"You take a canvas, divide it up like a checkerboard... and go from there." - Man Ray

Vincent Scully: An Art Historian Among Architects
Vincent Scully: An Art Historian Among Architects
About the film
  • Year
  • Categories
  • Duration 56 minutes
  • Producers Edgar Howard, Thomas Piper, Muffie Dunn, Arvid Nelson
  • Directors Edgar Howard, Thomas Piper

Explorations in 21st Century American Architecture Series

Vincent Scully is likely the best-known living art historian in the United States today.

Until recently, he was still teaching at his alma mater, Yale University, where a wide variety of students were drawn to his undergraduate history of art and architecture courses.

For years, Scully’s deep engagement with the subject and his passionate presentation style have inspired his students to value these subjects. Many of them have gone on to become prominent architects, historians, or clients of architecture.

In his lectures and his more-than-20 books on architecture, Scully’s insights are eye-opening and have championed the work of such modern architects as Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Kahn, Robert Venturi, and Aldo Rossi. He has focused on topics ranging from the American Shingle Style of the late 19th Century, which he identified and named, to a reassessment of Greek temples and their response to the surrounding landscape.

The breadth and depth of his knowledge, which includes a close familiarity with literature as well as with the visual arts, lends a special richness to his historical interpretations.

This film explores the phenomenon of Scully, tracing his connection to New Haven, his birthplace, and his time at Yale, from when he entered as a freshman in 1936 to the present. The narrative follows the arc of his interests in classical art and architecture to American architecture, historic preservation, and urban design in the 20th Century.

A number of architects and former students contribute to this dialogue, including David Childs, Andres Duany, Peter Eisenman, Paul Goldberger, John Hale, David McCullough, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Robert A.M. Stern, and Robert Venturi.

Principal Funding provided by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation

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