The Bernard Rudofsky Estate Vienna

Bernard Rudofsky, a distinguished statesman of the arts (13 Apr 1905 - 12 Mar 1988), is best known for his book on vernacular architecture "Architecture without Architects" (1964). The ideas promoted therin were first presented at New York´s Museum of Modern Art with more than 100 museums throughout the world following up.

Rudofsky obtained two master degrees and a doctorate from the Technische Hochschule in Vienna/Austria on "Eine primitive Betonbauweise auf den südlichen Kykladen (Santorin), nebst dem Versuch einer Datierung derselben" (1931). He practiced architecture with offices in Naples, Milan and São Paulo. He built four villas, one in Naples together with Luigi Cosenza (1935-1937), two in São Paulo (ca.1939-41) and his own house in Andalucía (1969-71). His designing and production of sandals (1942-44?) is legendary. Rudofsky held tenures in art and architecture at Yale University/USA, at Waseda University/Tokyo, and at the Royal Academy in Copenhagen.

Bernard Rudofsky wrote nine books:
- Are Clothes Modern, New York, 1947
- Behind the Picture Window, New York, 1955
- Architecture without Architects, New York, 1964
- The Kimono Mind, New York, 1965
- Streets for People, New York, 1969
- The Unfashionable Human Body, New York, 1971
- The Prodigious Builders, New York/London, 1977
- now I lay me down to eat, New York, 1980
- Sparta/Sybaris, Vienna, 1987

Rudofsky's pioneer role in photography on vernacular architecture, a considerable treasure still to be discovered, has so far been underestimated. This was first noticed by the French with their high esteem of photography.

It is for the 21st century to rediscover the freshness of Rudofsky and his concern for "people meeting architecture", as was expressed by Kazuyo Sejima, director of 2010 Architecture Biennale in Venice. This notion was particularly reflected at the Czech pavillon, where illustrations from Rudofsky´s books were shown in a cylindrical space named "Inspiration".

In 2007/2008 The Getty Research Institute/Los Angeles together with Architekturzentrum Wien presented Rudofsky's life and work in the remarkable exhibition "Lessons from Bernard Rudofsky", which was shown in Vienna, Los Angeles and in Canada. In spring 2009 Homem Vogue (Brazil) paid tribute to Rudofsky and his architectural work in São Paulo. In Summer 2009 Rudofsky's house in Frigiliana/Andalucía was placed under national heritage protection by the Spanish authorities.

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