Tuesday, March 24, 2009

University to Create a Digital Edition of Breuer's Work

Society of Architectural Historians

Syracuse University Library awarded $350,000 NEH grant for Marcel Breuer digital project

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded the Syracuse University Library a $350,000 grant to create a digital scholarly edition of the works of Bauhaus architect Marcel Breuer. The project, entitled "Marcel Breuer, Architect: Life and Work, 1922-1955" will run from May 2009 through April 2011 and culminate in the release of the web-based edition in May 2011.

Breuer began donating his papers to Syracuse University Library more than 40 years ago, in 1964. Today, the Syracuse Breuer collection includes thousands of original oversized drawings and blueprints, correspondence and photographs.

Upon Breuer's death in 1981, his widow donated many of his remaining papers to the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art. This NEH-funded project will unite these geographically separate collections in an online edition of 50,000 items. It will also incorporate Breuer materials from other international archival repositories.

Based in the Library's Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) and led by its director, Sean Quimby, the project is a partnership with SU's School of Architecture (SOA). SOA students and faculty will assist with usability testing as the web project develops. SOA faculty member Jonathan Massey, along with Barry Bergdoll, Philip Johnson Chief Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, will serve on an advisory board.

"The Breuer project will not only enable a new generation of Breuer scholarship, it will open a whole new set of questions about the profile and issues of American modernism from the 1930s through the late 1970s," Bergdoll said in a letter supporting the proposal.

Contact sah_l@hotmail.com for more info.