by George Dodds, PhD
Alvin and Sally Beaman Professor of Architecture
University of Tennessee, School of Architecture
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 2 at 7:00 PM
Online via Zoom (see below for links)
Free, no registration required.

Join us for another in our series of talks on “The Elusive Philadelphia School – The Many Guises of Philadelphia Modernism”

Architectural history is a fickle thing. Until the publication of the new edition of Kenneth Frampton’s, Modern Architecture: A Critical History, Carlo Scarpa’s work occupied an important place in the book’s conclusion, offered as a paradigm of “critical regionalism.” In the new edition, published last year, Scarpa’s work is all but relegated to a footnote. The work of the Philadelphia-based architects Alfred and Jane West Clauss has been visited a similar fate, albeit over a much longer trajectory. Absent from virtually every major overview of Modern Architecture, one finds fragmentary references to Alfred alone in two monographs on William Lescaze, and Mark Lamster’s, The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century. Even in Mies van der Rohe’s own payroll accounts from his Berlin office, used while designing The German Representation Pavilion for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition, and the Tugendhat House, an “Alfred Claus” appears, but absent the second “s.” And while many of the most provocative claims about Alfred Clauss’s role in watershed moments of 20th-century modern architecture are almost invariably traced back to Alfred himself, there is still this. Over the course of his career, he worked with Mies van der Rohe while the Barcelona Pavilion was being designed, with Howe & Lescaze on arguably the most important tall building in the United States before WWII, with Philip Johnson on Johnson’s apartment designed by Mies and Lilly Reich, and the design of the perhaps the most important exhibition of the 20th century, MoMA’s 1932, Modern Architecture: An International Exhibition, while also included in the exhibition. And all of this was before he and Jane West Clauss designed the first enclave of modern houses in the United States on an isolated knoll in an obscure corner of Knox County, Tennessee. And yet, there is more.

George Dodds earned his professional architectural degree at the University of Detroit and his Master of Architecture, and a PhD in architectural history and theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Dodds has published two books: Building Desire: On the Barcelona Pavilion (Routledge, 2005) and Body and Building: Essays on the Changing Relation of Body and Architecture (MIT Press, 2002) co-edited with Robert Tavernor. He has authored over fifty articles, papers, and public lectures spanning the work Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, Carlo Scarpa, Gabriel Guevrekian, William Lescaze, and current practitioners such as KieranTimberlake, and Duvall Decker Architects (recently on the Common Edge website). He is currently working on a feature for Architectural Record on the recently completed conservation of the Brion Tomb and Sanctuary while continuing his research into the work of Alfred and Jane West Clauss.

Topic: PC_SAH_George Dodds talk
Time: Dec 2, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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