For Claire Zimmerman, studying architect Albert Kahn provides a way to discuss architecture’s role in the built environment, in the public good, and in addressing substantial global problems.
Zimmerman, associate professor of history of art and architecture, and 2016-17 faculty fellow at the Institute for the Humanities, is spending her year at the institute working on a book tentatively titled Architecture as Building: the Kahns of Detroit, 1905-1945. Her project aims to transform our understanding of Kahn’s work, identifying his contributions both to architecture and to post-WWII US politics.
In conjunction with the book project, Zimmerman has curated Albert Kahn: Under Construction, an exhibition that documents the progress of Kahn’s work through documentary photographs shot at different stages of construction. The exhibition debuted at the U-M Museum Art and involved the loan of archival photographic prints from the Bentley Library and Albert Kahn Associates. Now, a digital version of the exhibition, using five projectors to animate the reels of photographs, is on view at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) in Southfield, Michigan.
On March 3, Zimmerman will give a talk at LTU as part of the research symposium “Albert Kahn: From the Archives.” The exhibition runs through March 3.