Friday, November 12, 2010, 2:00 - 5:00PM
Joseph Rosa, University of Michigan Museum of Art
Building the Liberal Imagination: Paul Rudolph, Yale University, and the Postwar American Cit
Michael H. Carriere, Milwaukee School of Engineering
Architectural historians such as Timothy Rohan and Vincent Scully, Jr. have highlighted how the architecture of Paul Rudolph provided a sort of aesthetic for liberal anti-communism. To such scholars, these architectural depictions of manliness, strength, and even outright violence – as seen in structures like Yale’s Art and Architecture Building – spoke directly to Cold War-era tensions and anxieties.
Yet such buildings existed in realms other than the rather abstract struggle against global communism. Rather than placing these structures solely in the context of the Cold War, it may make sense to view their displays of strength with regards to their relationship with urban renewal efforts in New Haven. Here, a form of “brute force” was also needed: one to tame the perceived disorder of the postwar American city.
Curtained Walls: Architectural Photography, the Farnsworth House, and the Opaque Mythology of Transparency
Sarah M. Dreller, University of Illinois at Chicago
This paper explores the creation, circulation and reception of two groups of photographs of Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth House. The first set, produced for a 1951 magazine cover story, features curtains carefully arranged according to the architect’s preferences while the second was commissioned in 1985 specifically because a MoMA curator believed the curtains obscured Mies’ so-called “glass box” design. Both sets are found to be highly contextualized quasi-fictional portraits, valuable for how they engage various Modernist concerns rather than as reliable architectural representations. Ultimately, “Curtained Walls” complicates the history of a building famous for being minimal—and questions whether these photographs helped direct Farnsworth House discourse toward a transparency-focused narrative and away from other potential interpretations.
The seminar conversation may continue informally at a nearby restaurant if the group is interested -- all participants and presenters are welcome to attend this post-seminar gathering.
Papers are pre-circulated electronically to those who plan to attend the seminar in person. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Heather Radke at firstname.lastname@example.org,or call (312) 255-3524.
The Newberry Seminar in American Art and Visual Culture
Co-sponsored by the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Columbia College Chicago, the Department of Art History at Indiana University, and the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture at theUniversity of Chicago
Scholl Center for
American History and Culture
60 W. Walton St.
Chicago IL 60610
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