Best known for the Watzek House in Portland, Ore., and his role in highlighting regional modern architecture of the Pacific Northwest, the late John Yeon is remembered as of the most influential twentieth-century architects, planners, and historic preservationists of this area. His passion for creating original forms that are harmonious with the natural environment brought an international spotlight to not just his works, but the beauty and importance of the Pacific's ecosystem.In addition to his contributions, he was also an enthusiastic appreciator of decorative arts and crafts, and gathered personal collections of Asian and European decorative art.
An upcoming exhibition pays tribute to his role and passion for regional design. Starting on May 13, the Portland Art Museum, the seventh oldest museum in the U.S., welcomes visitors to explore its latest exhibition. Titled "Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon," the multifaceted show features a selection of projects designed by Yeon between 1927 and mid-1950s. This exhibition brings together models, drawings, and a collection of images taken by well known architectural photographers to raise understanding of Yeon's philosophy, in addition to his sustainable design and architecture. Among the displayed pieces are a dynamic 1934 scheme for Timberline Lodge at the base of Mt. Hood in Oregon (that was also shot in Stanley Kubrick's horror film "The Shining" for its exterior); his inventive plywood houses of the 1930s; the 1950s suburban "Palace Style" Shaw House in Portland; a time-lapse video of The Shire, a 75-acre landscaped area along the waterfront of the Columbia River George; and a selection of decorative arts lent by Richard Louise Brown—the founder of the Yeon Center.
The Quest for Beauty exhibition opens on May 13 and runs through September 3.