1 There was also, of course, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin Fellowship, founded in 1931, which from its outset was more of a guild than a school, not unlike Paolo Soleri’s later Arcosanti venture.
2 See Alexander Caragonne, The Texas Rangers: Notes from the Architectural Underground, Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1995, for a compelling history of this group.
3 Seligmann, savvy to the nuances of the agendas embedded within a curriculum, here summarizes the attitude toward pedagogy at Cornell as it had evolved into the 1950s. As Christian Ricardo Nielsen-Palacios states in his 2018 dissertation, Architectural Education at Cornell: 1928-1950; Between Modernism and Beaux-Arts, p170, “In spite of the varied, often contrasting, attitudes and backgrounds of Cornell’s faculty and students that have been described in this thesis, there was throughout a common element: from Bosworth [Dean of the College of Architecture 1919-1927] to Mackesey [Assistant Dean 1944-1951, then Dean 1951-1959], there was an awareness of architecture, and the teaching of it, and that the only successful ‘system’ was the lack of one.” One of the first to abandon the studio programs established by the American Beaux-Arts Institute of Design (BAID), the school had consistently refused to endorse any singular version of modernism in its curriculum.
4 “American Institute of Architects (AIA): Topaz Medallion Award 5/11/1998 - videotape accompanied by speech transcript (VHS; running time 2:17) (ID#: seligmann_w_001),” Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries, Werner Seligmann Papers, box 96.
5 In his Topaz speech, Seligmann also mentions the ubiquitous copies of Philip Goodwin and G.E. Kidder-Smith’s Brazil Builds: Architecture New and Old, 1642-1942, in the studios of his undergraduate years. Essentially a catalog from the 1943 show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the book was for many the first introduction to the Brazil’s distinct version of modernism, featuring Niemeyer, Costa, and others. Additionally, given Seligmann’s interests in precedent, the book drew links between Brazil’s modern present and its baroque and colonial past.
6 Or almost free to explore, since it became necessary for the architects to find their own clients, often after the initially published design.