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Exhibit Celebrates Work of Architect Walter Netsch

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February 7, 2006 | by Wendy Leopold
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Northwestern University Library celebrates the career of famed Chicago architect Walter Netsch with an exhibit running from Feb. 7 to March 31.

“Walter Netsch and the Northwestern University Library” features designs, architectural drawings, floor plans and elevations, art and photographs from Netsch’s private collections as well as the Northwestern University Archives, the Chicago Historical Society, and Northwestern University Library’s Art Collection and Special Collections.

The free exhibit, which is located on the first floor of the Main Library (which was designed by Netsch) at 1970 Campus Drive on the Evanston campus, is open to the public during regular library hours. In a series of cases and wall displays, the exhibit focuses on Netsch’s multifaceted career, notable architecture, Chicago projects, Northwestern buildings, Northwestern University Library, and the architect’s personal art collection.

Netsch, who will celebrate his 86th birthday this month, was a design partner for the Chicago-based firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill from 1947 to 1979. Among other projects, he designed academic buildings at Northwestern, the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He designed 15 libraries in North America and Japan. 

Internationally recognized as an innovator of 20th-century modern architecture, Netsch was known for his field theory aesthetics and has been favorably compared to Le Corbusier and Buckminster Fuller.  His Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs, Colorado (1963) was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark in 2004.

“Netsch is a fascinating architect and designer whose passion for modern art infuses his aesthetics,” says Russ Clement, head of University Library’s Art Collection. “His field theory has received recent scholarly attention and several of his buildings have achieved iconic status.”

For further information, contact Patti Strait by e-mail at p-strait@northwestern.edu or at (847) 467-5918 or visit www.library.northwestern.edu/exhibits/walternetsch. For a schedule of library hours, call (847) 491-7635.

Topics: Campus Life