September 19, 2017

Living in America symposium: "Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem & Modern Housing"

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University

Frank Lloyd Wright and Taliesin Fellows, Broadacre City model, 1935. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art / Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

The question of how to live in America preoccupied many architects and planners—from Frank Lloyd Wright to the consortium behind Harlem’s first public housing proposals—in the mid-twentieth century. This symposium gathers housing scholars for a conversation that bridges what might otherwise seem like disparate realms of inquiry in order to reassess received histories and to provoke new questions about how we live in America, together, today.

September 28
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Titus Theater 2, 11 West 53rd Street

6pm, Viewing of Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive

7–8:30pm, "Where was Jim Crow? Living in Wright's America."
Symposium keynote presentation, Dianne Harris, University of Utah

Dianne Harris is Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Utah, where she is also a Professor in the History Department. She holds a PhD in Architectural History from the University of California, Berkeley. Her scholarship is united by an interest in the relationship between the built environment and the construction of racial and class identities. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, her award-winning publications include the co-edited volumes Villas and Gardens in Early Modern Italy and France (Cambridge University Press, 2001), and Sites Unseen: Landscape and Vision (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007). She is editor of a multidisciplinary volume on the Pennsylvania Levittown titled Second Suburb: Levittown, Pennsylvania (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010). She is the author of The Nature of Authority: Villa Culture, Landscape, and Representation in Eighteenth-Century Lombardy (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2003), and Maybeck’s Landscapes: Drawing in Nature (William Stout Publisher, 2005). Her most recent book, Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2013.

Please register before September 25 to adevents [​at​]

September 29
The Lantern at Columbia University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 West 129th Street (West of Broadway)

10am, Welcome

10:30am, Session 1
"The Meander and the Grid: At the Edge of American Urbanization," Shiben Banerji, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"The Airtight Cage: Race, Poverty, and Place at Midcentury," Jennifer Hock, Maryland Institute College of Art

11:45am, Session 2
"The Farmer in the Rearview Mirror: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Agrarianism," Joseph Watson, University of British Columbia
"Design and Social Movements: Architects, Activists, and the Modernist Discourse on Co-op City," Jana Cephas, University of Michigan

2pm, Session 3
"Landscapes of Control: Harlem’s Black Power Urbanism," Brian Goldstein, Swarthmore College
"Broadacre City Versus the 'Slum Solution'," Catherine Maumi, Grenoble School of Architecture

3:30pm, Session 4
"Living Separately: Managing Racial Segregation through Public Housing at Harlem River Houses," Kevin McGruder, Antioch College
"Liminal Spaces: Resisting the Laissez-faire Metropolis," Jennifer Gray, The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Please register via

Presented in association with the exhibition, Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem & Modern Housing, which has been curated by The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and is co-presented by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and and The Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, in correlation with Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, on view at The Museum of Modern Art, New York through October 1, 2017. Columbia University's School of the Arts is an additional sponsor for the symposium.

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