Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
March 25, 2015
Visiting Artist James Williamson at Memphis College of Art
Memphis, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art will present a lecture by University of Memphis Associate Professor of Architecture James Williamson on Thursday, April 9,
7 p.m. in Callicott Auditorium, Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. Williamson, a student of renowned architect and teacher Louis Kahn, will examine Kahn’s intuitive approach to design, exploring the relationship between creativity and the unconscious.
“Kahn was not only an architect of powerful buildings; he was also an unconventional teacher, a philosopher whose influence on his students was far-reaching,” said Williamson. “Through a synthesis of Kahn’s approach and the insights of existential psychology, the lecture will suggest a strategy for making Kahn’s theories more accessible for teachers and students, creating new pathways for creativity in today’s art and architecture classrooms.”
Williamson holds two Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied with Kahn. He was later an associate with the renowned Philadelphia firm, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates. During some 30 years of professional practice in his own firm in Memphis, he received over 30 architectural design awards at the local, regional and national levels. His buildings and articles have been published internationally. In 2005, he was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in recognition of his notable contributions in architectural design and education, and in 2014 he received the AIA’s Edward S. Frey Award for career contributions to religious architecture and support of the allied arts. Williamson has held leadership positions in both the AIA and Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art and Architecture (IFRAA). Professor Williamson is the author of two novels: The Architect and The Ravine, as well as Kahn at Penn: Transformational Teacher of Architecture, published by Routledge in March 2015.
Photo: James Williamson
About Memphis College of Art:
Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit mca.edu. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/memphiscollegeofart and on Twitter at @memphisart.
About Louis I. Kahn:
Louis Isadore Kahn was born in Russia in 1901. His family emigrated to the United States in 1906 and he became a naturalized citizen in 1914. Kahn was a renowned American architect and professor of architecture at the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He created a style that was both monumental and monolithic and is considered one of the most influential architects and teachers of the twentieth century. He was awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the highest award given by the AIA, and his work includes the National Assembly Building (Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban) in Dhaka, Bangladesh; the Phillips Exeter Academy Library in Exeter, N.H.; The Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif.; the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the Yale Center for British Art at Yale University, New Haven Conn.; and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island, N.Y.