Museum Exhibitions as Mass Media spreading Architectural Ideas from Europe to USA in 20th Century

Authors

  • Raffaella Russo Spena Federico II University of Naples DiARC - Dipartimento di Architettura Research Fellow Università Federico II di Napoli

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2611-0075/9701

Keywords:

Architectural Exhibitions, NewYork MoMA and Architecture, Media Reproduction

Abstract

The present paper is aimed to illustrate the role played by architectural exhibitions in promoting debates on architecture from the early Thirties to the Fifties of last century. Both the exhibitions and the accompanying publications such as catalogues, books and magazines, acts as significant communication media in shaping and directing architectural discourses. The first of these exhibitions was a significant historical event, which officially announced architecture of the early 20th century as “International Style” to the USA public, professional and even educational audience. Referring to Walter Benjamin’s definition of “reproduction” and to the subsequent notions of “production“ and “reproduction” discussed by Beatriz Colomina, the role of the New York MoMA architectural exhibitions as architectural media in reproducing the works of architecture and reformulating the agenda of 20th century modern architecture especially in USA, are emphasized. In the light of the arguments handled by Colomina, architectural exhibitions and associated books or catalogues are considered as “critical acts”, in which the work of architecture, and architecture itself in theoretic, aesthetic and functional terms, is interpreted, reproduced and publicized. Architectural exhibitions, being a subject in itself, puts the objects displayed into a critical process, as a medium of reproduction in which the works are re-interpreted and diffused through magazines and other press devices. Such a spreading diffusion becomes, in turn, a further object reproduced by critics, historians and professional architects.

References

Lewis Mumford. “Americanized Europe”. Freeman, VI, November 22, 1922, pp. 253-54.

John F. Harbeson. The Study of Architectural Design with Special Reference to the Program of the Beaux-Arts lnsitute of Design. New York: The Pencil Points Press, 1927.

John Frederick Harbeson. “Design in Modern Architecture. What is Modern?. Pencil Points 11, January 1930, pp. 3-45.

George Howe. “What is this Modern Architecture Trying to Express”. The American Architect, n. 137, May 1930.

Lawrence Kocher. “Keeping the Architect Educated”. Architectural Record 67, January 1930, pag 45.

Catherine Bauer. “The Americanization of Europe”. The New Republic 67, 1931, pg. 26-27.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr., Philip C. Johnson. Modern Architecture. International Exhibition. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1932.

H. I. Brock. “Architecture Styled International”. The New York Times, Vol. 2, n. 22, February 7, 1932.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr. Early Modern Architecture: Chicago 1870–1910. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1933.

Talbot Faulkner Hamlin. “The International Style Lacks the Essence of Great Architecture”. The American Architect, Vol.

, January 1933.

Philip Cortelyou Johnson (ed.) Machine Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1934. Contemporary Architecture in California. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1935.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Jr. Le Corbusier: exhibition arranged by the Department of Architecture of The Museum of Modern Art. New York: Department of Architecture of The Museum of Modern Art, 1935.

Contemporary Architecture in California. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1935.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr. (ed.) The Architecture of Henry

Hobson Richardson. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1936.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr. (ed.) The Architecture of Henry Hobson Richardson. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1936.

Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, Ise Gropius (eds.) Bauhaus 1919-1928. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938.

Joseph Hudnut. “Classical architecture not essential”. Architectural Record, v. 82 August 1937, pp. 54-55.

Walter Gropius. “Architecture at Harvard University”. The Architectural Record, May 1937.

Walter Gropius. Essentials for architectural education. New York: PM Pub. Co., 1938.

A New House by Frank Lloyd Wright: Fallingwater at Bear Run, Pennsylvania. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938.

John McAndrew (ed.) Alvar Aalto: Architecture and Furniture. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1938.

Richard Joseph Neutra. “Regionalism in Architecture”. Plus, n° 2, February 1939.

John McAndrew (cur.) An American Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1940.

Joseph Hudnut. “Architecture and the Modern Mind.” Magazine of Art 33, May 1940, 290-293.

Hugh Morrison. “After the International Style – What?”. The Architectural Forum 72, n° 4, May 1940.

Joseph Hudnut. Introduction to Frank Lloyd Wright. A Pictorial Record of Architectural Progress. Boston: Institute of Modern Art, 1940.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr. “An Eastern Critic Looks at Western Architecture”. California Arts & Architecture, December 1940.

Eliot Fette Noyes (ed.) Organic Design in Home Furnishing. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1941.

Frank Lloyd Wright. “Organic Architecture”. Common Sense 10, April 1941, pp.108-118.

Walter Gropius. “Education Should Aim at Combining Individual Independence with the Spirit of Cooperation”. Task

, Summer 1941, pp.34-35.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Jr. “Some Problems in the Interpretation of Modern Architecture”. Journal of the American Society of Architectural Historians. Vol. 2, n. 2, 1942, pp. 29-40.

Henry-Russell Hitchcock Jr. Frank Lloyd Wright at The Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art Bulletin, n° 1, March 1941.

Elizabeth Bauer Mock (ed.) What is Modern Architecture: Tricks in Movie Making. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1942.

Joseph Hudnut. “Architecture after the Peace”. Magazine of Art 36, April 1943, pp. 122–127.

Philip Lippincot Goodwin (ed.) Brazil Builds. Architecture New and Old: 1652-1942. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1943.

Five California Houses. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1943.

Elizabeth Bauer Mock (ed.) Built in USA: 1932-1944. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1944.

Joseph Hudnut. “The Post-modern House”. Architectural Record, n. 97, May 1945, 70-75.

