On Center: The Late Architectural Philosophy of Louis I. Kahn as Expressed in the Yale Center for British Art
Written by Jules David Prown
Published by the Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press
48 pages, 6 x 9, 22 color illustrations, clothbound, ISBN: 978-0-300-25528-7
Publication date: December 2020
There have been several extensive studies of the many iconic works of renowned architect Louis I. Kahn (1901–1974), but few focus on the full expression of his architectural philosophy. Relying on direct quotations from Kahn himself, this book features the architect’s most essential ideas as they are articulated in Kahn’s impressive final work: the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut. Author Jules David Prown precisely demonstrates, with photographs and illustrations, how Kahn’s aesthetic concepts are manifested in the structure and attributes of the Center.
Prown, the first director of the Center, was instrumental in the selection of Kahn as the new building’s architect in 1969 and was alongside him throughout the processes of planning and construction until 1974, the year of Kahn’s death, five years before the Center’s completion. An earlier book coedited by Prown, Louis I. Kahn in Conversation: Interviews with John W. Cook and Heinrich Klotz: 1969–70 (Yale University Press, 2015), is based on a transcript of Kahn’s interview with two young architectural historians and is the source for the quotations that appear in this book. Prown, Paul Mellon Professor Emeritus of the History of Art in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, is also the author of The Architecture of the Yale Center for British Art (Yale University Press, 2009).
The series On Center explores the collections, history, and professional activities of the Yale Center for British Art, the largest collection of British art outside the United Kingdom.