Sketches for L.A.’s Disney Concert Hall to be shown at Figge in Davenport

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One of the Disney Concert Hall sketches by Carlos Diniz, to be exhibited at the Figge Art Museum. (Image credit: Carlos Diniz, American, 1928-2001,
Disney Concert Hall, Final Exterior Study: Grand Avenue Entry, Los Angeles, 1998. Charcoal on tissue paper, 31 3/4 x 31 1/2 inches, Private collection)

An early look at what would become the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles will be displayed at Davenport’s Figge Art Museum starting Saturday, Nov. 20.

Carlos Diniz: Master of Architectural Illustration showcases 10 extraordinary charcoal-and-ink renderings of the Frank Gehry–designed Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. The exhibition provides a fascinating look at how an architect’s spontaneous scribbles were transformed into a transformational building, according to the Figge (225 W. 2nd St., Davenport).

Well before the concert hall was built and eventually opened in 2003, celebrated architectural illustrator, artist, and graphic designer Carlos Diniz combined Gehry’s conceptual sketches and models with views of the cityscape, providing the City of Los Angeles a preview of what Gehry’s building would look like when finished, according to a Monday release. Diniz’s work on this and many other projects filled in the details of the architect’s vision and was recognized as an integral part of American architecture and architectural practice by The American Institute of Architects.

The plan to build a world-class concert hall in the city was launched in 1987, when Lillian B. Disney, the widow of Walt Disney, donated $50 million to the Music Center. The County of Los Angeles provided the land for the concert hall site and funds to finance the hall’s parking garage. Groundbreaking for the main hall started in 1999.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles opened in 2003.

Disney Concert Hall is “an internationally recognized architectural landmark and one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world,” according to the L.A. Philharmonic website. “From the stainless steel curves of its striking exterior to the state-of-the-art acoustics of the hardwood-paneled main auditorium, the 3.6-acre complex embodies the unique energy and creative spirit of the city of Los Angeles and its orchestra.”

Born in 1928, Diniz is known for his work with many award-winning and pioneering architects of the 20th century, the Figge said. After graduating from the Art Center College of Design in 1950 with a degree in specialized design, Diniz opened his own studio, Carlos Diniz Associates Visual Communications, which became known for its large scale “storytelling” illustrations.

By the time of his death in 2001, his body of work had come to encompass many landmark and historic structures and developments from the 1960s through the ’80s. In addition to the Disney Concert Hall, Diniz completed several other projects for the Walt Disney Company, including work on Epcot Center at Disney World, Orlando; Tokyo Disney; and Disney’s California Adventure.

“Diniz’s work came before the time of computer-aided and virtual renderings,” said Figge Director of Collections and Exhibitions Andrew Wallace. “His expert illustrations were all that was needed to create a recognizable view of the future.”

Carlos Diniz: Master of Architectural Illustration will also be accompanied by select limited-edition reproductions of Gehry’s early conceptual sketches for the Concert Hall project. The exhibition will be on view in the second-floor Lewis Gallery through March 20, 2022.

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