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January 24, 2000

Dutch-born architect, urbanist and architectural theorist Rem Koolhaas delivered an illustrated lecture, “Another Profession,” before a standing-room only audience in Taylor Hall. The first lecturer in the Agnes Rindge Claflin Lecture Series, Koolhaas was founder of the architectural firm Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and the author of two influential studies of contemporary urban design, Delirious New York: A Retrospective Manifesto of Manhattan (1978) and S.M.L.XL (1998). Wrting in The Miscellany News, Lauren Arana praised the architect’s “liberal use of visual schemes, which were essentially high-tech teaching aids. The combined photography, text, charts, symbols and distorted images to explain in literal terms the point he was making…. The slides became works of art themselves, combining top quality photographs and technology with ingenious symbols and captions. Koolhaas presented his work and his diagrams with an enthusiasm that was both confident and modest…. It required a suspension of disbelief on more than one occasion when he described his sometimes far-fetched urban proposals, but there was that was ultimately convincing and trustworthy about his personality that made the audience obliged to do so.”

The distinguished art historian and director of the Vassar Art Gallery Agnes Rindge Claflin first taught at Vassar 1921. Returning after masters and doctoral studies at Radcliffe, she taught at Vassar from 1923 until her retirement in 1965. Her extensive and influential association with modernist artists and collectors and with the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) was reflected in both the teaching and curriculum of the art department and the gallery’s acquisitions and programming during her time at the college.

The Years