Kimbell Art Museum to host exhibit dedicated to original architect

From March 26 to June 25, the Kimbell Art Museum will host an exhibit dedicated to the original architect of the museum.

Louis Kahn was an award winning architect commissioned to be the museum’s architect in 1966.

“The Kimbell’s Kahn-designed building is acknowledged the world over as an architectural masterpiece,” said Eric Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum, in a press release about the exhibit. “Visitors who come to this exhibition will get to know Kahn, the architect, and follow him on the thrilling journey that led to the vision for the Kimbell Art Museum.”

There will be about 450 different pieces shown in the exhibit, including original drawings, photos, films and models of his various projects.

The highlight of the exhibit will be a 12-foot model of City Tower, said Jennifer Price, the exhibit’s curator. The tower was to be included in the city renewal project in Philadelphia, but the project was stopped due to a lack of funds.

Louis Kahn in front of a model of the City Tower Project in an exhibition at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, February 1958.
Louis Kahn in front of a model of the City Tower Project in an exhibition at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, February 1958.

The exhibit, called “Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture,” was organized by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein in Germany and has been on an international tour since 2013.

The Kimbell will be the second to last museum on the tour.

The Kimbell is also the sole venue for another exhibit dedicated to Louis Kahn: “The Color of Light, The Treasury of Shadows: Pastels by Louis I. Kahn from the Collections of His Children.”

This exhibit focuses on a three-month period when Kahn was the Architect in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

Away from the daily concerns of his practice, Kahn was able to make pastels that are seen as, “the most sublime examples of his drawings,” according to the museum’s press release.

The pieces for the exhibit were donated by Kahn’s children, Sue Ann, Alexandra Tyng, and Nathaniel Kahn.

Kahn was active for about 20 years before he began teaching at Yale University in 1947.  Ten years later he moved to Philadelphia where he worked at the University of Pennsylvania until he died in 1974.