CFP Apr 3, 2001

Society of Architectural Historians, Richmond, VA, 17.-21.4.02

Victoria M. Young

6. Society of Architectural Historians CFP 2002
April 17-21 2002, Richmond, Virginia

Deadline for paper abstracts: 1 September 2001

The Rebirth of Solids: Redefining Mid-Century Modern Architecture In
his 1963 lecture, "Matter and Intrinsic Form," Marcel Breuer detailed
his observations on the state of contemporary architecture.
Architects, he recognized, had broken away from the spare formalism of
the International Style and embraced building shapes and materials
which set solid elements next to transparency, and a new plasticity
next to lineal purity. Breuer heralded this return of vivid contrasts
and sculptural three-dimensional architecture as a resounding rebirth
of solids. In their quest for diversity of expression, architects of
the 1950s and 1960s challenged the underlying principles of early
Modernism and developed their own distinctive idiom. Yet modern
architecture of this periodovershadowed by the towering legacy of the
International Style and the flamboyant gestures of Post
Modernism remains subject to public dislike and political disdain born
of misinterpretation and misunderstanding. Today, prominent battles to
save and re-use buildings from the mid-century, including Edward
Durell Stones 1964 Gallery of Modern Art on Columbus Circle in New
York City and Richard Neutra s 1961 Gettysburg Cyclorama Building in
Pennsylvania, have inspired academics to reexamine this distinct
period of design, outlining the broad contours of what is often
referred to as Mid-Century Modern. As scholars prepare to celebrate
the centenary anniversary of Breuers birth in 2002, we invite papers
that use his idea, the rebirth of solids, as a springboard for
revisiting modern architecture of the mid-twentieth century. The goal
of this session is to uncover not what went wrong in mid-century
design but what went right. The session chairs encourage papers that
present new interpretations of world architecture designed and built
(or unbuilt) in the mid-century. Presentations may focus on exemplary
buildings, such as late-period works by master architects, as well as
the designs of architects not frequently addressed in academic
scholarship. An analysis of technological advances and their effect
on architectural expression would provide another useful component of
this session. In revisiting the architecture and design philosophies
of Mid-Century Modern, we seek to renew a scholarly discussion of the
period with an eye toward educating the public, as well as shaping
future preservation policy.

Co-chaired by Prof. Victoria M. Young and Christine Madrid. Send
proposals to: Prof. Victoria M. Young, Department of Art History,
University of St. Thomas, Mail # LOR302, 2115 Summit Avenue, St. Paul,
MN 55105-1096; tel: 612/220-1191; fax: 603/907-0350; e-mail:

Members and friends of the Society of Architectural Historians are
invited to submit paper abstracts by 1 September 2001 for the sessions
listed below. Abstracts of no more than 300 words must be sent
directly to the appropriate session chair; abstracts are to be headed
with the applicants name, professional affiliation [graduate students
in brackets], and title of paper. Submit with the abstract a short
rsum, along with home and work addresses, telephone and fax numbers,
and e-mail address. Abstracts should define the subject and
summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. The
content of that paper should be the product of well-documented
original research that is primarily analytical and interpretative
rather than descriptive in nature. For further information check out

CFP: Society of Architectural Historians, Richmond, VA, 17.-21.4.02. In:, Apr 3, 2001 (accessed Sep 25, 2022), <>.