MAS Context Spring Talks 2021
Living Modern:
Surveying Influential Houses and their Inhabitants

Haus Schminke, Löbau, Germany, Hans Scharoun, 1933. © Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster.

 

Thursday, April 22, 2021. Event starts at 6 pm CST.
Event will take place on Zoom
RSVP HERE

 

Designers Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, and historian Michelangelo Sabatino will lecture as part of MAS Context’s 2021 Spring Talks series.

 

Living Modern: Surveying Influential Houses and their Inhabitants

 

The recent books Growing up Modern: Childhoods in Iconic Homes, by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, and Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-75, co-authored by Michelangelo Sabatino and Susan S. Benjamin, approach Modernism from a different starting point, conceptually and geographically, but provide a great opportunity to explore influential houses and the experiences and impact on those who inhabit them.

Growing up Modern: Childhoods in Iconic Homes (Birkhäuser, 2021) is based on interviews with individuals who were as children the first to grow up in early Modernist houses and housing, including the J.J.P. Oud Weissenhof row house, the Tugendhat House, the Schminke House, and the Unité d’Habitation in Marseille. Highlighting lived experiences and the enduring memories of the inhabitants of iconic domestic spaces, the oral histories present an intimate look at Modernism in architecture and make a case for an expanded attitude towards architectural preservation. The talk, illustrated with contemporary photography, will include an overview of the creative documentation project and will emphasize aspects of the buildings that figure in the personal narratives as well as highlighting their idiosyncratic details.

Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-75 (The Monacelli Press, 2020) explores the substantial yet overlooked role that Chicago and its suburbs played in the development of the modern single-family house in the twentieth century. In a city often associated with the outsize reputations of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the examples discussed in this generously illustrated book expand and enrich the story of the region’s built environment. During the talk, Michelangelo Sabatino will discuss a selection of influential houses by architects whose contributions are ripe for reappraisal, such as Paul Schweikher, Harry Weese, Keck & Keck, and William Pereira.

 

Suggested readings

Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster, “Growing up Modern: A Family Story,” MAS Context, 2020.

Julia Jamrozik, “Growing up Modern–Oral History as Architectural Preservation,” Journal of Architectural Education 72, no. 2, “Preserve”: 284–89.

Janina Gosseye, Naomi Stead, and Deborah van der Plaat, eds., Speaking of Buildings: Oral History in Architectural Research, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2019).

Eve Kahn, “Dredging Up Old Modern MemoriesNew York Times, May 6, 2019).

Deanna Isaacs, “The modern home,” Chicago Reader, January, September 16, 2020.

Susan S. Benjamin and Michelangelo Sabatino, “Modern in the Middle Part One: Irma Kuppenheimer and Bertram J. Cahn House,” Docomomo US, April 01, 2020.

 

 

You can purchase the books from their publishers or your local bookstore:

Growing up Modern: Childhoods in Iconic Homes (Birkhäuser, 2021).

Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-75 (The Monacelli Press, 2020).

 

Unité d’Habitation, Marseille, France, Le Corbusier, 1952. © Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster.

 

Family photo album of Mr. Rolf Fassbaender who grew up in the J.J.P. Oud-designed row house at the Weissenhof Estate, Stuttgart, Germany, 1927. © Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster.

 

Villa Tugendhat, Brno, Czech Republic, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, 1930. © Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster.

 

Living room with windows on three sides. The ceiling was cobalt blue with pinhole lights, Irma Kuppenheimer and Bertram J. Cahn House, George Fred Keck, Lake Forest, 1937. © Chicago History Museum, Hedrich-Blessing Collection. Courtesy of the author. © Chicago History Museum, Hedrich-Blessing Collection. Courtesy of the author.

 

Bedroom with built-in furniture, Irma Kuppenheimer and Bertram J. Cahn House, George Fred Keck, Lake Forest, 1937. © Chicago History Museum, Hedrich-Blessing Collection. Courtesy of the author.

 

Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik  have been collaborating since 2003. Having studied and worked internationally, they now have an art and architecture practice in Buffalo, New York, where they teach at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). They are recipients of the Lawrence B. Anderson Award and an Independent Project Grant from the Architecture + Design Program of the New York State Council for the Arts (NYSCA), both for the “Growing up Modern” research and publication. In 2018, The Architecture League of New York awarded their work with the League Prize.
www.ck-jj.com

Michelangelo Sabatino directs the PhD program in architecture and is the inaugural John Vinci Distinguished Research Fellow at the Illinois Institute of Technology. As an architect, preservationist, and historian, his research broadly addresses intersections across culture, technology, and design in the built and natural environment. He has authored and coauthored numerous books including Pride in Modesty: Modernist Architecture and the Vernacular Tradition in Italy (2011) recipient of the Society of Architectural Historians’ Alice Davis Hitchcock Award, Canada: Modern Architectures in History (2016), Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony (2019), Making Houston Modern: The Life and Architecture of Howard Barnstone (2020), and Modern in the Middle: Chicago Houses 1929-75.
www.michelangelo-sabatino.com



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