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Zimmerman earns Graham Foundation grant for Photographic Modern Architecture

The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts announced its 2013 Grants to Individuals. Claire Zimmerman, Assistant Professor of Architecture (joint appointment with Art History), was selected from a pool of over 600 submissions for her publication titled, Photographic Modern Architecture.


A. and P. Smithson, architects, Hunstanton School, 1954, Norfolk, UK. Photograph by H. de Burgh Galwey. Courtesy of Architectural Press Archives, Royal Institute of British Architects.

Photographic Modern Architecture is a "picture anthropology" of twentieth-century architecture. The book describes the synergy between buildings and images of buildings that emerged with modernism, focusing on two interconnections. First, architectural photography as it circulated in printed media sparked debates about truth and representation in commercial marketing. At the same time, photography penetrated into architectural design and practice, creating lively discourse about abstraction, virtual space, and imageability. In the architecture of the post-1933 German diaspora (designed, constructed, or published before and after 1933), the visible appearance of buildings and the modalities of photographic images overlapped in consequential ways. Other books show how architecture depended on media for the circulation of ideas; this book shows how buildings themselves changed irrevocably and substantially as a direct result of interaction with the photographic image. The past conditions narrated here ramify through architecture today, when photographic media are no longer considered purely representational, but are instead understood to be generative.

For more information on this and other granted projects, visit the Graham Foundation website.

May 30, 2013


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