Frederick Urban had a passionate interest in the art and architecture of Italy and much of his research, after his studies at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art, was focussed on that country. He received grants for two projects in Italy, “The Sacri Monti of Northern Italy” (1985-1989) and for his “House/Custoza” project (1985). The other principal grants funded his visiting professorship at Nanjing Institute of Technology/South East University in Nanjing, China in 1987 and 1988, the files for which are found in Series 4.
This series begins with general files on the Sacri Monti research project, including corres-pondence and grant applications, literature, maps, general research material, photographs, posters, and some tracings. There are also files for each year that Urban was in Italy, arranged chronologically. They document his itinerary and contain correspondence, a sampling of programs and brochures, programs for the Biennale of Venice (1985), and one journal (1986).
The series ends with files on exhibitions and performances of interest, along with a selection of slides, photoprints, postcards and posters. There is a folder of cards, notices and programs for a number of exhibitions and performances, primarily Canadian (1978-1992), followed by cards and catalogues for particular exhibits: Christo (1979-1982), Creative Time (including Butler’s lives of the saints), Garry Neil Kennedy, Miami University Art Museum, The New Yorker, and Andy Warhol/Jamie Wyeth. The slides are of ‘design elements’, raves in Toronto, the Toronto Sculpture Garden, and ‘Women study’. The photoprints are of streetscapes in Toronto, taken in the early 1980s. There are ‘Special postcards’ [design elements] collected by Urban, postcards of photographs taken by the British photographer, Frank Sutcliffe, ‘Die einrichtungen der Akaademie der Kűnste der DDR’ (1979), and ‘The theatre of architecture’ by Susan Speigel (Toronto, 1986).