Richard Morris Hunt


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American architect, the first to be trained at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (from 1846). He worked in the office of Lefuel, and assisted during construction at the Louvre from 1854, designing the Pavillon de la Bibliothèque. In 1855 he settled in the USA where he used his knowledge of French Renaissance Revival architecture to great effect. His works included the Studio Building (1857–8—demolished), Lenox Library (1870–7—demolished), and the Tribune Building (1873–6—one of the first tall buildings equipped with ‘elevators’—demolished), all in NYC, and a series of grand private houses, including the French Gothic Vanderbilt Mansion (Biltmore House), Asheville, NC (1888–95), and several at Newport, RI, including the Stick-style Griswold House (1861–3), and the Neo-Classical Vanderbilt Mansion (Marble House, 1888–92). Even though he was the most nationally and internationally honoured American architect of the time, a great many of his buildings have been demolished. His grand Beaux-Arts Classical entrance-wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC (1894–1902), was completed by his son, Richard Howland Hunt (1862–1931).

ARe, v/2 (1895), 97–180;P. Baker (1980);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Stein (ed.) (1986)

Subjects: Art — Architecture.

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