“I love drawing and modeling, but the stucco’s true birth moment is when I put it on the wall. It’s a circle between what the material does, goes through my hands, my head, through the eyes, and back to the material. Naturally, there are some rococo-seeming movements in it, too, because this style is what I learned and what I love. The stories of the forms I create invent themselves. They are doing things. I give them a story, like a writer who tells a story about a thief in the night. There is a house, a thief, a proprietor and an inspector. You invent some things and then people in the story must react. With stucco, I invent a reaction to the forms I’ve already invented.”
– Jan Hooss, hand-sculpted plaster wall artist featured in the Lobby.
“When I think about what it is that makes the diorama such a special medium, I remember one past director of the American Museum who always would cite an instance where he was walking through The Hall of North American Mammals and there was a little girl standing in front of a big brown bear. Everyone who has visited the museum knows that down the hall there is a big standing brown bear, and this little girl was looking up at the bear and the director walked over to her and she turned and she said to him, “It’s magic.” That’s the key here. This illusion of nature and of close encounter is what makes dioramas so wonderful.”
– Stephen Quinn, creator of the diorama featured in the 180 East 88th sales gallery, complimented by a mural by Sean Murtha, featured in the Childrens’s Playroom.
“In the year 1791, we received a letter from Christian VII, King of Denmark and Norway, giving permission to my ancestor, the farmer Peter Andresen, to make bricks on his property, to make them the best way. For this, he had to pay ten dollars every year. It was the start of our company. I’m generation number seven, and I only learned to make bricks. It’s my only way. Each Kolumba brick is marked with a thumbprint. I tell people that when, in 300 years, people take them out of the wall, they can put the thumbprint in the scanner and see who made the brick. It’s like the brick’s DNA.”
– Christian A. Petersen, owner of Petersen Tegl, fabricators of the Kolumba brick featured on the facade.