THE VISION OF PHILIP HISS

The Man Who Made Sarasota Modern

18 NOVEMBER 2021 – 27 MARCH 2022

Philip Hiss on Studio Stair

One of the recurring themes in Hiss’ life was the notion of “thinking globally and acting locally.” Through the materials presented in this exhibition, we invite you to consider the same questions Hiss asked when effecting change in Sarasota: Who are we? How do we want to live? What are our responsibilities to our community, to our children, and to theirs? What responsibilities—and opportunities—do we have to shape the future?

We continue to research and learn about Philip Hiss’ legacy and contributions to Sarasota. Read more here.

The Vision of Philip Hiss explores the enduring legacy of author, photographer, designer, and Sarasota civic leader Philip Hanson Hiss. Known as “the man who made Sarasota modern” through his role as the impresario and promoter of the Sarasota School of Architecture, Hiss’ wide-ranging interests transformed Sarasota into a celebrated destination known for exceptional culture, art, design, and education. From the Lido Shores residential development to the Sarasota Public School Program, Hiss’s forward-thinking and innovative projects changed Sarasota for the better and continue to offer lessons for us today.

The Vision of Philip Hiss

INSIDE THE EXHIBITION

“A man of many well-developed interests, Hiss is an author, photographer, explorer, real estate developer and civic leader. However, none of his interests is stronger than architectural design.”

St. Petersburg Time 1964

Hiss on horse

Hiss landed in Sarasota after surveying the Florida coastline on the Garuda, a 39-foot wooden craft custom built by famed Stamford boatbuilder William Luder. He was drawn in part to the area by the natural beauty, the prominence of the Ringling Museum under Chick Austin’s leadership, and the possibility of promoting an approach to modern life, education, and architecture in harmony with the climate and natural and cultural environment of south Florida’s Gulf Coast.

From the Lido Shores residential development to the Sarasota Public School Program to New College, Hiss’ forward-thinking, integrated vision and innovative and experimental projects changed Sarasota. His legacy continues to resonate and offer lessons for today.

Philip Hanson Hiss embodied the notion of “thinking globally and acting locally”. He is known as “the man who made Sarasota modern” through his role as the impresario and enthusiastic promoter of the Sarasota School of Architecture. Influenced by his family and formative years growing up in the Northeast and further cultivated through his global travels, Hiss’ wide-ranging, integrated interest would help transform our community into a celebrated destination known for exceptional culture, art, design, and education.

He left his formal education behind after boarding school and embarked on an autodidact’s grand tour, preferring to learn experientially, and, with the means to do so, he began to explore. His adventures inspired him to share the lessons learned among indigenous communities and inspired thinkers like Margaret Mead and John Dewey.

Hiss Garuda

SYMPOSIUM

The 2021 Symposium was held at the New College of Florida bayfront during MOD Weekend. The Symposium explored Philip Hiss’ monumental contributions to Sarasota’s development via an introductory film, presentations by scholars covering his various Sarasota projects, and a lively conversation with fellow practitioner Carl Abbott and Hiss’ daughter Muffi, led by writer Bob Morris.