Hunt, Richard Morris


Hunt, Richard Morris
born Oct. 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vt., U.S.
died July 31, 1895, Rewport, R.I.

U.S. architect.

He studied in Europe from 1843 to 1854, becoming the first U.S. architecture student at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He returned to the U.S. to establish the Beaux-Arts style there. His work was eclectic, ranging from ornate early French Renaissance to monumental Classicism to a picturesque villa style. He worked on the extension of the U.S. Capitol and designed the Tribune building in New York City (1873; since destroyed) and the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1900–02), also in New York. Among the mansions he designed for the new commercial aristocracy is the Breakers in Newport, R.I. (1892–95), which was created in an opulent Renaissance style for the Vanderbilts. Hunt was a founder of the American Institute of Architects.

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▪ American architect
born Oct. 31, 1827, Brattleboro, Vt., U.S.
died July 31, 1895, Newport, R.I.

      architect who established in the United States the manner and traditions of the French Beaux-Arts (Second Empire (Second Empire style)) style. He was instrumental in establishing standards for professional architecture and building in the United States; he took a prominent part in the founding of the American Institute of Architects and from 1888 to 1891 was its third president. His eclectic work was almost equally successful in the ornate style of the early Renaissance in France, the picturesque villa style, and the monumental Classical style of the Lenox Library.

      Hunt studied in Europe (1843–54), mainly at the École des Beaux-Arts (Beaux-Arts, École des) (“School of Fine Arts”) in Paris, where he was the first American to be trained. In 1854 he was appointed inspector of works on the buildings connecting the Tuileries (Tuileries Palace) with the Louvre (Louvre Museum). Under Hector Lefuel he designed the Pavillon de la Bibliothèque (“Library Pavilion”), opposite the Palais-Royal.

 In 1855 Hunt returned to New York and was employed on the extension of the Capitol (Capitol, United States) in Washington, D.C. He designed the Lenox Library (1870–77; destroyed), the Tribune Building (1873–76), and the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1894–1902) in New York City; the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty, Statue of) in New York Harbor; the theological library and the Marquand Chapel at Princeton University, Princeton, N.J.; the Divinity College and the Scroll and Key Club at Yale University, New Haven, Conn.; the Vanderbilt Mausoleum on Staten Island, New York City; and the Yorktown Monument in Yorktown, Va. For the administration building at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Hunt received the gold medal of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

      Among the most noteworthy of his domestic buildings were the residences of W.K. Vanderbilt (1879–82; destroyed), J.J. Astor (1891–95; destroyed), and Henry G. Marquand (1881–84; destroyed) in New York City; George W. Vanderbilt's country house at Biltmore, N.C., near Asheville (1888–95; the largest American house ever built); and several of the large, opulent summer houses in Newport, R.I., including Marble House (1888–92) and The Breakers (1892–95).

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Universalium. 2010.