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September 24, 2008

New Library Publication Features Works By Architect Eero Saarinen Through the Lens of Balthazar Korab

Eero Saarinen and Balthazar Korab constitute a unique team in the history of architecture: Saarinen (1910-1961), the mid-20th-century Finnish-American architect; and Korab (1926 -), a Hungarian-born architectural photographer whose images captured the brilliance of Saarinen’s designs.

Published by the Library of Congress and W.W. Norton & Company, "Eero Saarinen: Buildings from the Balthazar Korab Archive," edited by David G. De Long and C. Ford Peatross, illustrates 19 of Saarinen’s commissioned designs in nearly 800 photographs drawn from Korab’s archive. Those projects include the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan, the Trans World Airlines Terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The photographs provide multiple views of the buildings themselves as well as views of their construction and architectural models that were critical to their design. Korab’s images of Saarinen’s office and home provide personal ambience.

An introductory essay by De Long, professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, positions the architect’s work within the broader context of his time.

"Eero Saarinen came to prominence in the 1950s, challenging architectural conventions of his time with new forms that attracted international attention," writes de Long. "In the United States, he seemed poised to fulfill the postwar expectation of a new architecture and become the country’s leading architect, perhaps even surpassing both Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969). Yet his untimely death in 1961, at age 51, cut short that promise, and changing fashions in the years that followed distracted students and critics alike from the study of his work. Now, like the contents of a newly opened time capsule, his buildings can be examined anew to reveal fresh insights."

Korab donated to the Library of Congress his original film transparencies and negatives for all of the images in the book. Saarinen’s colleague and successor, the distinguished American architect Kevin Roche, donated the drawings for each project to the Library. The drawings, which also appear in the book, help users understand Korab’s photographic views.

"Eero Saarinen: Buildings from the Balthazar Korab Archive" is the seventh volume in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture Design and Engineering series and the first to focus on individual architects. The series is a project of the Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress, directed by C. Ford Peatross. "Eero Saarinen" joins "Public Markets" by Helen Tangires, "Barns" by John Vlach, "Canals" by Robert Kapsch, "Theaters" by Craig Morrison, "Lighthouses" by Sara E. Wermiel and "Bridges" by Richard L. Cleary. All of the illustrations in the Sourcebooks series are from the collections of the Library of Congress and thus the volumes serve as important portals to the collections for a wide range of users – from students and scholars to practicing architects, designers, engineers and preservationists.

Established by a bequest from the distinguished American architect Paul Rudolph, the Center for Architecture, Design and Engineering in the Library of Congress preserves and makes accessible to the public the Library’s rich collections in those subject areas. For more information, go to www.loc.gov/rr/print/adecenter/adecent.html.

"Eero Saarinen: Buildings From the Balthazar Korab Archive," a 464-page hardcover book with nearly 800 illustrations, is available for $100 in bookstores nationwide and through the Library’s Sales Shop, Washington, D.C. 20540-4985. An accompanying DVD contains high-quality downloadable images of all of the photographs and drawings in the book as well as direct links to the Library’s online, searchable catalogs and image files. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557. Online orders can be placed at www.loc.gov/shop/.

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PR 08-158
09/24/08
ISSN 0731-3527

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