In Collaboration: Art, Craft, and Modern Design of Noémi Pernessin & Antonin Raymond
Building Philadelphia 2021 Spring Speaker Series


Watch ONLINE via ZOOM from the safety and comfort of your home. A link with instructions will be provided one hour prior to this virtual lecture. 

This lecture will be recorded and a replay will be available to registered participants.

"In Collaboration: Art, Craft, and Modern Design of Noémi Pernessin & Antonin Raymond"

presented by John DeFazio AIA, architect, writer, and teacher. He lives, practices architecture, urban planning, and design, in Sunnyside Gardens, New York City. DeFazio is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology where he currently teaches graduate architectural design studio. He is currently a thesis advisor at Drexel University, where he also teaches modern architecture and contemporary art theories, history in art and architecture, and in Drexel's study-abroad program, traveling most recently in Japan, and formerly in the Netherlands and Barcelona. He is a writer on contemporary art, architecture, and planning, and a contributor to Art in America and Residential Design Magazine. In addition to his practice, John DeFazio is also a co-founder and the executive director of the Raymond Farm Center of Living Arts & Design, a regional art and design forum, with an artist in residency program, located in New Hope PA.

In August of 1914, a 27-year-old architect Antonin Raymond and 25-year-old artist Noémi Pernessin met on board the tramp steamer SS Giovani, as it was sailing from Naples Italy to New York City. Just within weeks, back in New York, they were married. Antonin Raymond writes in his autobiography, "In our studio in Greenwich Village, in 1914, our drafting tables faced each other, and work started early in the day and finished late. Noémi had her hand in every single job since then…" It was the beginning of one of the most unique and prolific design collaborations in the history of architecture, spanning two continents and over 60 years. The Raymond's practice would touch virtually every possible building type— houses to churches, schools, embassies, office buildings, shops and department stores, and factories. Antonin focused on the tectonics— on the architecture, engineering, and construction; Noémi designed all the interiors-- furniture design, lighting, floor coverings, built-ins, murals, and material and finish selections-- down to the finest detail. It would take them from New York to Spring Green, Wisconsin, to Tokyo and throughout Japan, to Pondicherry, India, to their home/studio in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the Raymond Farm.

Today, Antonin Raymond is known in Japan as the father of Modern Architecture. Although their partnership was coequal, the gender-politics of the Mid-20th Century had blinded historians and critics to the significant contribution of Noémi to the Raymonds work. Antonin again from the Autobiography, "She became a source of inspiration for me, a teacher and most faithful companion in our combined search for eternal values."
Painting, drawing, prints, sculpting, illustration, graphics, decorative arts, printed textiles, weaving, furniture and light fixtures, forged ironwork, flatware, glass, ceramics, carpet design— there was not an art form nor craft that Noémi and Antonin Raymond did not engage and master. This lecture will tell the story of their fruitful collaboration and focus, especially on Noémi Pernessin Raymond's profound contribution to their legacy.


$15 | General Admission

$12 | Alliance Member 

Free | Students*

If you have been affected by the pandemic and would like to attend these virtual lectures but cannot afford to do so, please email Vinni Cheng for complimentary access.

*For students, please email photo of valid student ID to Vinni Cheng to register.

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