Exhibit pays homage to the achievements of 21 architects of New Canaan
NEW CANAAN — The inside of the 19th century stone Carriage Barn has been transformed into a time capsule replete with mid-20th century architectural designs, photography and memorabilia to celebrate the unique styles of 21 modern architects who lived in New Canaan at some point in their lives.
Alan Goldberg FAIA, curator of the exhibit, attended the private preview of the event the evening of Nov. 3. “I wanted people to know that New Canaan was the home to more modern architects than the well published Harvard Five. Sixteen more, to be exact, an extraordinary number for a small town.”
The idea for the exhibit came when Goldberg was rummaging through his belongings. “I was cleaning out my office and came across graphing tools that I used everyday and my old computer. There are some advantages to manual drafting as it takes time to execute and there’s a connection between brain and hand.”
A collection of some of the architects’ business cards was on display as well as the curator’s 2005 IBM Lenovo ThinkPad laptop computer and his 1949 college essay on the theory of architecture.
“Michael [Biondo] saw these things and said that we ought to do a town-wide celebration for modern architects,” Goldberg said. “He said he could have the Carriage Barn host it and what you see is what we came up with.”
List of 21 Architects
Marcel Breuer 1902-198
Philip Johnson 1906-2005
Willis Mills, Sr . 1908-1995
Willis Mills, Jr. 1933-
William Pedersen 1908-1990
Eliot Noyes 1910-1977
Victor Christ-Janer 1915-2008
John Johansen 1916-2012
Landes Gores 1919-1991
Hugh Smallen 1920-2011
Michael Irving 1923-2002
Fielding Bowman 1924-2004
John Black Lee 1924-2016
Laszlo Papp 1929-
Zane Yost 1930-2011
Alan Goldberg 1931-
Gary Lindstrom 1932-1980
Richard Bergmann 1935-
Do Chung 1939-
Christopher Moomaw 1940-
Malcolm Robertson 1943-
Biondo, producer of the exhibit and president of the Carriage Barn board of trustees, also attended the private preview.
“I have been working with Alan on this project for about six months,” Biondo said. “Our hope is that maybe this show could travel to another venue at some other time.”
A documentary by Devon Chivvis, a New Canaan native filmmaker and photographer, titled “The Harvard 5” portrayed the architectural works of these post-World War II designers.
The 21 architects displayed included members of the recognized ‘Harvard Five’ though Goldberg said the celebration was of 21 individuals, regardless of schools or affiliations.
The Harvard Five was a group of architects that settled in New Canaan in the 1940s that included John M. Johansen, Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, Philip Johnson and Eliot Noyes. Breuer was an instructor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, while Gores, Johansen, Johnson and Noyes were students there.
Sharon Stevenson, a Carriage Barn trustee, said she was thrilled with how the exhibit turned out.
“It’s an absolutely amazing display,” she said. “They have done an incredible job celebrating these architects and their works.”
The exhibit is open to all members of the community at 681 South Ave. and runs through Nov. 26. However, the gallery is open only from Wednesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. A list of events can be found here.