Subterranean Ghosts: India's Vanishing Stepwells
Monday, November 4, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CST)
Stepwells are a form of architecture unique to South Asia that first appeared in rudimentary form in India between the 2nd and 4th centuries A.D. Sunk deep into the earth, these underground edifices not only harvested and preserved water, but also functioned as civic centers, temples, cool retreats, and caravan stops. However, as many stepwells have been barricaded, filled in, repurposed, or altogether destroyed, they are quickly disappearing from historic record.
Journalist Victoria Lautman is a frequent traveler to India and former contributing editor for Architectural Record, Metropolitan Home, HG, Art+Auction, and Chicago magazine. In India, she’s written for The Hindu, Architectural Digest, Vogue, and GQ. Her writing about India has also appeared in Town & Country, ArchDaily.com, and The Huffington Post. Lautman’s long-running radio programs were heard on WFMT and WBEZ.
This talk is co-sponsored by AIA Chicago and Society of Architectural Historians.
Image: Rajon ki Baoli, Rajasthan, India.© Victoria Lautman.
When & Where
Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
Founded in 1956, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts makes project-based grants to individuals and organizations and produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture, and society.
Image: Craig Hodgetts, “Ecotopia,” 1978. Lead pencil and magazine cut out inlay, 14 1/2 x 17 inches. Copyright Craig Hodgetts. Courtesy of Hodgetts + Fung. Photo Joshua White.