Scholarly & Creative

June 26, 2013 at 10:46 am

Torchia Pens Foreword for Book on Francis Cape’s ‘Utopian Benches’

Utopian Benches installed at Arcadia University.

‘Utopian Benches’ installed at Arcadia University. View more photos.

We Sit Together, a new release by Princeton Architectural Press, documents Utopian Benches, a project by sculptor Francis Cape first presented at Arcadia University Art Gallery in 2011. The publication will be introduced to the public with a book signing at New York City’s Murray Guy Gallery on Thursday, June 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., coinciding with the opening reception for an exhibition featuring 17 of Cape’s benches.


Richard Torchia, director of Arcadia University Art Gallery, contributed a foreword to the book that chronicles the origin and evolution of the project. Illustrated with measured drawings of all the benches made expressly for the publication, We Sit Together also features extensive documentation of the initial installation at Arcadia, including photographs depicting three of the gallery building’s original windows. Not seen from the inside of the exhibition space since the early 1980s, these windows were revealed by Matt Borgen at Cape’s request and then re-covered following the conclusion of the exhibition.

After their presentation at Arcadia, the benches traveled to Maine College of Art (Institute of Contemporary Art, Portland, Maine) and Skidmore College (Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, New York).

An exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design (New York City), titled Against the Grain (on view through Sept. 15, 2013), also features four additional examples of Cape’s benches.


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