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Preview: Comments on Kevin Kidney: Will Burtin's Incredible Six-Foot Cell

Comments on Kevin Kidney: Will Burtin's Incredible Six-Foot Cell





Updated: 2018-04-17T15:35:20.797-07:00

 



Well, I'm stunned! I co-wrote the book about ...

2009-10-17T13:07:32.399-07:00

Well, I'm stunned! I co-wrote the book about Will Burtin that Kevin is recounting in this blog, and I have spent time in the Will Burtin archive at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where my co-author Roger Remington is professor of design. But although I have seen several formats based on this photo of the six foot cell by Ezra Stoller, I never saw it in color or designed as a postcard.

On the other hand, the girl in the shot is familiar. Carol Burtin Fripp and I have been married a long time.

A couple of blogs ask where the cell is now. Like Will Burtin's "Brain" model it spent a few years on the road, and went to London for live BBC broadcasts. Meanwhile, the Brain (1960) went off to Turin (1961) with Carol Burtin as an official guide. Another photo in our book shows her there with Adlai Stevenson and the head of Fiat, Gianni Agnelli. Both models, with other Burtin work, went to a museum in Chicago before ending their days in Cleveland at the Museum of Health, which gave them a gallery. There they died: curators struggled to keep the big cell together, but the Plexiglas (tm) was almost as experimental as Burtin's use of plastics and his models, and the cell's 2,000 plastic components eventually turned to dust. There's hope though. The Wellcome Trust medical charity in London is making noises about building a modern version of the cell.

Readers can find much more about Burtin, including great reviews, on my URL: robertfripp.ca . Thank you for the blog, Kevin. / Robert Fripp



Fantastic and historical post. I wonder not only ...

2009-10-15T15:26:09.743-07:00

Fantastic and historical post. I wonder not only where the Disneyland cell ended up, but where the large walk through cell model ended up. You certainly know how to bring some fantastic items and obscure pieces of the park to light. Thanks!



amazing. I bought some big, vintage dye transfer ...

2009-10-14T21:04:58.739-07:00

amazing.

I bought some big, vintage dye transfer prints of the walk-in cell on eBay way back in the day, gave them to a photographer friend for Christmas.

Never did figure out who or what it was, but the sheer oddball beauty was enough at the time. thanks for finally closing the loop.



Amazing - I had no idea about the history on this....

2009-10-14T19:23:12.863-07:00

Amazing - I had no idea about the history on this. I too am surprised Jordan doesn't have it stashed in one of his back rooms...



Major - Thanks! I am so with you. If you get the...

2009-10-14T19:14:18.778-07:00

Major - Thanks! I am so with you. If you get the book, I think you'll like it.

Pickle - You mean the cell isn't squirreled away at your house?? I'm shocked!
I'd love to do a full-scale replica, if not for Disney, then for myself. It's so pretty and I can imagine the lighting was mesmerizing. The ultimate mood lamp!
And it goes without saying that I'd recreate that photo! Do I have to wear a dress?



nice! and informative! i wonder where that cell ...

2009-10-14T12:43:04.787-07:00

nice! and informative!

i wonder where that cell model is now?

i think you guys should do a one to one replica for the next D-23!

and kevin, make sure to do a silhouette photo recreation of "the cell" booklet with you in similar pose!



Wow wow wow, AMAZING post, Kevin! I've always ...

2009-10-14T09:00:58.113-07:00

Wow wow wow, AMAZING post, Kevin! I've always loved stuff like this, the kind of thing you might see in a nice museum (like Chicago's Field Museum or the Museum of Science and Industry). Thank you for all of this great info, I may just have to get a copy of that book.