Hoover on site, Peacock Farm, Lexington, MA.