Events June 2024

Farnsworth House, 1985. Photo: Jon Miller, courtesy Phaidon
Farnsworth House during a period of neglect, 1967. Photo: Jim Zanzi, courtesy Phaidon
Edith Farnsworth's desk. Photo: William Zbaren, courtesy Phaidon

The Edith Farnsworth House: Architecture, Preservation, Culture

June 20, 2024

AIANY and DOCOMOMO US/New York Tri-State are hosting a discussion on The Edith Farnsworth House: Architecture, Preservation, Culture, releasing June 5 from Phaidon.

One of the most famous residences in modern history, a glass and steel marvel that seems to float above its site, the Edith Farnsworth House (1951) had been legendary in the public imagination long before it could be widely accessed. The new book charts the house’s original design by Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969) and periods of neglect, flooding, and new ownership by Lord Peter Palumbo. Now publicly accessible and celebrating 20 years of being owned and administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this icon of modern architecture commissioned by client and patron Edith Farnsworth now gets its due. The Edith Farnsworth House is one of the most prized residences in modern architectural history, whose sometimes fraught history culminates in its publicly accessible life today.

The book, which newly foregrounds the key role of client Edith Farnsworth, is written and edited by Michelangelo Sabatino, who contributes deep expertise on modernist architecture, and includes an essay by architectural historian Dietrich Neumann, excerpts of Edith Farnsworth’s unpublished memoir, as well as interviews with Mies’s grandson Dirk Lohan, and the house’s second owner, Lord Peter Palumbo. Published in association with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the book is a trove of cultural and visual history, and includes photographs by Hedrich Blessing, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Annie Leibovitz, in addition to documentation of cultural collaborations with artists, designers, and performance troupes such as Virgil Abloh, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Gerard & Kelly.

Alice Friedman, PhD, Grace Slack McNeil Professor Emerita of American Art; Professor Emerita of Art, Wellesley College
Michelangelo Sabatino, Author, The Edith Farnsworth House: Architecture, Preservation, Culture. He serves on the Board of Directors of Docomomo US.

Barry Bergdoll, Hon. AIANY, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University

Thursday June 20, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
AIANY Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, NY