Exhibition:Notes from the Archive: James Frazier Stirling, Architect and Teacher Print
Monday, 05 July 2010 07:38

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Siemens AG Headquarters, Munich, Germany: perspective, 1969–1970, ink, coloured pencil and graphite on paper, 47.3 x 61.9 cm;
Exhibitions at Yale Center for British Art and Yale School of Architecture assess the career and legacy of James Stirling.

When:
Yale Center for British Art: October 14, 2010–January 2, 2011
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal: Spring 2012

Notes from the Archive: James Frazier Stirling, Architect and Teacher will offer the first ever in-depth survey of the career of British architect, Yale School of Architecture professor, and Pritzker Prize laureate James Stirling (1926–1992). Stirling earned international acclaim through bold and innovative projects such as the Leicester University Engineering building (1959–63); the History Faculty building at Cambridge University (1964–67); the Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1977–84); the Clore Gallery for the Turner Collection at Tate Britain (1984); and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard University (1979–84).

More than three hundred of his original architectural drawings, models, and photographs drawn from the James Stirling/Michael Wilford Archive at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal (CCA) are featured in the Center’s exhibition. Together the works reveal the range of Stirling’s approach to architectural languages as well as the fundamental importance of British architecture to his work.

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James Stirling, Michael Wilford, and Associates, Bibliothèque de France, Paris, France: presentation model, 1989, paint, wood, molded plastic and metal
Stirling’s work has been interpreted by historians and critics in a number of varied, and often conflicting, ways. Some have seen it move through a series of eclectic modern styles; others have insisted that he was a steadfast Modernist. Some have noted his allegiance to British “functionalism,” while still others have proposed a fundamental break with Modernism in the mid-sixties. Curated by Anthony Vidler, Dean and Professor of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union, Modernism in Crisis will deepen knowledge of Stirling’s unique approach to the design process and demonstrate continuity in his work from his early days as a student to his final projects.

In addition to more than three hundred original objects, images and designs, this survey also includes audio recordings and lecture notes—written on the back of design studio assignments and jotted on postcards, index cards, and hotel stationery—from Stirling’s time as a teacher at Yale.

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James Frazer Stirling, View of oast house, United Kingdom, 1950s–1970s, gelatin silver print, 6.9 x 9.9 cm
Themes: The exhibition will open with a selection of Stirling’s most important built and projected works, illustrating his qualities as a designer and the triumphs and setbacks of his career. It will then examine Stirling’s work at the Liverpool School of Architecture, his struggle to define a post-Corbusian vocabulary through experiments in regional vernaculars, his invention of a range of new typologies for university and museum buildings, his development of urban assemblages, and his talent for design development through drawing. The fi nal section will focus on key aspects of Stirling as teacher.

Credits: Modernism in Crisis: James Frazer Stirling, Architect and Teacher has been organized jointly by the Yale Center for British Art and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, and curated by Anthony Vidler, Dean and Professor of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union. The organizing curator at the Yale Center for British Art is Eleanor Hughes, Associate Curator and Head of Exhibitions and Publications.

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House for the Architect: presentation model, ca. 1949, paper, burlap, cork, plastic, metal, thread, ink, gouache, wood fi bre board, 6 x 26 x 26 cm (largest)
Publication: The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated publication authored by Anthony Vidler. The book will interpret the James Stirling/Michael Wilford Archive at the CCA as a living document of Stirling’s attempts to broaden the language of Modernism while remaining faithful to his twin precepts of “accommodation” and “association.” While not a catalogue of the exhibition, this publication follows the themes of the exhibit and develops the interpretation of Stirling’s contribution to the history and vocabulary of modern architecture that is presented in the show. It is published by the Yale Center for British Art and Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal, in association with Yale University Press.

Concurrent exhibition:

 

An Architect’s Legacy: James Stirling’s Students at Yale, 1959-1983
October 13, 2010–February 11, 2011, Yale School of Architecture

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James Stirling and Partner, Roma Interrotta exhibition, Rome, Italy: fi nal drawing, between 1977 and 1979, ink on reprographic copy, 88.5 x 139 cm (irreg.)
This exhibition, organized by the Yale School of Architecture, will review the studio work created under Stirling’s tutelage for almost a quarter century through some three hundred architectural drawings by approximately seventy students, including Robert Finkle ’60, Der Scutt ’61, George Turnbull ’74, Louise Braverman ’77, Brian Healy ’81, Frank Lupo ’82, and Marion Weiss ’84. A video documentary accompanying the show will constitute an oral history of Stirling’s teaching at Yale. An Architect’s Legacy has been curated by Emmanuel Petit, Associate Professor, Yale School of Architecture, and designed by Dean Sakamoto, Director of Exhibitions, Yale School of Architecture.

The Yale Center for British Art
The Center houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom. Presented to the University by Paul Mellon (Yale College Class of 1929), the collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, rare books, and manuscripts reflects the development of British art, life, and thought from the Elizabethan period onward. The Center offers a number of opportunities for scholarly research, such as residential fellowships. Academic resources of the Center include the Reference Library, Conservation Laboratories, and Study Room for examining prints, drawings, rare books, and manuscripts from the collection. An affiliated institution in London, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, awards grants and fellowships, publishes academic titles, and sponsors Yale’s first credit-granting undergraduate study abroad program, Yale-in-London.

Biography: Kames Frazer Stirling

 

 

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sketches, 1975; James Stirling (Firm)
Born April 22, 1926, in Glasgow, James Stirling was the son of a ship’s engineer and a schoolteacher. He spent his childhood in Liverpool and, after service in World War II, studied architecture at Liverpool University in the late 1940s, notably with Colin Rowe. (Stirling graduated from Liverpool in 1950.) While working in London for Lyons, Israel & Ellis, he met and soon went into partnership with James Gowan (b. 1923), with whom he produced projects that brought the fi rm international notoriety in the 1960s, including the Leicester University Engineering building, Leicester (1959–63) and the History Faculty building at Cambridge University (1964–67). After the dissolution of the partnership with Gowan in 1963, Stirling set up his own practice in London. Michael Wilford, who had joined the fi rm of Stirling and Gowan as a Senior Assistant in 1960, continued working with Stirling after 1963. In 1971, Wilford became a partner in the firm.

Stirling remained in London, and his work between 1971 and 1992—alone and in partnership with Michael Wilford—includes competition entries and built works throughout the world. The commission for the highly influential Neue Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart (1977–84), won in competition, mingled abstract references to Neoclassical building types and became the hallmark of an intensely individual style, balanced between tradition and modernity.

After the Staatsgalerie, Stirling once again received major commissions in England—the Clore Gallery for the Turner Collection at the Tate Britain, London (1980–86), the Tate Liverpool (1984), and No. 1 Poultry in London (1986). His work revealed a particular interest in public spaces, and the meanings that façades and building masses can assume in a constrained urban context. The last building completed while Stirling was alive was the bookshop in the gardens of the Venice Biennale (completed 1991).

Stirling was the Davenport Visiting Professor of Design at the Yale School of Architecture from 1966 to 1984.

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British Olivetti Headquarters, Milton Keynes, England: interior perspective, 1970-74, ink, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 41.6 x 55.1 cm
Throughout his career, he received numerous awards and other expressions of public acclaim for his work. He was made an honorary member of the Akademie der Kunste in Berlin in 1969, an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1976, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1979. He received the Royal Institute of

British Architects Gold Medal in 1980 and the Pritzker Architecture Prize (modeled after the Nobel Prize) in 1981.

Images are from the James Stirling/Michael Wilford fonds, Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal

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Last Updated on Friday, 04 March 2011 08:05