Visiting Scholar Seminar: Harry Mallgrave

1968: Trauma or Death of Modernism?
Seminar, 14 March 2003

Visiting Scholar Harry Mallgrave presents his research.

From the close of World War II until sometime in the middle of the 1960s two grand ideas ruled the architectural profession. One was a political faith in the vision of modernity – by affecting social change and imposing a universal environmental order architects could improve the human lot and repair a globe wrought by physical and moral devastation. The second was the belief that the most efficient way to achieve this amelioration was through technology and its application. Stating these ideals in less prosaic terms, one might say that the technological vision of a unified modernity had for two decades enchanted the mistress of architecture.

However, 1968 became the quintessential year when it all came tumbling down with protests, riots, political upheaval all over Europe and America, whose inherent paradoxes were, for many observers, seemingly underwhelming. Neither did the once high aspirations of modern architects elude the sound and fury of this year. Champions of modernity and progress, with all of their benign hopes for creating a better world, had, up until this time, presented a nearly unified vision of the future. This noble professional persona, along with its utopian influences, lay fractured in ways that no one as yet fully understood. Not only was this mantra of common purpose and technological progress soon to be rejected by the younger members of the profession, but – even more unsettling – the mistress of architecture would indeed leave the household. She could no longer go home.

Harry Mallgrave was trained as an architect and received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. For the past seventeen years he has served as the editor of the Text & Documents Series for the Getty Research Institute. He has also been a visiting professor to several universities. His most recent book, which has been in progress for eight years, is a translation of Gottfried Semper’s two-volume “Style in the Technical and Tectonic Arts, or Practice Aesthetics” (1860-63). It is due to be released by the Getty Publications Program in the spring of 2003.

Harry Mallgrave was a Visiting Scholar at the CCA in 2002-2003.


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

This email was permanently deleted from our database. If you’d like to resubscribe with this email, please contact us

Please complete the form below to buy:
[Title of the book, authors]
ISBN: [ISBN of the book]
Price [Price of book]

First name
Last name
Address (line 1)
Address (line 2) (optional)
Postal code
Email address
Phone (day) (optional)

Thank you for placing an order. We will contact you shortly.

We’re not able to process your request at the moment. Please try again later.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least 2 weeks for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least 48 hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)