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Modernism at Risk / Michigan Matters Exhibit Opening

Join us for the exhibit opening reception March 16, 2011 at 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Liberty Annex, 305 W. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI

More Information on this Exhibition found here

Modernism at Risk / Michigan Matters, an exhibition organized by University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning and World Monuments Fund (WMF), will be on display in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from March 16th through April 20th, 2011, at 305 W. Liberty St., at the Liberty Annex.

The Modernism at Risk initiative is a program created by WMF with founding sponsor Knoll in 2006 to address the distinct threats facing great works of modern architecture around the world. This program focuses on advocacy, conservation, and public education. Michigan Matters, the Taubman College response to the WMF initiative, brings to light the significant modern architectural resources of Michigan.

The WMF exhibit consists of large-scale photographs by Andrew Moore, and interpretative panels with five case studies that design practitioners and students, armed with their knowledge of 20th- century architecture and their critical thinking and problem-solving skills and supported by organizations like the World Monuments Fund, are helping devise multifaceted solutions – including advocacy efforts, technical plans, and otherwise – that address the distinct challenges to preserving modern architecture. The five buildings highlighted are:

  • 1930 - ADGB Trade Union School in Bernau, Germany, by Meyer and Wittwer
  • 1939 - A. Conger Goodyear House in Old Westbury, New York by Edward Durell Stone
  • 1954 - Grosse Pointe Public Library in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan by Marcel Breuer
  • 1958 - Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida by Paul Rudolph
  • 1972 - Kent Memorial Library in Suffield, Connecticut by Warren Platner

The Michigan Matters exhibit aims to bring to light the various intact resources associated with the modern architectural movement in Michigan, which date from as early as 1922. The exhibition calls attention to the responsibility we share as a community in the future conservation of our more recent heritage. Exhibition materials include reproductions of design drawings for the following projects:

  • 1922 - Ford Glass Plant by Albert Kahn Associates
  • 1928 – 1940 - Saarinen House and Cranbrook Art Museum by Eliel Saarinen
  • 1958 - Lafayette Park Low-Rise Buildings and Pavilion Apartments by Mies van der Rohe
  • 1959 - Great Lakes Region Reynolds Headquarters by Minoru Yamasaki
  • 1963 - St. Francis de Sales Church by Marcel Breuer

Corresponding photographs of each project (provided by Albert Kahn Associates, Ford Archives, Cranbrook Archives, Balthazar Korab Studio, photographer Justin Maconochie and the Bentley Historical Library) illustrate each building at varying time periods. Exhibition of this vital body of work was made possible through cooperation from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Archives of Michigan, and the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Library.

Ann Arbor has also hosted its own share of important architects and is home to ingenious works of architecture, which are mostly residential in nature. Numerous architects actively associated with the College of Architecture at the University of Michigan have made important contributions to the profession and architectural education. These figures include William Le Baron Jenny (1876), Eliel Saarinen (1923), and more recent of Walter Sanders (1952). To broaden understanding of the tradition of expression of modern architecture in Ann Arbor, reproductions will be presented of drawings and photographs from the archives of Tivadar Balogh, George B. Brigham, Robert C. Metcalf, William Muschenheim, David W. Osler and Walter Sanders Collections from the Bentley Historical Library.

Event speakers include:
Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean of the Taubman College,
Henry Ng, Executive Vice President, WMF,
David Bright, Senior Vice President, Communications, Knoll,
Brian Conway, Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer, and
Gregory Saldaña, curator of the exhibit.