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Classical Greece and Mies Architecture at Chicago’s National Hellenic Museum

National Hellenic Museum Mies
The blend of classical Greek influences and constructivist form in Mies van der Rohe’s architecture will be explored at the event. Credit: Greek Reporter

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) and the Mies van der Rohe Society will co-host an event on Thursday, May 19th that will explore the blend of classical Greek influences and constructivist form in Mies van der Rohe’s architecture.

Titled “Classical and Modern Mies,” the event which takes place virtually and in-person at NHM (333 S. Halsted Street) at 6 p.m, will focus on how Mies folded the two together at Illinois Institute of Technology—the site of the largest concentration of his buildings.

National Hellenic Museum Mies
The event takes place on Thursday, May 19 at NHM (333 S. Halsted Street) at 6 p.m.

Mies, along with Alvar Aalto, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Frank Lloyd Wright, is regarded as one of the pioneers of modernist architecture.

In the 1930s, Mies was the last director of the Bauhaus, a ground-breaking school of modern art, design, and architecture. After Nazism’s rise to power, with its strong opposition to modernism (leading to the closing of the Bauhaus itself), Mies emigrated to the United States. He accepted the position to head the architecture school at what is today the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

How classical Greek architecture influenced Mies

“As our museum continues to explore and share the relevance of the Hellenic legacy today, we’re thrilled to cohost this event with the Mies van der Rohe Society investigating how classical Greek architecture and concepts influenced one of our foremost modern architects,” said Marianne Kountoures, executive director of the National Hellenic Museum.

“This event addresses the ancient Greeks who developed their formalized style based on balance and proportion to represent a place of worship. Two thousand years later, Mies van der Rohe did the same thing during the modern era but for a different purpose at the Illinois Institute of Technology,” said Cynthia Vranas Olsen, director of the Mies van der Rohe Society.

“Together with the National Hellenic Museum, the Mies Society and our partners will present how these two types of structures explore, through their use of architectural language, an extra-temporal vision that led to the creation of these masterpieces,” Olsen said.

Featured speakers for Classical and Modern Mies include: Carol Ross Barney, Architect, Founder and Design Principal at Ross Barney Architects; Kevin Harrington, Professor Emeritus of Architectural History at Illinois Institute of Technology; Peter Kilpatrick, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Illinois Institute of Technology; and Michael Lykoudis FAIA, Professor of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame.

For more information about the event, please follow the link.

Classical and Modern Mies is presented in partnership with the College of Architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology, the Benjamin Marshall Society, and the Society of Architectural Historians.

The National Hellenic Museum preserves the Hellenic legacy

The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) is a premier museum dedicated to sharing Greek history, art and culture, from ancient times to the present day, including the modern Greek- American experience.

NHM preserves the Hellenic legacy and makes this rich heritage relevant today through its collection of thousands of physical artifacts, oral histories, exhibits, educational programs, and special events.

Originally founded in 1983 and located in Chicago’s historic Greektown neighborhood since 2011, the NHM provides lifelong learning for the community and sparks inquiry and discussion about the broader issues in our lives and society.

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