11/9 | Teresa Fankhänel: Of Models and Men [response: Matthew C. Hunter]

Teresa Fankhänel
“Of Models and Men. Theodore Conrad, Louis Checkman and the Miniature Boom in New York”
[response: Matthew C. Hunter]

Tuesday, November 9, 2021 @5pm ET
Online Event [register here]


Theodore Conrad was the most prominent and prolific architectural model-maker of the 20th century. His models were instrumental in the design and realization of many icons of American Modernism—from the Rockefeller Center to Lever House and the Seagram Building. Yet, despite his success and the well-known buildings he helped to create, until now little has been known about Conrad’s work and his impact on 20th century architectural history. Set against the backdrop of the surge in model-making in the 1950s and 1960s the talk explores how Conrad’s models and photographer Louis’ Checkman’s model images prompt broader scholarly questions about the nature of authorship in architecture, the importance of craftsmanship, and about the translation of architectural ideas between different media.


Teresa Fankhänel is a curator and writer based in Chicago. For the past four years she was a curator at the Architecture Museum in Munich, Germany. Her most recent show was “The Architecture Machine. The Role of Computers in Architecture” (2020/21). Her dissertation on model making in the United States was published as The Architectural Models of Theodore Conrad: The “miniature boom” of mid-century modernism by Bloomsbury in 2021.

Matthew C. Hunter teaches in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies at McGill University in Montreal. Hunter is author of Painting with Fire: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Photography and the Temporally Evolving Chemical Object (2020) and Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (2013), both published by University of Chicago Press. He is an editor of Grey Room.