The Harry Halverson Lecture on American Architecture


Sandwiched between the International Style and the concrete Brutalism of the 1960s, the mid-and-late-1950s can also be understood as American modernism's poorly understood architectural adolescence. American modern architecture was at its zenith, and yet troubled by the glass-walled uniformity of the International Style. At that moment, the young architect Paul Rudolph (1918-1997) emerged from Sarasota, Florida, where he had built a series of acclaimed beach houses that informed his first large-scale buildings. Timothy Rohan's lecture will explore how Rudolph recovered the things he believed the International Style had "brushed aside," namely monumentality, urbanism, symbolism, and decoration, in buildings like his Jewett Arts Center at Wellesley College (1955-1958), in ways that would inform postwar modernism well into the 1960s and make him one of the most acclaimed and criticized architects of the late twentieth century.