June 1915
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Month June 1915

Young Atlanta Architect Wins Rome Scholarship in Nation-Wide Contest

The Constitution: Atlanta, GA – Sunday, June 27, 1915

A national academic distinction has been conferred upon an Atlanta youth, in the “Rome scholarship” awarded to Philip Trammel Shutze, a graduate of Georgia Tech and assistant in the firm of Hentz & Reid, Atlanta architects.

Less than twenty-five years of age, and only three years out of college, young Shutze, a native of Columbus, Ga., in competition with brilliant minds throughout North America, won one of the most enviable international scholarships held forth to aspiring students.

Upon the opening of the next scholastic season, he goes to Rome, Italy, to take his course in the American Academy of Architecture, with full expense paid and $1,500 annual expense funds.

Brilliant Student.

For the past year young Shutze has been attached to the Hentz & Reid offices. Prior to that time he was an assistant in the Georgia Tech faculty, from which he graduated in 1912 with signal honors. He was distinguished as one of the most promising students in the institution, and Professor Francis P. Smith, instructor if architecture at Tech, pronounces him the most brilliant pupil he had ever observed.

In discussing the winning of the scholarship by Mr. Shutze, Professor Smith said:

“Rome even more than Athens is the fountain-head of inspiration for the architect, for there were gathered up the precious threads of the Greek style, which, woven with other strands equally valuable, produced a fabric which is almost inexhaustible in its richness and suggestion. The masterful planning, composition and construction of the remains of ancient Rome, with all their wealth of ideas, form perhaps the most precious heritage of the profession of architecture. There are to be found the great fundamental principles of design which have dominated the greatest structures of all nations since the close of the middle age.

“It was some such thought as this in the far-seeing mind of the late Charles Follen McKim that led to his founding of the American Academy in Rome. He, too, had seen the vision of Brunelleschi and had followed him to Rome. As his great forerunner had given a news style to Florence and to Italy, so McKim offered a new ideal to America. Better architecture is being produced in America today than in any other country of the world and it is safe to say that our pre-eminence is due to the unrivalled example of the work of McKim’s firm. The superlative excellence of their work is owing to their thorough and intimate knowledge of Roman and Italian work at first hand. Such careful study has resulted in their producing structures of the first class, based indeed upon tradition, but nevertheless quite American and contemporary in their character. These are the qualities we must strive for if America is to have a genuine and lasting style of her own.

Opportunity for Young Artists.

“The great purpose of the American Academy in Rome is to accomplish exactly this: It offers to the most gifted young artists of our country the opportunity of prolonged study and research in classical lands under the most favorable conditions possible. To win the “Rome Prize” is perhaps the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a student of architecture, sculpture or painting, and in being awarded the prize in architecture this year Mr. Shutze has proved his worth against the best talent in America.

“In the spring of each year the academy conducts a preliminary competition in each of the three arts to select the contestants who shall enter the final competition. These preliminary problems are open to unmarried college graduates only.

“The subject of the architectural problem this year was ‘The Decorative Treatment of an Island.’ The requirements were that a commemorative monument, an open-air theater, formal gardens and a great bridge were to be incorporated in the design, but great freedom of arrangement and treatment was left to the competitors. The contestants were required to present a design for this problem, made in fourteen consecutive homes without any criticism or reference books or drawings. The preliminary competition in Atlanta was held under the direction of the department of architecture at the Georgia School of Technology, of which Mr. Shutze is an honored graduate.

“From the scores of the entries throughout the country, the best four designs were selected by the academy jury in New York. Those who saw Mr. Shutze’s drawing here were not surprised when it was learned that he had secured one of the four coveted places, as it showed a firm grasp of the problem and was remarkable in its presentation.

Warm Praise From Meade.

“The four ‘logists’ were allowed six weeks in which to restudy their solutions and make final drawings at large scale in water color. The only word of criticism regarding the designs that has been heard, came from William R. Meade, president of the academy, who said that Mr. Shutze’s design was the finest piece of student work he had ever seen!

“The great prize carries with it residence at the Academy in Rome for three years. The value of the fellowship is sufficient to cover all expenses during this time. Unless the European situation necessitates postponement, Mr. Shutze will report in Rome about the first of October. The academy now occupies its perfectly appointed new building adjoining the grounds of Villa Aurelia. Here the ‘fellows’ in architecture, sculpture and painting live and work together under the direction of experienced advisers. In addition to the splendid library facilities of the academy, the students have access to all the great libraries and collections in the capital, affording unequalled opportunity for research work. Intelligent study of the actual monuments of Rome forms a great part of their work, and the inspiration derived from this can scarcely be over-estimated. At least one collaborative problem by architect, sculptor and painter is done to bring out the real unity existing among the three arts, and an exhaustive study is also made in the restoration of some building or group of buildings. Certain months in each year are devoted to travel and study in Italy, Greece and other classical lands. A more comprehensive or efficient rounding out of an architectual education would be difficult to imagine.

“The American Academy in Rome is still in its infancy, but it has already accomplished results that should be far-reaching in the development of our national style, and we firmly believe that the high hopes of the honored McKim will be realized. Fresh torches will be lighted at the altars of Rome and brought back to give better light to the new world.”