Case Study Houses: Blueprints for Modern Living at Mid-Century
Paul I. Cripe Charitable Foundation, Inc. Lecture
Monday, April 19, 7:00 PM
7:00 P.M. - Lawrence J. Plym Auditorium
Temple Hoyne Buell Hall
James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
The Case Study House program, spearheaded by the magazine Arts & Architecture from 1945 until 1966, produced some of the best-known residential works of mid-century, including the Charles and Ray Eames house and studio of 1949 as well as built and unbuilt works by Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, Craig Elwood, and Ralph Rapson. A series of experimental, technologically-innovative house designs intended as low-cost prototypes, the program's goal was to influence public taste and the building industry towards acceptance of modern architecture during the years of the post-World War II building boom. These houses, and the spirit behind them, continue to serve as a model for architects committed to reductive, yet experimental, modes of residential design and construction.
About the Lecturer
Elizabeth Smith is James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, where she has oversight of the MCA’s exhibition program and collection. Smith joined the MCA in February of 1999 after more than 15 years as a curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles where she curated and co-organized numerous exhibitions including At the End of the Century: 100 Years of Architecture and Cindy Sherman: Retrospective. Recent projects at MCA include an exhibition of sculpture by Katharina Fritsch, Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture (co-curated with Francesco Bonami), and The Architecture of R.M. Schindler, guest-curated for MOCA, Los Angeles. Smith was also Adjunct Professor in the School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California and has published and lectured extensively on a wide variety of topics in contemporary art and architecture.