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Calendar of Events: September 2017

Experience Modern architecture. Take a tour, view an exhibition, attend a lecture or otherwise connect with people equally captivated by the history and future of this period. Our online calendar highlights events related to Modern architecture in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and occasionally further a field, presented by a wide-ranging roster of organizations.


LocalBook Talk

The Structure of Design: An Engineers Extraordinary Life in Architecture

Leslie Earl Robertson’s The Structure of Design offers a personal and accessible chronicle of the partnerships and problem-solving that forged so many classics of Modern architecture. In this illustrated talk, Robertson will recount his collaborations with architects including Minoru Yamasaki, Philip Johnson, and I. M. Pei, among others, and his work with leading sculptors such as Richard Serra and Beverly Pepper. More



Fire Island Pines Modern House Tour

September brings the annual fundraising event for the non-profit preservation organization Pines Modern. Curated and guided by co-founder and architectural historian Christopher Rawlins, this guided house tour showcases the best of Pines Modernism. Six homes will be opened to the public each day of the tour—there are three tours in all. A champagne reception at a featured home concludes each tour. In addition to the interior tours, stops will be made outside of notable structures. Tickets go fast. More

602 Tuna Walk by Horace Gifford (1965). Photo: Bill Maris


TCLF Garden Dialogues: The Noguchi Museum with Ken Smith

The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s 2017 Garden Dialogues program focuses on Modern landscapes and their creators in a series titled, “Modernist Milestones.” Innovative landscape architect Ken Smith, designer of MoMA's rooftop garden, will offer his distinct and entertaining insights on Isamu Noguchi at the Noguchi Museum with Curator of Research, Matthew Kirsch. More

Photo: NIcholas Knight

LocalStudy Tour

Glass House + Noyes House

Participants on this half-day study tour will have the chance to visit two seminal works of mid-century residential architecture: Philip Johnson's Glass House (1949) and the Eliot Noyes House (1954). Both in New Canaan, and both designed as the architects' personal residences, the tour offers an opportunity to evaluate each architect’s rigorous adherence to design principles, keen awareness of site More

Noyes House, New Haven, CT, Eliot Noyes, 1954.


The Glass House Presents: Frederick Noyes on the Noyes House

Architect Fred Noyes will discuss the Noyes House, designed by his father Eliot Noyes in 1954. An early Modern era addition to the National Register of Historic Places, the house’s unique composition—two enclosures for public and private functions connected by an open air courtyard—remains highly provocative today. More

© Michael Biondo


Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy Annual Conference — NYC

On the 150th anniversary year of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy will hold its annual conference in New York City. Timed to coincide with MoMA’s major exhibition Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, the conference will feature an international symposium, a curator-led tour of the exhibition, three all-day house tours, and a dinner reception at Grace Farms. More


LocalPanel Talk

Modern Architecture and Photography

Moderator Thomas Drysdale, Associate Professor of Photography & Imaging (TSOA); and speakers Esther da Costa Meyer, Professor of Art & Archaeology, Princeton University; Paul Warchol, architectural photographer; and Claire Zimmerman, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Michigan, will discuss the plasticity of lens-described space, the feedback effect of idealization, and distortion in photographic depictions of Modernist buildings, and other issues. More

© Stoller/Esto, Canadian Center for Architecture


TCLF Garden Dialogues: James Rose Center with Charles Birnbaum and Dean Cardasis

The Cultural Landscape Foundation’s 2017 Garden Dialogues program focuses on Modern landscapes and their creators in a series titled, “Modernist Milestones.” Charles A. Birnbaum, president of TCLF, and Dean Cardasis, director of the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, will examine the signature project of James Rose, his home in Ridgewood, NJ, now the James Rose Center. More

James Rose holding a model of his home while stationed in Okinawa.


Philip Johnson in Manhattan

Hilary Lewis, chief curator and creative director of the Glass House, will lead a study tour of several important examples of architecture designed by Philip Johnson in midtown Manhattan, including the Museum of Modern Art’s Sculpture Garden, the Rockefeller Guest House, and more. Lewis is co-author of Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words and The Architecture of Philip Johnson. The tour is presented by The Glass House and organized in conjunction with the exhibition Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson, which will be on view at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, September 9 – December 9. More

Rockefeller Guest House. Robert Damora, Photographer, 1950.

LocalExhibition opening

Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture

Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture is a traveling exhibition tracing the work of Australia’s most prominent architect of the 20th century, Harry Seidler. It examines his distinctive place and hand within and beyond Modernist design methodology. Dozens of featured projects—from single family houses to multi-story residential and office towers to civic, sports, and cultural centers, as well as important government commissions realized in Australia, Austria, France, Israel, Italy, Mexico, and Hong Kong—bring to focus Seidler’s twelve long-lasting creative collaborations with progressive artistic visionaries: More

Walter Gropius (left) with Seidler during Gropius' visit to Australia in 1954. Photo by Max Dupain / National Library of Australia


Designing Life: The Modernist Legacy of Albert C. Ledner

DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State and the AIANY Historic Buildings Committee are pleased to present a new documentary film about the career and life of architect Albert C. Ledner, a student of Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin and one of the American South’s first modern architects. A native of New Orleans, he practiced and realized over 40 unique houses there. Ledner also designed numerous buildings across the country for the National Maritime (NMU), including their national headquarters and two other buildings in New York City. More

The headquarters of the National Maritime Union in New York (1964) as photographed by Albert Ledner.


