Saving Corporate Modernism Exhibition and Symposium at Yale School of Architecture

Three hallmark buildings exemplifying post-war corporate architecture are the focus of an exhibition and symposium on the preservation of modern landmarks at the Yale School of Architecture this coming semester.

Showcasing works of architect Gordon Bunshaft, the organizers of the exhibition and symposium hope to raise public awareness about modern corporate architectural design, the unique cultural context in which it developed and the need to save its great prototypes as historic landmarks.

The Lever House in New York City, the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company and the Connecticut headquarters of the Emhart Manufacturing Company incorporate the work of many of the most innovative designers of their time. In addition to Bunshaft’s influential architecture, these corporate complexes offer testimony to the artistic visions of such luminaries as sculptor Isamu Noguchi, interior designers Florence Knoll and Raymond Loewy, landscape designer Joanna Diman and graphic artist Lester Beall.

“These buildings are not only great examples of modern architecture but ones which are in a special category where architects, and designers and their clients collaborated to establish new paradigms for American business. They are landmarks of the history of architecture and of the history of business,” School of Architecture Dean Robert A.M. Stern said.

While the Lever House, built in 1952, is currently undergoing restoration, both the Connecticut General Insurance and Emhart Manufacturing complexes (1958 and 1963, respectively) in Bloomfield, Connecticut, are threatened with demolition. It is hoped that the exhibition, January 8-March 2, and the symposium on saving modern corporate landmark, February 9-10, will help galvanize public support for saving these architectural treasures.

“Saving Corporate Modernism” is the first of a series of exhibitions and related events taking place this spring at Yale’s Art and Architecture Building, the1963 landmark building designed by Paul Rudolph that is about to undergo a major restoration.

The exhibition and symposium are free and open to the public. The Yale Art & Architecture Building is located at 180 York Street. Hours for the Gallery are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For general inquiries regarding this or other events sponsored by the Yale School of Architecture or directions, call 203-432-2288. For specific information regarding the exhibition series or program, contact Dean Sakamoto, director of exhibitions at 203-432-2292 or e-mail at dean.sakamoto@yale.edu.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345