After a year or more of planning, The Lutyens Trust America has been officially launched. Our first launch party was in New York on May 15th. We were fortunate to be able to celebrate the event in one of the oldest and most beautiful of New York’s numerous clubs. Although Mother Nature joined in the festivities by providing a tremendous downpour just before the start of the event, well over sixty people braved the weather to celebrate Sir Edwin Lutyens. Martin Lutyens, the chair of the Lutyens Trust in the UK and great-nephew of Edwin Lutyens hosted the festivities along with Sir Edwin’s granddaughter, Candia Lutyens and Beatriz Lutyens, Martin’s wife. Guests signed a photograph of Lutyens and were given a first-edition commemorative cube made by noted architectural model-maker Timothy Richards. Also included in the gifts was a launch folder containing information about Edwin Lutyens and The Lutyens Trust America that included a set of postcards featuring Lutyens’s buildings, the latest newsletter, and a chronology of Edwin Lutyens life and works.
The New York reception was followed in short order by a launch party in Atlanta on May 17th. We were again fortunate to have Martin and Beatriz Lutyens and Candia Lutyens as our special guests for the evening. The Atlanta event, attended by close to fifty people, was held at Goodrum House. Guests were treated to a tour of the house, designed by noted Atlanta architect Philip Shutze and in the process of a restoration. The weather held out long enough for guests to have a walk around the gardens before gathering inside to sample appetizers that featured tastes of both the American South and the UK. As in New York, short welcome talks were given by Executive Director Robin Prater, Martin Lutyens, and Candia Lutyens. The occasion was marked by signing a photograph of Lutyens and by the distribution of commemorative cubes and folders.
At both receptions, a copy of Metiendo Vivendum by Carl Laubin was displayed, an intricately detailed capriccio of over 150 works, built and unbuilt, by Edwin Lutyens, drawn at a 1:200 scale. Among the photographs that were displayed, was a very special and newly discovered image of Edwin Lutyens with his friend and at times rival, Herbert Baker.
We are grateful to Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP. our architectural sponsor for the New York launch and to Harrison Design for being our architectural sponsor in Atlanta. Additional sponsorships were provided by Marmi Stone and Chesneys, as well as several individual donors. Thank you to everyone that worked and contributed so that these events could happen.
To me, the best part of both evenings was the level of enthusiasm for Edwin Lutyens’s designs. We have an opportunity to make his work more widely appreciated, allowing our members to be able to study his architecture in a close, personal manner. The possibilities are very exciting.