SAH News

SAH Partners with Chicago Humanities Festival to Present “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Human”

by User Not Found | Sep 16, 2013
Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy discussed in talk with architect Jeanne Gang and SAH members Barry Bergdoll and Dianne Harris on November 10

Jeanne Gang, Barry Bergdoll, Dianne Harris
The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is partnering with the Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) to present the discussion “Frank Lloyd Wright’s Modern Human,” on November 10, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., at Northwestern University School of Law. The program is offered as part of the 24th Annual Chicago Humanities Festival, which will explore the theme of Animal: What Makes Us Human. 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs can be found all over the United States, including the Robie House in Chicago and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. As a junior draftsman, Wright assisted Louis Sullivan with his design of the Charnley-Persky House, which today serves as SAH’s headquarters. Wright’s work went beyond the creation of beautiful and functional buildings—he saw architecture as a way to transform individuals and society through the built environment.

Barry Bergdoll and architect Jeanne Gang will explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s legacy in a conversation informed by and showcasing the newly available Wright archive, recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. From 2007 to 2013, Bergdoll served as The Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, where he continues to work as acting chief curator. He is also the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Architectural History at Columbia University. Gang is founder and principal of Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects and has produced such innovative and award-winning architecture as the Aqua Tower (named the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year), Northerly Island framework plan, Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo and Columbia College’s Media Production Center. Their discussion will be moderated by Dianne Harris, director of the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and professor of landscape architecture, architecture, art history, and history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Both Bergdoll and Harris are members and recent past presidents of SAH.

Tickets are currently on sale and may be purchased at or through the CHF Box Office at 312-494-9509, Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

This program is underwritten by Herman Miller and is presented in partnership with the Society of Architectural Historians and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University.

Northwestern University School of Law
Thorne Auditorium
375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Teachers and Students: $5
General Admission: $15
Purchase tickets at:


The Society of Architectural Historians promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by vocation or avocation, focus on the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. To learn more about SAH or to join, visit

The Chicago Humanities Festival began in 1989 as a dream shared by a determined group of Chicago’s cultural leaders eager to extend the riches of the humanities to everyone. Since that first year, some of the world's most exciting thinkers, artists, and performers have come to Chicago each fall for a festival that celebrates ideas in the context of civic life. Past Festival themes include Laughter, The Body, tech knowledge, America, and this year’s Animal: What Makes Us Human, Oct. 13, 20, and Nov. 1–10, 2013. Under the leadership of Executive Director Phillip Bahar and Artistic Director Matti Bunzl, CHF partners with Chicago’s premier cultural institutions and the festival has become an annual highlight for thousands of people from Chicago and beyond. In addition to the annual fall festival, CHF also presents the spring Stages, Sights & Sounds, a global performance festival for families, students, and theatergoers of any age, and programs throughout the year that encourage the study and enjoyment of the humanities. Visit for more information.

Columbia University's Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the interdisciplinary study of American architecture, urbanism and landscape. A separately endowed entity within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, it sponsors research projects, workshops, public programs, publications and awards.

In recognition of its overlapping constituencies, which include academics, professionals, and the general public, the Buell Center has recently pursued initiatives that explore architecture's participation in the public sphere. These include an ongoing series of discussions among architects and architectural critics regarding architecture's responsibilities and potential today, conferences and seminars that explore new approaches to the study of American architecture and a sustained effort to help catalyze a new, national conversation about issues of general concern such as public housing. Follow us on Twitter: @buellcenter

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SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
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Chicago, Illinois 60610
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