Circle Book Group: "You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn" by Wendy Lesser

Sunday, Dec 10, 2017 10:15 am - 12:15 pm
Member's home in Cambridge. Email the BWC office info@circleboston.org, for the address.

 

You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn by Wendy Lesser

The first biography of the iconic American architect that delves fully into his life and work

Born to a Jewish family in Estonia in 1901 and brought to America in 1906, the architect Louis Kahn grew up in poverty in Philadelphia; by the time of his death in 1974, he was widely recognized as one of the greatest architects of his era. Yet this enormous reputation was based on only a handful of masterpieces, all built during the last fifteen years of his life.

Perfectly complementing Nathaniel Kahn’s award-winning documentary, My Architect, Wendy Lesser’s You Say to Brick is a major exploration of the architect’s life and work. Kahn, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century American architect, was a “public” architect. Eschewing the usual corporate skyscrapers, hotels, and condominiums, he focused on medical and educational research facilities, government centers, museums, libraries, parks, religious buildings, and other structures that would serve the public good. Yet this warm, captivating person, beloved by students and admired by colleagues, was also a secretive and mysterious character hiding behind a series of masks.

Drawing on extensive original research; lengthy interviews with his children, his colleagues, and his students; and travel to the far-flung sites of his career-defining buildings, Lesser has written a landmark biography of this elusive man, which reveals the mind behind some of the twentieth century's most celebrated architecture.
 
We meet from 10:15 AM until 12:15 PM, beginning with bagels, coffee and socializing. This is an open group that welcomes all readers interested in expanding their understanding of the wide variety of Jewish experiences throughout history and across the world.