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Little Boxes

   The Norton Museum of Art's summer schedule celebrates the art in which we live, work and play: architecture. Its two summer-long exhibitions, Architecture in Detail and Block by Block, depict some of the world's most important architectural masterpieces, such as Columbus Circle and the Seattle Space Needle, as well as history's most significant planners, including Boca Raton's Addison Mizner.

   Little Boxes: Images of Vernacular Architecture from the Museum Collection sheds light on a different type of architectural art. While Detail and Block by Block highlight monumental works, Little Boxes focuses on how people and environments shape the spaces in which we live. Vernacular architecture emphasizes construction based on necessity and is normally conceived and executed by someone other than a professional architect. The field itself is akin to folk art, which is produced by "non-professional" artists inspired by the needs and materials around them. Localized factors and individual cultures greatly influence vernacular structures, and Little Boxes emphasizes the human qualities and elements that precipated the structure itself.

 "Dollhouse (Diary of a Victorian Dandy)," Yinka Shonibare

   Curated by the Norton's cohort of summer interns, this exhibition features a range of mediums, including photographs, oil paintings and even a miniature dollhouse. These works explore the extremes of vernacular architecture–representing interior as well as exterior, old as well as new. The pieces were selected from the Norton's permanent collection and include works by Ansel Adams and Norman Rockwell, to name a few.

   Little Boxes opens today, August 1, with a reception taking place during the weekly Art After Dark event. Visitors can explore the new exhibition (on display through October 17), take in some live music, participate in a DIY art project and listen in on a curatorial conversation. All activities begin at 5 p.m.


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