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November 1, 1935

Visiting American colleges and universities, the Swiss-born French architect Le Corbusier lectured in French, to a packed house in Avery Hall, in conjunction with an exhibition of models and photographs of his architecture shown in Taylor Hall. Offered some of his hand-drafted drawings, a feature of his appearances, his auditors quickly returned them to him, in pieces, for his signature. “The Vassar drawings,” he said, “were the consequences of an especially good mood. The amazons reduced them to shreds.” The pioneer modernist designer turned away questions about world politics and economics, but “The Vassar audience,” The Miscellany News reported him saying, “has been the most satisfactory audience encountered so far. ‘You understand,’ he said, but he added he found Vassar students ‘effroyablement sériuses.’”

Returning to New York the following morning, he was joined in the smoking car by several Vassar students, mingling with the male commuters. “Democratic spirit,” he wrote of the experience. “At Vassar I detected hints of communism in this wealthy circle. Its’ a familiar experience: the ‘good society’ of the intelligenzia, rich and eager to spend money looks forward to the ‘great revolution’ with a touching ingenuousness.”

Nicholas Fox Weber, Le Corbusier: A Life

The Years