Louis Kahn to Anne Tyng: the Rome Letters 1953-1954 Edited by Anne Griswold Tyng

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Louis Kahn to Anne Tyng: the Rome Letters 1953-1954 Edited with Commentary by Anne Griswold Tyng

8vo. pp. 216. profusely illustrated in black & white. index. hardcover boards. dw. New York: Rizzoli, [1997].


ISBN-10: 0847820092 / ISBN-13: 9780847820092


After maintaining a professional and personal relationship with Louis Kahn for seven years, Anne Griswold Tyng departed in the autumn of 1953 for Rome. During her year in Italy, where their daughter was born, Kahn wrote weekly to Tyng, and his correspondence to her is published here for the first time. The fifty-three letters document not only their intense private relationship, but also give a vibrant account of the experience of a brilliant young architect on the cusp of achieving international renown.

Anne Tyng's introduction and epilogue frame Kahn's letters within the contexts of both their personal histories. Tyng's account of her own extraordinary life-- growing up as the child of missionaries in China, fleeing political turmoil on the eye of the Communist Revolution-- although factual, often reads like adventure fiction, and reveals Tyng to be a gifted writer. She also records the sequence of Kahn's and her work together, including their collaboration on such seminal works as the Yale University Art Gallery and the Trenton Bathhouse, as well as her independent architectural projects.

Kahn's letters, together with Anne Tyng's intimate essays, vividly capture the professional politics of the modern architecture scene-- such prominent figures as Philip Johnson, Eero and Aline Saarinen, Vincent Scully, George Howe, Pier Luigi Nervi, and Robert Venturi make appearances-- and illuminate the creative processes at work in the early stages of Kahn's emergence as one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century.