Saarinen, TWA Terminal

An important part of the story is the reappraisal of some of the decade’s more notable figures. One of the most controversial was the architect Eero Saarinen, whose dramatic departures from the conventions of modernism caused considerable unease among his peers; they acknowledged his talents but were uncomfortable with his buildings, while critics tempered their misgivings with carefully qualified praise. (Full disclosure: I was among them.) Dogma has given way to freedom, but that discomfort still lingers. He was out of sync; his personal take on modernism pushed its limits too fast, too far…

The process of reappraisal has produced several Saarinen books and one important exhibition, “Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future,” on view now at the Museum of the City of New York, that adds immeasurably to our understanding.

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Ada Louise Huxtable
Wall Street Journal

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