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Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, a talk by John Comazzi

a2modern’s Spring lecture April 3rd by
John Comazzi, author of Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography

Balthazar Korab,  Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook Academy of Arts (Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1938–42), ca. 1978. Mermaids & Tritons bronze sculptures (1930) by Carl Milles in the foreground. Balthazar Korab, Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook Academy of Arts (Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1938–42), ca. 1978. Mermaids & Tritons bronze sculptures (1930) by Carl Milles in the foreground.
Please join us for a presentation that will highlight the life and career of Balthazar Korab, one of the most celebrated photographers of architecture practicing throughout the second half of the twentieth century. Korab’s life and career have been detailed in the recent publication, Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012). In the book, author John Comazzi examines a broad range of Korab’s extensive archive and the extent to which his representations of architecture should be understood in the context of his life experiences, sensibilities, and artistic practices. As such, this talk will reassess the images that have come to define Korab’s professional career—the photography of midcentury Modern architecture— within the broader context of his extraordinary life experiences and training as an architect. Furthermore, Comazzi will present many of Korab’s lesser-known (though no less significant) portfolios of vernacular and industrial architecture that influenced his overall sensibility and approach to his commissions as a professional photographer of architecture.

John Comazzi
John Comazzi is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Minnesota where he teaches design studios and research seminars at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. He holds a Master of Architecture and a Master of Science in Architecture History & Theory from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. From 1999-2000 he was a Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Michigan before joining the architecture faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2006. Through teaching, practice and research his scholarship explores the role of architecture photography in design disciplines and design pedagogy as a model of integrated learning in PK-12 education. In addition to his teaching, he has practiced as a designer in Virginia, Michigan and Minnesota.

He is author Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), an illustrated biography on the life and career of Balthazar Korab, one of the most celebrated photographers of architecture practicing during the second half of the twentieth century. The book is the first dedicated solely to Korab’s life and career, and traces his rather circuitous path from post-war Hungary to his professional pursuits as a designer in the office of Eero Saarinen (1955-58) and his career as a professional photographer of architecture (1958-2010).

The lecture will be at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 3rd, Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Thanks to the many sponsors that make this event possible: AIA Huron Valley, American Seating, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Bentley Historical Library, Knoll, and University of Michigan Museum of Art.

John’s book, Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), will be for sale before the lecture–thanks to Nicola’s bookstore.

Image courtesy of John Comazzi, 01_Korab_092[1C]_FPO: Eliel Saarinen, Cranbrook Academy of Arts (Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1938–42), ca. 1978. Mermaids & Tritons bronze sculptures (1930) by Carl Milles in the foreground.


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