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Crafting Space Symposium: Modernist Currents in Mid-Century Architecture

Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC)

Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EST)

Crafting Space Symposium: Modernist Currents in...

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Symposium + No Box Lunch   more info Ended Free $0.00
Symposium + Box Lunch (Turkey)   more info Ended $10.50 $1.25
Symposium + Box Lunch (Ham)   more info Ended $10.50 $1.25
Symposium + Box Lunch (Vegetarian)   more info Ended $10.50 $1.25
Pre-Symposium Tour on Friday, Jan 17 at KMAC and American Life Bldg.   more info Ended Free $0.00

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Event Details

NOTICE: Due to popular demand, the location of the symposium has changed buildings on UofL's campus. It will now be held in the LIfe Sciences Building, Room 101. 

The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC) is pleased to partner with the University of Louisville Hite Art Institute in hosting Crafting Space: Modernist Currents in Mid-Century Architecture Symposium at the University of Louisville Campus. Admission is free. Box Lunches are optional and available for purchase. *See below for details of the pre-symposium tour on Friday, January 17.

The symposium focuses on several of Eero Saarinen's innovative architectural achievements which capture the optimism and boundless opportunity of American Modernism. Saarinen's designs for the public and private sector combined forces of cultural, spiritual, and technological progress in order to successfully communicate the identity and meaning of each individual project. “Architecture must make a strong emotional impact on man,” Saarinen wrote. “I have come to the conviction that once one embarks on a concept for a building, this concept has to be exaggerated and overstated and repeated in every part of its interior so that wherever you are, inside or outside, the building sings with the same message.” 

Leading scholars in their fields will speak on topics pertaining to Eero Saarinen's legacy and impact on the American landscape and beyond. Featured symposium speakers and topics include:

Mina Marefat, PhD, AIA, Curator of Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation; Principal of Design Research, an architectural/urban design and research/education firm and professor at Georgetown University

Masters of Architecture, Masters of Sex


Georg Leidenberger, Ph.D., Morgan Visiting Professor at the University of Louisville; Professor of Modern Mexican and American History, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City

Mexican Architecture in the Face of European and American Currents of Modernism
Eero Saarinen successfully bridged European modernist currents with Americans' need for their own cultural posture. How did Mexicans, in the wake of their social revolution and in the shadow of its powerful northern neighbor, respond to the rise of modernist architecture? We shall explore how Mexico's architectural modernism unfolded as part of its search for a renewed national identity as well as its full embrace of modernity, in Mexican, American hemispheric and global terms.


Jeanne Halgren Kilde, Ph.D, Director, Religious Studies Program, University of Minnesota


Myspace: God, Humanity, and World in Eero Saarinen’s Christian Architecture

Two churches and three college chapels constitute the entirety of Eero Saarinen’s religious architecture. Although limited in number, these buildings exhibit a distinctive philosophy of religion that for him defined a specific purpose for religious space and a resulting set of architectural strategies. This talk will explore this philosophy through Saarinen’s five Christian buildings and trace its connections to the religious and cultural contexts of post-World War II America that informed it.

Alastair Gordon, Contributing Editor, Architecture/Design at WSJ. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal; Co-Founder and Editorial Director, Gordon de Vries Studio, Multimedia Publishing Imprint


Naked Airport: Aviation and the Modernist Dream

Gordon will examine two of Saarinen's most famous airport projects, TWA and Dulles, in the context of a building typology unique to the 20th century.

Symposium Schedule:

10:00       Mina Marafet, PhD, AIA

11:00       Georg Leidenberger, PhD
12-1:30    Lunch
1:30        Jeanne Halgren Kilde, PhD 
2:30        Alastair Gordon 


Symposium moderators will be:

Morning Session

Cristina Carbone, PhDVisiting Assistant Professor, Hite Art Institute, University of Louisville; former curator of the Architecture, Design and Engineering Collections at the Library of Congress


Afternoon Session

Benjamin Hufbauer, PhDAssociate Professor of Art History, University of Louisville


*A Pre-Symposium Tour
Friday, January 17, 4 - 7pm

Starting at 4pm at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (715 W. Main St.), tour the exhibition Eero Saarinen: A Reputation for Innovation and speak with the curator Mina Marefat, PhD, AIA.

At 5:00pm, we will walk to the American Life building (471 W. Main St.), a 1973 structure designed by architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, for a tour. A cocktail reception will follow the tour. 

Have questions about Crafting Space Symposium: Modernist Currents in Mid-Century Architecture? Contact Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC)

When & Where

University of Louisville
2301 South 3rd Street
Life Sciences Bldg, Rm 101
Louisville, KY 40292

Saturday, January 18, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM (EST)

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Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC)

The Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft exhibits art that explores craft, emphazing materials, techniques, process and artistic expression. Local, regional, national, and international contemporary artists and folk artists are featured.

Large-scale exhibitions in three gallery spaces, including highlights from the permanent collection of American Folk Art, community centered Education studio offering hands-on art workshops, and Museum gift shop reknowned for hand-crafted works of art by Kentucky artisans.

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