A profound thinker, painstaking artist, and one of the greatest architects in history, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1938, when he was already in his fifties and one of the recognized masters of his profession. Transplanted from the Bauhaus (of which he was the last director) to a technical institute in Chicago, from the European avant-garde to Midwestern steel mills, he embarked on an astonishing second career, in which he not only transformed his own building art, but eventually made a significant impact on the architecture of this continent.

Mies’s confrontation with American technology, and the three decades of evolution and achievement that resulted, are the subjects of Mies in America, organized by the CCA and the Whitney Museum of American Art with the cooperation of the Mies van der Rohe Archive, Museum of Modern Art, New York. It draws upon a wealth of archival material and recent scholarship to offer visitors a deeper immersion into Mies’s thought than has ever before been possible.

To trace the evolution of Mies’s career, Mies in America presents some 220 drawings made by Mies and members of his office; 60 photographs of Mies, his colleagues, and his projects; and models of four key buildings: the Resor House (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1937–38), the Convention Hall (Chicago, 1953–54), the Seagram Building (New York, 1954–58), and the New National Gallery (Berlin, 1962–68). An intellectual and artistic context is provided through presentations of books from Mies’s extensive library as well as works of art by Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Kurt Schwitters, which formed part of Mies’s noteworthy personal collection. The exhibition also presents new and commissioned work by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Guido Guidi, Richard Pare, and Ammar Eloueini.

Curator: Phyllis Lambert, CCA.
Exhibition design: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Chicago.
Co-organizer: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Selected objects

Film by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle




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