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Author's Forum Presents Photographic Architecture in the Twentieth Century: A Conversation with Claire Zimmerman and Krisztina Fehervary

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
12:00 AM
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, 913 S. University, Library Gallery, #100

One hundred years ago, architects found in the medium of photography—so good at representing a building’s lines and planes—a necessary way to promote their practices. It soon became apparent, however, that photography did more than reproduce what it depicted. It altered both subject and reception, as architecture in the twentieth century was enlisted as a form of mass communication.

Claire Zimmerman reveals how photography profoundly influenced architectural design in the past century, playing an instrumental role in the evolution of modern architecture. Her “picture anthropology” demonstrates how buildings changed irrevocably and substantially through their interaction with photography, beginning with the emergence of mass-printed photographically illustrated texts in Germany before World War II and concluding with the postwar age of commercial advertising. –University of Minnesota Press

Claire Zimmerman is associate professor of the history of art and architecture at the University of Michigan. Current research interests include architecture as it interacts with commerce and industry, and the infrastructures of globalization that underpinned the spread of modern architecture throughout the 20th c, starting with photography. She recently co-curated an exhibition at Tate Britain titled New Brutalist Image 1949-1955 with Victoria Walsh, Royal College of Art. A developing research project on the Detroit architect Albert Kahn will be featured in an exhibition at UMMA in February 2016, titled Albert Kahn under Construction.

Krisztina Fehérváry is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan. Her research interests include consumer and material culture, political economy, middle-class culture, built environment, domestic space, body, transformations, film and popular culture, Hungary, postsocialist states. Her recent book, Politics in Color and Concrete:  Socialist Materialities and the Middle Class in Hungary, won the William A. Douglass Book Prize, awarded by the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, American Anthropological Association, and honorable mention for the Davis Center Book Prize, awarded annually by the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies.

The Author's Forum is a collaboration between the U-M Institute for the Humanities, University Library, & Ann Arbor Book Festival.