Featured Artists: Kasia Billhartz, Albert Frey, “One Chance”, & Downton Abbey Fashion
In this edition of Artworks, fashion illustrates the passing of time, fire sparks creativity, a profile of the man and the house behind Desert Modernism, and an opera singer gets the chance of a lifetime.
Downton Abbey Fashion Exhibit at the Avery House
The Edwardian fashion on Downton Abbey has inspired designers from the runway to vintage boutiques. The clothes on the hit PBS show subtly highlight the progress of time and the evolution of Downton’s characters. An exhibition at the Avery House in Fort Collins, Colorado takes us through the show’s fashion from the first moment we meet the Crawleys to the jazz age.
The Avery House was built in 1879 and was the family home of Franklin and Sara Avery and their three children. The home was built of sandstone from local quarries and includes a carriage house, large yard, gazebo, and fountain. The Avery House is located on Mountain Avenue in Old Town Fort Collins and serves as a museum honoring life at the turn of the 20th Century.
An artist who literally plays with fire, Kasia Billhartz creates large scale burning sculptures that she exhibits across the country.
Photo credit: Scott London
Sneak Peek at “One Chance”
Most people only dream about becoming a famous superstar, but against all odds one man from Wales did just that. This is the story of his journey. This is the remarkable and inspirational true story of Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night. Paul became an instant YouTube phenomenon after being chosen by Simon Cowell for ‘Britain’s Got Talent. ‘Wowing audiences worldwide with his phenomenal voice, Paul went onto win ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and the hearts of millions.
Albert Frey was born 1903 in Switzerland, and earned his architecture diploma there in 1924. He moved to Paris in 1928 to work for Le Corbusier, on projects including the Villa Savoye. Moving to New York in 1930, Frey was the first Corbusier disciple to work in the U.S. There, he became partners with architect A. Lawrence Kocher, who was also managing editor of Architectural Record magazine. Together they published numerous articles on urban planning, the modernist aesthetic, and technology. Kocher and Frey also designed four buildings, including the acclaimed Aluminaire House, a demonstration house designed for the Exhibition of the Architectural League in New York, 1931.
In 1934, Frey came to Palm Springs to supervise construction of the Kocher-Samson Building, a mixed-use building for his partner’s brother, J.J. Kocher. Frey fell in love with the area, and worked with John Porter Clark for two years under the offices of Van Pelt and Lind as neither architect was yet licensed in California. Returning to New York in 1937 to work on the Museum of Modern Art, Frey moved back to Palm Springs permanently two years later. Rejoining Clark in a partnership, Frey went onto design a body of work including residential, commercial, institutional and civic buildings. Many of these buildings are preserved today including Raymond Loewy House (1946-47), Palm Springs City Hall (1952), Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Valley Station (1963) and Frey House II (1963-64) and the most recently restored North Shore Yacht Club at the Salton Sea (1958). Frey lived in Palm Springs until his death in 1998. As Palm Springs’ first full-time, resident architect, Frey is known as one of the founders of Desert Modernism.
Frey House II