MODERN AT MIDCENTURY Ruhtenberg Revisited

Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe reign as the two most important modern architects of the 20th century. Remarkably, their considerable influences were felt in the city of Colorado Springs during the late 1940s – Wright’s through the work of his granddaughter, Elizabeth Wright Ingraham, and Mies’s in the oeuvre of A. Gustaf Jan Ruhtenberg. Elaine Freed, author of a book about Ingraham’s signature houses, turns attention here to Jan Ruhtenberg’s journey from Riga to Berlin, then Stockholm and New York, and finally to Colorado Springs, where he designed and remodeled dozens of houses and other structures in the Miesian mode. After placing Ruhtenberg’s work in the context of European and American modernism, Freed focuses on five unique houses in Colorado Springs, ranging from a modest “cottage” to a spacious Italian villa. Her insightful view includes Ruhtenberg’s own home in the exclusive Broadmoor neighborhood.

Design magazines in Europe and America celebrated Ruhtenberg’s designs at midcentury, and the popular press did as well. His work appeared in Progressive Architecture and Architectural Forum – and in Time, Life, and Fortune.  Later, Ruhtenberg’s legacy faded, but recently his design reputation has gained new respect. Modern at Midcentury: Ruhtenberg Revisited guarantees his proper place in the modernist pantheon.

April, 2017

178 pages . 8×10 . 77 photographs/illustrations, color and b&w

ISBN# 9781943829057 softcover

$29.00

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A “missing link” in the European movement that made America modern in the midcentury

Get to Know the Author

Former Executive Director of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park, Illinois, and Vice President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Architectural writer Elaine Freed turns attention here to A. Gustaf Jan Ruhtenberg. Jan Ruhtenberg, Bauhaus trained under the direct influence of Mies van der Rohe and his journey from Riga to Berlin, then Stockholm and New York, and finally to Colorado Springs, where he designed and remodeled dozens of houses and other structures in the Miesian mode. After placing Ruhtenberg’s work in the context of European and American modernism, Freed focuses on five unique houses in Colorado Springs, ranging from a modest “cottage” to a spacious Italian villa. Her insightful view includes Ruhtenberg’s own home in the exclusive Broadmoor neighborhood.

Learn More About This Author

Author’s Other Writings

Preserving The Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, a ten-state survey of historic sites in the American West for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, (University of New Mexico Press, 1992); Modern At Mid-Century: The Early Fifties Houses of Ingraham and Ingraham, (Hulbert Press, Colorado College, 2003); Editor of Architecture As Teacher, (Published by The Colorado College Studies, 2007) Freed has led tours, given lectures, and written articles about modern architecture.

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