Currently at Columbia University's new Lenfest Center for the Arts, “Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem & Modern Housing” highlights an old question that has befuddled architects and planners throughout mid-20th century America: “How to live together?”. Curated by The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia GSAPP, the exhibition explores the unexpectedly intersecting plotlines between two different approaches to American housing: Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City scheme and the development of the country's first public housing in Harlem.
Both stories connect social institutions with economic structures, and “reflect the disparities, conflicts, and aspirations that remain a part of American life today.” Here's a glimpse of the exhibition, which opened on September 9.
“The exhibition's narrative takes the form of two interwoven plotlines, developed through displays of project-specific drawings, photographs, and other material dating from the late 1920s to the late 1950s.”
“This is a living history, in every possible sense. The difficult questions about American society that are raised by these buildings, projects, and ideas are as relevant today as they were then, Buell Center Director Reinhold Martin says on Columbia GSAPP's website. “They have animated many discussions among the many people responsible for this exhibition, and we hope that they will do the same for visitors to the show. Led by Buell Center Assistant Director Jacob Moore, an extraordinary team of student researchers joined in a collaborative effort with our colleagues at the Wallach Gallery, Avery Library, and MoMA to give these urgent matters the fresh attention they deserve.”
The exhibition is open until December 17. A related symposium will also take place on September 28 and 29.
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