Exhibit at Yale School of Architecture Salutes Venturi & Scott Brown
Two concurrent exhibitions showcasing the groundbreaking Las Vegas Studio of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown as well as the work of their firm will be presented by the Yale School of Architecture at the gallery of Paul Rudolph Hall, 180 York St., from October 29, 2009 – February 5, 2010.
Under the single title “What We Learned: The Yale Las Vegas Studio and the Work of Venturi Scott Brown & Associates,” the exhibitions offer complementary perspectives on the legendary studio taught at Yale in 1969 and its subsequent impact on the teaching, research and design work of Venturi and Scott Brown, two of America’s most prominent architects.
The first exhibition, “The Yale Las Vegas Studio,” consists of more than 100 color photographs, slide presentations and miscellaneous original materials documenting the famed 1968 Yale “field trip” to Las Vegas with 13 Yale architecture students led by Venturi and Scott Brown. The groundbreaking examination of commercial vernacular architecture was the basis of the book “Learning from Las Vegas,” in which Venturi, Scott Brown and co-author Steven Izenour revolutionized the study of architecture. This separately curated exhibition showcases images and other documentation, much of it previously unknown to the public, from Venturi, Scott Brown and the University of Pennsylvania Design Archives. In presenting these photographs, the show’s curators, Hilar Stadler and Martino Stierli, aim to capture “unconscious moments” of the historic studio’s leaders, before “theory formation” made the Las Vegas trip into a watershed architectural event. “Learning from Las Vegas” originated at the Museum im Bellpark, Kriens, Switzerland, and was most recently displayed at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt.
The second exhibition, “What We Learned,”focuses on Venturi and Scott Brown’s critical contributions to the urban landscape and our understanding of it. Curated and designed by Dean Sakamoto, director of Exhibitions, with David Sadighian, the show offers a three-dimensional display of selected work of the Philadelphia-based firm, Venturi Scott Brown and Associates (VSBA), and reappraises key ideas manifested from the mid-1960s through today. Organized around five themes—Context, Mannerism, Communication, Automobile City and Urban Research—the installation is a collage of drawings, posters, photographs and text as well as furniture and fragments from early buildings designed by the architects. Among the signature projects represented in the exhibition are the Vanna Venturi House, Philadelphia (1964); the NFL Hall of Fame Project, New Brunswick (1967); the Dixwell Fire Station, New Haven (1974); Franklin Court, Philadelphia (1976); Gordon Wu Hall, Princeton University (1980); Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery, London (1991); Nikko Kirifuri Resort, Japan (1997); and the Capitol Building in Toulouse, France (1999). Materials for this show will be on loan from VSBA, University of Pennsylvania Design Archives and the collections of Thomas Strong and Judith Mauvaka, and Constance Clement.
“What We Learned” will be presented in conjunction with a symposium on the legacy of the Las Vegas Studio to be held at YSoA in January 2010. Details to be announced.