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National Academy Museum Opens Parabolas to Post-Modern: Architecture from the Collection

Change, evolution, and refinement in postwar American architecture is the subject of the National Academy Museum exhibition, Parabolas to Post-Modern: Architecture from the Collection. The exhibition, which runs from September 16 – December 31, 2011, is among the Academy’s six reopening exhibitions following renovations. The Academy has been closed since July 2010.

In a related event, on October 19, 2011, the Academy hosts the inaugural “Architects in Conversation” series, pairing a prominent architect with a critic. The inaugural speakers are 2005 Pritzker Architectural Prize Laureate and National Academician Thom Mayne and author, Pulitzer Prize finalist, and former New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff.

Parabolas to Post-Modern presents approximately 40 drawings, renderings, models, and numerous photographs by modern and contemporary architects who were or are members of the National Academy. The works in the exhibition are drawn from the Academy’s extensive but rarely seen architectural holdings of Diploma presentations, or works presented by the architects upon induction to the Academy.

The exhibition reveals influences and reactions in the works of noted architects as they defined modernism and developed new idioms as the 20st century progressed and the 21st century dawned. Beginning with a photograph of the seminal Equitable Building, Portland, Oregon by Pietro Belluschi and continuing with period photographs of Philip Johnson’s masterpiece of modernism, the Glass House and moving up through Laurinda Spear’s twisting Westin New York at Times Square, New York, and Billie Tsien’s Façade Relief Study Model, Barnes Foundation Building, Parabolas to Post-Modern provides a striking review of some of the highlights of postwar architecture in the United States.

Highlights of the exhibition include:
• Eero Saarinen, TWA Terminal in New York (1962, gelatin silver print)

• I.M. Pei, S.I. Newhouse Communications Center, Syracuse University (1964, gelatin silver print) • Kevin Roche, College Life Insurance Building, Indianapolis (1969-72, gelain silver print)

• Robert A. M. Stern, Neoclassical Farmhouse (Oldham County, Kentucky) (1983, mixed media

• Frank O. Gehry, Wilton Residence Guest House (1986, pen on paper) • Rafael Viňoly, Tokyo International Forum (ca. 1993, crayon on paper)

• Bartholomew Voorsanger, Montana House (ca. 2004, basswood and bronze model)

1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street Admission: Adults: $12; Seniors (65+) and students with valid ID: $7, Children under 12, members, and students of the National Academy School: free

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