Elizabeth Bauer Mock (ed.) If You Want to Build a House. New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1946.

José Luis Sert. “The Human Scale in City Planning”, in Paul Zucker (ed.) New Architecture and City Planning. New York: Philosophical Library, 1944.

Lewis Mumford. “The Sky Line: Status Quo”. The New Yorker, October 1947.

James Maude Richards. “The New Empiricism: Sweden’s Latest Style”. The Architectural Review, December 1947.

What is Happening to Modern Architecture? A Symposium at the Museum of Modern Art. New York: The Museum of Modern Art Bulletin, Vol. XV, N° 3, Museum of Modern Art, 1948.

G. Paulsson, H-R. Hirchcock, W. Holford, S. Giedion, W. Gropius, L. Costa, A. Roth. “In Search of a New Monumentality: A Symposium”. Architectural Review, n. 104, September 1948, pp.117-128.

William W. Wurster. “Architectural Education”, AIA Journal 9, n. 1, January 1948, 36.

Joseph Hudnut. Architecture and the Spirit of Man. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1949.

Elisabeth Kendall Thomson. “Backgrounds and Beginnings”. in Domestic Architecture of the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco: San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949.

Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. “What is Happening to Modern Architecture?” Arts & Architecture 66, September 1949, pp.26-29.

Lewis Mumford. “The Architecture of the Bay Region”. in Domestic Architecture of the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco:The San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949.

William Wilson Wurster. “A Personal View”, in Domestic Architecture of the San Francisco Bay Region. San Francisco:San Francisco Museum of Art, 1949.

Henry Russell Hitchcock. “The International Style Twenty Years After”. The Architectural Record, Vol. 110 (2), August 1951.

Lewis Mumford. “Function and Expression in Architecture”. Architectural Record 110, 5, November 1951, pp.106-112.

Pietro Belluschi. “Architecture and Society”. Journal of the American Institute of Architects. Vol. 15, February 1951, pp. 85-91.

Joseph Hudnut. The Three Lamps of Modern Architecture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1952.

Henry Russell Hitchcock. “The International Style Twenty Years After”. The Architectural Record, Vol. 110 (2), August 1951.

Sigfried Giedion. “The State of Contemporary Architecture I: The Regional Approach”. The Architectural Record, January 1954.

William W. Wurster. “California Architecture for Living”. California Monthly, August 1954.

Reyner Banham. “The New Brutalism”. The Architectural Review 118, December 1955.

Pietro Belluschi. “The Meaning of Regionalism in Architecture”. The Architectural Record, December 1955.

James Stirling. “Regionalism and Modern Architecture”. Architects’ Year Book 7, 1957.

Esther McCoy. “West Coast Architects II: William Wilson Wurster”. California Arts and Architecture, July 1964.

Catherine Bauer. “The Social Front of Modern Architecture in the 1930s”. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 24, n° 1, March 1965.

Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvoge. “The Museum of Modern Art at 50,” ARTnews, Vol. 78 (8), October 1979.

David Gebhard. “The Moderne in the U.S. 1920-1941”. Architectural Association Quarterly, July 1970, pp. 4-20.

Henry Russell Hitchcock, Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. (eds.) The Rise of an American Architecture. London: Pall Mall Press, 1970.

Peter Blake. “Architecture is an art and MoMA is its prophet,” ARTnews, Vol. 78 (8) , October 1979.

Paul Bental. “The Re-examination of Modern Architecture: A Review of Modernism in America: 1937-1943”. Places, Winter 1986, pp. 43-53

Marc Dessauce. “Contro lo Stile Internazionale: ‘Shelter’ e la stampa architettonica Americana”. Casabella, n° 57, settembre 1993.

Peter Blake. “Introduction: The Museum of Modern Art.” in Peter Noever (ed.) Turning Point. New York Wien: Springer-Verlag, 1996, pp. 46-64.

Gail Fenske. “Lewis Mumford, Henry-Russell Hitchcock and the Bay Region Style” in M. Pollack (ed.), The Education of the Architect: Historiography, Urbanism and the Growth of Architectural Knowledge. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 1997.

Jill Pearlman. “Joseph Hudnut’s Other Modernism at the Harvard-Bauhaus”. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, n. 3, December 1997.

Beatriz Colomina (co-ed). “Introduction: On Architecture, Production and Reproduction,” in Joan Ockman (ed.) Architectureproduction. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1998.

Josep Maria Rovira. José Luis Sert : 1901-1983. Milano: Electa, 2000.

Anthony Alofsin. The Struggle for Modernism: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City Planning at Harvard. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 2002.

Mardges Bacon. “Architecture, Regionalism, and the Vernacular: Reconceptualizing Modernism in America”, in Repenser les limites: l'architecture à travers l'espace, le temps et les disciplines, INHA (Actes de colloques), Paris, 2005.

Baharak Tabibi. Exhibitions as the Medium of Architectural Reproduction.“Modern Architecture: International Exhibition”. Master Thesis submitted to the Department of Architecture of Middle East Technical University, April 2005.

Raúl Rodríguez García. “¿Qué le pasaba a la Arquitectura Moderna? Reflexiones de un simposio de 1948”. Estoa, Revista de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo de la Universidad de Cuenca, 5(9), 2016.

Downloads

Published

2020-03-12

How to Cite

Russo Spena, R. (2020). Museum Exhibitions as Mass Media spreading Architectural Ideas from Europe to USA in 20th Century. Histories of Postwar Architecture, 2(4), 261-277. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2611-0075/9701