70th Annual International Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians

Kauffman, J. (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesContribution to conference


Architecture’s History and the Art Market: Beyond the Max Protetch Gallery

This essay examines a period in the late twentieth century when architectural drawings provoked a profound re-evaluation of architecture. It does so through interviews and archival research of the individuals, galleries, institutions, and events-and the networks that originated therefrom-that drove this reappraisal by shifting the perception of architectural representations.

During the 1970s and 1980s, drawings attained autonomy from the architectural process and were ultimately perceived as aesthetic artifacts in and of themselves. Often neglected in the history of this shift in perception is the role that a growing market for architectural drawings and representations had.

While the Max Protetch Gallery is the most well known gallery to deal in architectural representations in the 1970s and 1980s, this essay will focus be those aspects of the market outside of this gallery. Among these are the Galeria Antonia Jannone in Milan, the Aedes Gallerie in Berlin, and the Galerie van Rooy in Amsterdam.

This market was largely driven by acquisitions by institutions that are today major repositories of late-twentieth century architectural history such as the Getty, the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Based on the understanding that these objects had value in themselves, these institutions saw that architectural representations could be collected to constitute a history of architecture. In this regard, they made a concerted effort to acquire architectural drawings and models. When these archives were in the process of formation, international groups were founded to address the conceptual concerns of them. Among these were the International Council of Architecture Museums and the Architectural Drawings Advisory Group.

Through an analysis of the development of these activities and networks, this essay will reveal the structures that were indispensible to the understanding of architectural representations as primary documents of architecture's history.
Period2017 → …
Event typeConference
LocationGlasgow, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational