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Coming at Kahn 20 Years Apart with David Brownlee and Wendy Lesser

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Center for Architecture and Design

1218 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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How has our understanding of Kahn evolved over the last four decades? How do biographers and scholars approach a figure like Kahn? To learn more, please join David Brownlee, the Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kahn biographer Wendy Lesser as they discuss their unique perspectives on the life and work of Louis Kahn. Dr. Brownlee is a Kahn biographer and historian of modern architecture whose work has earned three major publication prizes from the Society of Architectural Historians, including the book Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture, that he co-wrote with David De Long. Ms. Lesser is a writer, critic and editor, whose most recent book is You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn. The conversation will be followed by a signing of Lesser’s book.

About Wendy Lesser

Wendy Lesser is the founder and editor of The Threepenny Review and the author of a novel and several previous books of nonfiction, including Why I Read (FSG, 2014), which garnered rave reviews from coast to coast. She has written for The New York Times Book Review, the London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, and other publications. To complete this biography, she was awarded one of the first National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar awards, the only one given to a Californian in 2015. Her newest book, You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn, was released by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in March of 2017.

About David B. Brownlee
David B. Brownlee, Ph.D., FSAH, is the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught for his entire career. A historian of modern architecture and urbanism in Europe and America, his many writings on Philadelphia topics include Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1989), Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture (with David G. De Long,1991), Making a Modern Classic: The Architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates: Architecture, Urbanism, Design (with David De Long and Kathryn Hiesinger, 2001), and The Barnes Foundation: Two Buildings, One Mission (2012). His scholarship has won five major publication awards, and he was named a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2015. Brownlee is a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.


Free and open to the public

RSVP suggested, walk-ins welcome

Event schedule:

Doors open: 5:30 pm

Conversation begins: 6:00 pm

Book signing: 7:30 - 8:00 pm

For questions about this program, please contact The Fabric Workshop and Museum at reservations@fabricworkshopandmuseum.org or (215) 561-8888.

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Center for Architecture and Design

1218 Arch Street

Philadelphia, PA 19107

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