Recap: The Wren Drawings at Cherokee Ranch & Castle
DAF held an exciting special event (our first in two years!), in partnership with the Cherokee Ranch & Castle Foundation, exploring the historic architectural drawings of Sir Christopher Wren, part of the Tweet Kimball Collection. Attendees were able to explore not only the 16 Wren drawings, but also the beautiful 1920s castle designed by renowned Denver architect Burnham Hoyt featuring some of the best views in Colorado!
About the event: Special guest Professor Pierre du Prey, historian and author (Queens University, Ontario), presented on his knowledge of and connection to the Wren collection, with added pre-recorded commentary from Professor Anthony Geraghty (London-based architectural historian). This special evening offered insight into Sir Christopher Wren the architect, the Wren churches, how the drawings came to be at a Colorado castle, the presenters’ friendship with the indomitable Tweet Kimball and more.
Attendees were able to explore, with support from the Castle’s docents, Hoyt’s distinctive 1920s castle and take in the inspiring views of the Front Range from the castle’s terrace perched above the 3,400-acre ranch. They experienced additional works from Tweet Kimball’s impressive art and antiquities collection, including an original Rubens painting, School of Rembrandt and School of Titian paintings and a Greek vase from 332 B.C.
About the site: Cherokee Castle was designed by Denver architect Burnham Hoyt and built 1924-1926. Hoyt used 37-million-year-old locally harvested rhyolite, hand-cut by Cornish stone masons, to build the castle in a 1450s Scottish/English eclectic style. He incorporated into the structure 4,000 pieces of petrified wood from a deposit elsewhere on Cherokee Ranch. Distinctive interior features include raw wood beams, half-timbered walls and spiral staircases.
About the presenter: Pierre du Prey received his art history education at the universities of Pennsylvania, London and Princeton. Before his retirement in 2011, he taught at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada where he began his career as an architectural historian in 1971. From 1982-84, he acted as the Director of Study Programs at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal. His research on Tweet Kimball’s Wren drawings led to his book Hawksmoor’s London Churches: Architecture and Theology (2000). Learn more about du Prey’s impressive scholarship here.