The Glass House presents: The Modern Interior

Join David A. Hanks, Curator of Partners in Design and Curator, Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, Montreal; Juliet Kinchin, Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art; and Hilary Lewis, Chief Curator and Creative Director of The Glass House, for a discussion about the furniture inside Philip Johnson’s iconic Glass House, More

Photo: Erik Johnson
Continuing this month


March 25, 2017

Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, the wartime directive that authorized the internment of Japanese citizens and American citizens of Japanese heritage living in the Western United States, this exhibition explores Isamu Noguchi’s decision to voluntarily enter Poston War Relocation Center, located in the Arizona desert, in the hopes that he could “contribute something positive to this forcibly displaced community.” More

Continuing this month


May 22, 2017

Modern in Pound Ridge: 20th Century Architecture + Lifestyle

The Pound Ridge Historical Society's current exhibition highlights the town’s first comprehensive survey of Modern architecture, an aspect of the area’s history that had been largely neglected. Pound Ridge had a reputation for attracting young couples prominent in the art, advertising, and publishing worlds. From 1939 to the early 1970s, at least 47 Modernist homes designed by architects such as Edward Larrabee Barnes, Peter Blake and Julian Neski, and David Henken were built. The exhibition explores how Modern design changed the Pound Ridge landscape and influenced the Post Modern and contemporary designs that followed. More

Continuing this month


June 12, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive

Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, MoMA presents a major exhibition that critically engages his multifaceted practice. More

Continuing this month


June 18, 2017

Wright’s Larkin: Arts and Crafts in Industry

This exhibition foregrounds the remarkable synergy between the Larkin Company and Frank Lloyd Wright, two disruptive forces in their respective fields. Wright’s commission to design the Larkin Company Administration Building (1906) in Buffalo showed how utopian Arts and Crafts ideals and technological advance could come together in ways that significantly changed modern industry. This exhibition gathers together many never before seen Wright-designed objects from the now destroyed Larkin Building, along with a spectacular collection of Larkin products. Complementing the exhibition will be an international conference on the architect and the Buffalo School of Arts and Crafts, to be held in October at the University at Buffalo. More

Continuing this month

Further AfieldExhibition

June 18, 2017

Alexander Girard: A Designer’s Universe at Cranbrook

Cranbrook Art Museum in Michigan presents the US debut of this career retrospective of Alexander Girard (1907–1993), an incredibly influential 20th-century tastemaker. Girard worked across the fields of architecture, interior design, textiles, and graphics to create stunning environments that greatly enriched the visual language of mid-century Modernism. Girard returned color, texture, decoration, the handmade, and even opulence to classic Modernism, making him an important touchstone for today’s artists and designers. More

Continuing this month


July 18, 2017

Classic Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright in Print

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth, Avery Classics Collection is exhibiting publications produced by and devoted to the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The exhibition incorporates books from Wright’s own library alongside volumes already owned by Avery Classics. Thematically it explores Wright’s ideas concerning book design and the Japanese print, along with the reception of his work in Europe, mediated by publications such as Ausgeführte Bauten and the Dutch periodical Wendingen. Finally, the exhibition allows the viewer a window into Wright’s creative process, following the evolution of a single manuscript from handwritten first draft through to publication. More

Continuing this month


July 21, 2017

Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical

A seminal figure in 20th century design, Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass (1917–2007) created a vast body of work, the result of an exceptionally productive career that spanned more than six decades. This exhibition reevaluates Sottsass's career in a presentation of key works, including architectural drawings, interiors, furniture, machines, ceramics, glass, jewelry, textiles and pattern, painting, and photography. The exhibition presents Sottsass's work in dialogue with ancient and contemporaneous objects that inspired him, as well as his influence on designers working today. These juxtapositions offer new insight into his designs, situating him within a broader design discourse that reveals him as a true design radical. More

Continuing this month


July 25, 2017

This Future Has a Past

This multimedia installation reflects on the life of Gregory Ain (1908–1988) and his last significant building, the 1950 Exhibition House for the MoMA garden. Ain worked primarily on the West Coast and was dedicated to creating Modern architecture that was also affordable. This Future Has a Past retraces the mysterious fate of the 1950 Exhibition House and unearths an extraordinary moment in Ain’s personal history. This exhibition was originally organized for the 15th International Venice Biennale of Architecture. More

Continuing this month

Further AfieldExhibition

August 11, 2017

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture

The story of master architect Louis Kahn is intrinsically connected to Philadelphia, where he spent most of his life and career. Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is the first major retrospective of Kahn’s work in two decades, encompassing over 200 objects related to Kahn’s buildings and projects. With complex spatial compositions and a choreographic mastery of light, Kahn created buildings of archaic beauty and powerful universal symbolism. The Fabric Workshop and Museum is the final venue of this exhibition’s international tour. More

Continuing this month


September 7, 2017

Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson

Partners in Design: Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson explores how Alfred Barr, the Museum of Modern Art’s first director, and Philip Johnson, the curator of architecture, introduced Modern design to North America. The story begins when Barr and Johnson traveled to Europe in the late 1920s and early 1930s and discovered that leading European architects such as Le Corbusier, J. J. P. Oud, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, were rejecting ornament in favor of a purity of form. Barr and Johnson dubbed this new architectural language “International Style.” More

Continuing this month


September 16, 2017

Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem & Modern Housing

Presented in correlation with MoMA's Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, this exhibition currently on view at Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery focuses on two public housing projects in Harlem. “Living in America,” a phrase written on wooden panels traveling with the model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City (1929–1958), evokes a question that preoccupied architects and planners throughout the mid-twentieth century: How to live together? Wright’s proposal for an exurban settlement of single-family houses offered one possible answer; plans for large public or subsidized housing located in urban areas presented another. Although these two visions seem a world apart, they share a common history, which is further explored in this exhibition. More