Tony Smith
    The last decade of Tony Smith’s life was dedicated to producing some of the most important and influential minimalist sculpture of the 20th century; his earlier architecture career is less well known.
    In 1937 Smith studied architecture at Chicago’s New Bauhaus, headed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Smith studied with Gyorgy Kepes, a close friend of Marcel Breuer's from the original Bauhaus. In the fall of 1938, Smith began working as a carpenter’s assistant and bricklayer at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ardmore project outside Philadelphia. He eventually worked on some of Wright’s Usonian homes and after a short stint at Taliesin East, helped to build Wright’s Armstrong House in the Ogden Dunes, Indiana. By 1940 he was working as an independent architect. Wright’s five- and six-sided plan modules employed in his Usonian houses had a profound influence on Smith. In most of the rest of his work he was manipulating these shapes, often projecting them into three dimensions.
   During the summer of 1945, Smith designed and helped to build a Provincetown painting studio for his friend Fritz Bultman, a fellow student at the New Bauhaus. To defer building costs Bultman was forced to rent his new studio to Hans Hoffman for his School of Art  immediately following its construction.

Projects on the Outer Cape
Fritz Bultman Painting Studio,  Provincetown, 1944


Model courtesy of The Tony Smith Estate, photo by Bill Lyons.

Model of the Bultman Studio. The Studio’s complex geometry and exposed buttresses illustrate Wright’s influence. The exterior cladding is sheet metal.