Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture: Mikveh Israel and the Midcentury American Synagogue [Kõva köide]

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In 1961, famed architect Louis I. Kahn (1901-1974) received a commission to design a new synagogue. His client was one of the oldest Sephardic Orthodox congregations in the United States: Philadelphia's Mikveh Israel. Due to the loss of financial backing, Kahn's plans were never realized. Nevertheless, the haunting and imaginative schemes for Mikveh Israel remain among Kahn's most revered designs.
Susan G. Solomon uses Kahn's designs for Mikveh Israel as a lens through which to examine the transformation of the American synagogue from 1955 to 1970. She shows how Kahn wrestled with issues that challenged postwar Jewish institutions and evaluates his creative attempts to bridge modernism and Judaism. She argues that Kahn provided a fresh paradigm for synagogues, one that offered innovations in planning, decoration, and the incorporation of light and nature into building design.


The evolution of the postwar American synagogue illuminated through the plans for Louis Kahn's unbuilt Mikveh Israel

Arvustused

"Important and insightful."--Jewish Exponent "Important and insightful." Jewish Exponent Tablet Magazine" The Forward" H-Net" Jewish Exponent" "Important and insightful." "Jewish Exponent"" "Kahn is finally situated in the Philadelphia where he actually lived and that shaped his work as an exponent of the nineteenth-century industrial culture in which form had meaning." --The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography" "[ P]ioneering and noteworthy . . . Solomon provides well-written narratives about the history, aspirations, and politics of Jewish congregations and community centers that worked with the master architect."--CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly "Important and insightful."--Jewish Exponent "The book's main argument is succinct and clear, aided by the numerous pictures throughout all chapters. Those include not only Kahn's drawings and completed works, but also the exterior and interior designs of synagogues and other buildings by a host of architects from the nineteenth century to the present."--H-Net "Louis I. Kahn's Jewish Architecture is hardly a mere tale of an unbuilt design. Solomon deftly uses the case of Mikveh Israel to reflect on the history of early postwar American synagogue architecture more broadly and on its significance for postwar American Jewish social aspirations. Solomon convincingly describes how American Jewish congregations (mostly Reform and Conservative) swiftly embraced modernist synagogue design in the years after 1945. She discusses the work of such well-known architects as Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson, as well as lesser-known figures, such as Pietro Belluschi and William Wurster, praising their designs as innovative in conception (especially their interior use of modern decorative art) and inspiring in effect." --The Forward "Valuable . . . Solomon presents a careful and very readable study of those designs, clearly connecting the congregation's religious and communal needs with Kahn's evolving vision. She demonstrates where Kahn's concepts of site, space, light, landscape, and ritual continued to develop, often outpacing the congregation's own ideas. In this, the book is an introduction to Kahn the architect and the idealist. Solomon also offers lengthy and informative excursions into post-World War II views of Jewish identity and community, and of the lively professional and public debate about the appropriate art and architecture for synagogues, and in a postscript muses on the state of contemporary synagogue design." --Tablet Magazine Kahn is finally situated in the Philadelphia where he actually lived and that shaped his work as an exponent of the nineteenth-century industrial culture in which form had meaning." The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography " [ P]ioneering and noteworthy . . . Solomon provides well-written narratives about the history, aspirations, and politics of Jewish congregations and community centers that worked with the master architect. CCAR Journal: The Reform Jewish Quarterly" "Important and insightful." Jewish Exponent"

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction 1
1 History; The Postwar Synagogue 9
2 Decoration; Does It Look Jewish? 31
3 Context; Client, Architect, Philadelphia (and Rochester) 57
4 Plans; Kahn's Vision 99
5 Epilogue; Preservation and Legacy 139
Notes 163
Selected Bibliography 205
Index 211
SUSAN G. SOLOMON is the author of American Playgrounds: Revitalizing Community Space. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.