After obtaining a degree in architecture in 1938, G.E. Kidder Smith realized his calling. He wasn’t as interested in designing buildings as he was in documenting them, and he spent much of the 20th century doing just that. “It was architecture and the built environment that absorbed his interest, inspired his invention, and triggered his creativity,” writes Angelo Maggi in his new book, G.E. Kidder Smith Builds: The Travel of Architectural Photography (ORO Editions, 2022).
With the help of his wife, Dot, Kidder Smith photographed buildings in Brazil, Sweden, Italy, and Switzerland (among other places) and compiled his pictures and text into lovingly produced books meant to appeal to the general public. Later in his career, he and Dot focused on architecture in the United States, taking pictures of places as varied as the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, New England churches, and the Las Vegas Strip. Unlike many architectural photographers of the time, Kidder Smith often included people in his images. He also highlighted the merits of both historic and contemporary design. In the foreword to Maggi’s book, Michelangelo Sabatino pinpoints Kidder Smith’s legacy: “With determination and skill, he expanded the culture of architectural appreciation.”
Michelangelo Sabatino joined SAH in 1999. He was awarded the Alice Davis Hitchcock book award in 2012. He has served on numerous SAH Committees including the SAH Mellon Author Awards Jury, the de Montequin Fellowship committee, chaired the Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award Committee, and has served on the Board of the Society. He has also served as a Session Chair at Annual conferences in 2014 and 2016, and as a speaker in 2015.