David B. Brownlee, Frances-Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor in the department of the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, will present a free lecture titled “The Kimbell Effect: The Place of the Kimbell Art Museum in the History of Modern Architecture” on Friday, November 2, at 6 p.m., in the museum auditorium. No reservations required.
Louis I. Kahn declared that the Kimbell Art Museum, completed in 1972, was his favorite building. For 40 years, the Kimbell has remained one of the most influential works of 20th-century art and architecture. In this free lecture, Brownlee will address the diverse reactions of other architects inspired by the classical feeling of Kahn’s late work as well as the immense impact Kahn’s naturally lit spaces had on modern architecture. Perhaps the greatest mark of the Kimbell’s importance is that it has influenced many powerful designs that do not at first glance seem to resemble it, from Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown’s Sainsbury Wing at the London National Gallery to the complex spatial vortex of Frank Gehry’s Disney Concert Hall.
Brownlee received the American Institute of Architects’ International Architecture Book Award and the Society of Architectural Historians’ Architectural Exhibition Catalogue Award for Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture. He has curated exhibitions, organized conferences, and delivered lectures at many universities and institutions. Among his many honors are the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the College Alumni Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Pennsylvania.