The precise tale of the intimate dating that gave start to the Farnsworth Space, a masterpiece of 20th-century structure—and disintegrated right into a sour feud over love, cash, gender, and the very nature of Artwork.
“A fantastic tale, brilliantly informed.”—Sebastian Smee, Pulitzer Prize–profitable Artwork critic and creator of The Artwork of Rivalry
In 1945, Edith Farnsworth requested the German architect Mies van der Rohe, already well known for his avant-garde homes, to layout a weekend house for her out of doors of Chicago. Edith used to be a lady in advance of her time—single, she used to be a outstanding clinical researcher, in addition to an comprehensive violinist, translator, and poet. The 2 briefly started spending weekends in combination, speaking philosophy, Catholic mysticism, and, after all, structure over wine-soaked picnic lunches. Their private and professional collaboration may produce the Farnsworth Space, one of the vital works of structure of all time, a blindingly authentic construction made up virtually solely of glass and metal.
But the minimalist surprise, in-built 1951, used to be plagued by means of value overruns and a unexpected chilling of The 2 buddies’ mutual affection. Despite the fact that the construction become global well-known, Edith discovered it unattainable to are living in, on account of its consistent leaks, flooding, and whole loss of privateness. Alienated and aggrieved, she lent her identify to a public marketing campaign in opposition to Mies, cheered on by means of Frank Lloyd Wright. Mies, in flip, sued her for unpaid monies. The following long trial heard proof of purported incompetence by means of an acclaimed architect, and allegations of mental cruelty and emotional trauma. A industrial dispute litigated in a rural Illinois courthouse become an ordeal of modernist Artwork and structure itself.
Interweaving private drama and cultural historical past, Alex Beam gifts a classy, spell binding narrative tapestry, illuminating the interesting historical past in the back of one of the crucial 20th-century’s such a lot stunning and demanding architectural initiatives.