Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen (Yale University) and Nicola Suthor (Yale University), “Untimely Moderns: How 20th Century Architecture Reimagined the Past” (School of Architecture)

Event time: 
Monday, October 30, 2023 - 6:30pm
Rudolph Hall 322, 180 York Street See map
Event description: 
Professor Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen discusses her new book Untimely Moderns: How Twentieth-Century Architecture Reimagined the Past (Yale University Press, 2023) with a response by Professor Nicola Suthor (History of Art).
About the book: Through much of the twentieth century, a diverse group of thinkers engaged in an interdisciplinary conversation about the meaning of time and history for modern art and architecture. The group included architects Louis Kahn, Everett Victor Meeks, James Gamble Rogers, Paul Rudolph, and Eero Saarinen; artists Anni and Josef Albers; philosopher Paul Weiss; and art historians Henri Focillon, George Kubler, Sibyl Moholy-Nagy, and Vincent Scully. These figures were unified by their resistance to the idea that, to be considered modern, art and architecture had to be of its time, as well as by the pivotal role that Yale University held as a backdrop to their thinking.
These thinkers sponsored a new kind of approach, one that Eeva-Liisa Pelkonen terms “untimely,” emphasizing a departure from a sequential course of events. Ideas about temporal duration, new tradition, the presence of the past, and the shape of time were among the concepts they explored. With an interdisciplinary focus, Pelkonen reveals previously unexplored connections among key figures of American intellectual and artistic culture at midcentury whose works and words would shape modern architecture.