Buildings that Fill My Eye: The Architectural Heritage of Yemen
Architecture ranks among Yemen's greatest cultural achievements. Long before the time of the Queen of Sheba, a staggering array of traditional building styles had already evolved in harmony with southern Arabia's diverse topographies and its challenging climatic conditions. Yemen's built environment is characterized by sturdy forts and fortifications, towering houses and strategically perched mountaintop villages, connected by vast networks of stone-paved pathways. Their steeply terraced fields are watered by impressive irrigation networks. Generations of highly skilled craftspeople have used local technologies and the materials-to-hand to create splendid architectural assemblages—in the words of a master mason, "Buildings That Fill My Eye." This exhibition of photographs taken between 1990 and 1998 by Trevor Marchand, an architect and social anthropologist, shares the splendors of Yemen's architectural heritage while raising awareness of its cultural and historical importance, revealing that this heritage is threatened by the civil war that began in 2015.