Cornell Festschrift honors Colin Rowe, one of architecture's most influential scholars

Colin Rowe, one of architecture's most influential scholars and one of its leading commentators, will be honored with a Festschrift April 26-28 at Cornell University.

Rowe, the Andrew Dickson White Professor of Architecture Emeritus, taught at Cornell from 1962 to 1990. He will speak April 28 at 10:30 a.m. in Schwartz Auditorium, Rockefeller Hall. The Festschrift, an academic tribute reserved for noted faculty, will attract scholars and practitioners from across the United States and Great Britain and feature four major addresses, a panel discussion and eight papers delivered by Rowe's former students and colleagues. Many of the activities will examine the teaching of architecture education and urban design, issues of importance to Rowe.

The four addresses, which will be held in Schwartz Auditorium, will be given by:

  • George Baird, professor of architecture in the Harvard Graduate School of Design, April 26 at 4:45 p.m., on "Opposition."
  • Peter Eisenman '55, principal of Eisenman Architects in New York, April 26 at 8 p.m., "Figuring the Ground."
  • Robert Maxwell, professor emeritus in the Department of Architecture, Princeton University, April 27 at 1:45 p.m., "The Animated Archive."
  • Henry Millon, dean of the Center for Advanced Studies in Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., April 27 at 8:30 p.m., "Colin Rowe: Early Works."

A panel discussion, "On Architectural Education," will be held April 27 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in Schwartz Auditorium. Participants include: Judy DiMaio '75, professor of architecture at Yale University; Anthony Eardley, dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Toronto; Lee Hodgden, Cornell professor of architecture; Robert Maxwell, professor emeritus in the Department of Architecture, Princeton University; Werner Seligmann '55, former dean of Syracuse University College of Architecture; John Shaw, Cornell professor of architecture; Robert Slutzky, professor of the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania; Jerry Wells, Cornell professor of architecture; and Judy Wolin '68, chair of the Department of Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Rowe, who taught at Cornell in four different decades, received one of architecture's highest honors last year when he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal of Architecture by Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The medal cited Rowe as the "most significant architectural teacher of the second half of the 20th century" and "one of Modern Architecture's most consistent and inspired critics."

The British-born architect and scholar was saluted in 1983 for his "contribution to the development of architectural theory in our time" with election as an honorary fellow of the RIBA. Two years earlier, Rowe was awarded a special medal by the American Institute of Architects for his "seminal influence on architecture in this country." Rowe's early essays in the Architectural Review were the first to relate modern architecture to architecture of the past. In subsequent scholarly pieces on cubism and modern architecture he further developed his theories, and is the author of several books, including, Collage City (MIT Press, 1978), which shifted the focus from individual buildings to whole cities; The Mathematics of the Ideal Villa and Other Essays (MIT Press, 1976); The Architecture of Good Intentions (Academy, 1994); and As I Was Saying: Recollections and Miscellaneous Essays (MIT Press, 1996).

The Festschrift is one of many activities to be held this year in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning.

For further information, please call Gail Kolbe in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning's Public Affairs Office at (607) 255-6808.

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