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Rosenblatt Drawings in James Stirling Exhibition at Yale – Opening Today

Two exhibitions open today at Yale in relationship to the quarter century teaching career of one its most distinguished professors, James Stirling.  

At the British Art Center, Tony Vidler has curated an exhibition of Stirling’s profesional work  entitled, “Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling, Architect and Teacher.” This exhibition runs through January 2, 2011.

At the Yale School of Architecture, Emmanuel Petit has curated an exhibition of the work of  Stirling’s students entitled, “An Architect’s Legacy: James Stirling’s Students at Yale, 1959-83. Five drawings by Springboard Principal Paul Rosenblatt have been included in the exhibition. This exhibition runs through January 28, 2011.

In Fall, 1983, Paul Rosenblatt was one of the fortunate few graduate students to be selected to participate in the annual architectural design studio  taught at Yale by distinguished British architect, James Stirling. It would be the second to last year that Stirling would teach at Yale.  The project Mr. Rosenblatt worked on as a student was the Cornell Performing Arts Center, a commssion that Stirling was himself working on at the time, but had not yet revealed to the public. Midway through the semester, after partis had been set and the designs were already well developed, Stirling revealed his design for the project to his students. His design would soon begin construction and sits on one edge of Cornell’s campus to this day.

Five of Mr. Rosenblatt’s drawings of his design for the Cornell Performing Arts Center have been included in Professor Petit’s exhibition of Stirling’s students’ work. The design is of its time, referencing historical architecture and contemporary technology. It also reflects Stirling’s interest in architectural history. Specifically, the plan echoes the central piazza of Pienza, Italy, an urban space that Rosenblatt had recently visited. Outdoor spaces become interiors in Rosenblatt’s design as the building is conceived as a diversified and human-scaled community.

“I am very honored to have been included in this historic exhbition,” states Mr. Rosenblatt. “Before studying with Jim I had admired his work from afar. Being a student of his was one of my most meaningful educational experiences. His desk crits were fascinating. Stubby lead pencil holder in hand, Jim would draw on top of my drawings, exploring options, pushing the design further, thinking out loud about the project’s potential. He was interested in what I had to share with him about the places I had recently visited in Italy and their impact on my work. He encouraged me to embrace these personal experiences and incorporate them into the design. I am forever in Jim’s debt for the time he spent with me and for the lessons he bestowed upon me. And to be included in an exhibition of James Stirling’s students is a bonus – what a professional thrill!”

The impact that Stirling’s teaching has had on Mr. Rosenblatt’s own teaching and practice has been ‘immeasurable,” Mr. Rosenblatt says.

The exhibition runs through January 28, 2011.

For more information: http://www.architecture.yale.edu/drupal/events/architecture_gallery