10.9.12 Brian Conway to speak on Michigan Modern
Ann Arbor to Celebrate Modernism October 9
As Part of a National Observance Honoring Modern Design
ANN ARBOR – State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway will be at the Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor on October 9, 7:00 p.m., to discuss the pivotal role Michigan played in the development of Modernism. The event is being hosted by a2modern as part of Docomomo US Tour Day Event, which raises the awareness of and appreciation for buildings, interiors, neighborhoods and landscapes designed in the United States during the mid-20th century. Docomomo is an organization devoted to the documentation and conservation of buildings of the modern movement. The group a2modern has the same mission for architecture in Ann Arbor.
Conway will discuss MichiganModern™, the State Historic Preservation Office’s (SHPO’s) effort to make people aware of the important role Michigan played internationally in the development of Modernism. “Michigan’s influence on Modernism began with the design and construction of automobile factories as early as 1907. The clean lines, materials, and construction techniques used to build factories inspired the architecture that came later and flourished during the post-World War II period,” said Conway. “After the war there was a convergence of ideas and people at places like the Cranbrook Academy, the University of Michigan, in the automobile companies, and in the furniture industry that resulted in Michigan having a huge impact on design.”
The SHPO will host a four-day symposium at Cranbrook and is partnering with the Cranbrook Academy of Art on an exhibition, Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America, which will open during the symposium June 13-16, 2013.
“Just as with the development of modernism in Michigan, the effort to educate people about Michigan’s role in Modernism is a collaborative effort. We want communities throughout the state to recognize modern buildings that might otherwise go unnoticed,” said Conway.
“The goal of a2modern, and with this event, is to facilitate the understanding and appreciation of this rich history in Ann Arbor, which is the home of the University of Michigan where many of the forward thinking educators were teaching and researching at mid-century,” said a2modern co-founder Nancy Deromedi.
In June 2010, a group of homeowners, architects and enthusiasts joined together in Ann Arbor with the goal to raise the awareness of and appreciation for mid-century architecture and design. Through its activities, a2modern celebrates the accomplishments of the architects, designers, builders and homeowners in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan and the U-M provided access to the advancements in engineering and building materials, as well as the forward-thinking architects and educators that brought modernism to the area. These mid-century architects with domestic modern works in the area include George B. Brigham, Robert Metcalf, David W. Osler, James Livingston, Alden B. Dow, Walter Sanders, William Muschenheim, Edward Olencki, Joseph Albano, Joe T.A. Lee, Robert Pond, Herb Johe and Tivadar Balogh.
In addition to the MICHIGANMODERN endeavor, the State Historic Preservation Office leads the effort to protect Michigan’s historic built environment and archaeological sites by collaborating with government partners, developers, nonprofits, and other interested parties. Other SHPO programs include the National Register of Historic Places, the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program, and the Michigan Lighthouse Assistance Program. For information about these programs and more, visit Michigan.gov/shpo.
For information about the Ann Arbor event visit www.a2modern.org. For information about the MICHIGANMODERN project, go to michiganmodern.org. For information about all docomomo events held celebrating modernism see http://www.docomomo-us.org/events/tour_day_2012.