Oct 15th 2019

College of Architecture to Host Launch of 'Avant-Garde in the Cornfields'

Monday, November 11, 2019
6–7:30 p.m.
S. R. Crown Hall, Lower Core
Register Here

On November 11, Illinois Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture will host the launch of "Avant-Garde in the Cornfields: Architecture, Landscape, and Preservation in New Harmony," recently published by the University of Minnesota Press.

At the event, the book’s co-editors and contributing authors, Professor and Former College of Architecture Dean Michelangelo Sabatino and Ben Nicholson, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, will shed light on the small town of New Harmony, Indiana, its history as a utopian settlement, and the subsequent impact on its architecture.

The evening, which brings together individuals from Chicago’s three architecture schools—Illinois Tech, SAIC, and the University of Illinois at Chicago—will begin with remarks from College of Architecture Dean Reed Kroloff and SAIC Associate Professor Ellen Grimes. Presentations will feature Sabatino and Nicholson as well as scholars and historians who collaborated on the book including Cammie Dale McAtee and Nancy Mangum McCaslin. Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Architecture Robert Somol will close out the discussion with a Q&A session, followed by a reception.

"Avant-Garde in the Cornfields" details the history of New Harmony and its architecture, from the successive utopian settlements of the Harmonists and Owenites during the nineteenth century as well as the town’s resurgence during the Cold War years as a “spiritual colony.” Each period had its own impact on the built environment and architecture of New Harmony, which are both well preserved today. As such, the book provides insight into how history can be re-invigorated through design, curatorial, and historic preservation initiatives.