September 17, 2018 Library Celebrates the Centennial of Architect Paul M. Rudolph

Iconic Examples of Rudolph's Work on Exhibit Sept. 18-Nov. 8

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Paul Rudolph, portrait, overlooking the drafting room of his Art and Architecture Building (now Rudolph Hall) at Yale University.

Considered one of America’s most innovative modernist architects, Paul Marvin Rudolph donated his archive to the Library of Congress and, in October, the nation’s library will celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth with a symposium and display of select items from his collection. The day-long forum will take place on Friday, Oct. 26, beginning at 8:30 a.m., in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the Library’s James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, D.C. 

The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to secure tickets, visit EventbriteEntry is not guaranteed. 

“Rudolph’s creative work was wide-ranging, from furniture to large scale urban planning,” said Helena Zinkham, director of the Library’s Collections and Services and chief of the Prints and Photographs Division.  “His diverse building designs and widely emulated drawings gave new direction to architectural form across the globe following World War II.”

“This centennial celebration allows us to evaluate Paul Rudolph’s impact on 20th century architecture and his continued presence in contemporary discourse,” said Sean Khorsandi of the Paul Rudolph Foundation. “Rudolph’s body of drawings, slides and records, held at the Library represents a unique resource for those studying architectural communication in the era prior to paperless studios.”

Featuring a cadre of notables in the field of architecture, the symposium will focus on modernist design and Rudolph’s contributions as a theorist, educator and practicing architect. Robert A.M. Stern will present the keynote address for this centenary celebration presented by the Library’s Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering and the Paul Rudolph Foundation.

The Library also will display select items from Rudolph’s archive, Sept. 18 - Nov. 5, in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., SE, Washington, D.C.  One of the nearly 15 items on display will showcase designs for a major project that was never built, the Lower Manhattan Expressway (LOMEX), which would have connected New York City’s Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges to New Jersey through the Holland Tunnel. 

Rudolph’s archive contains more than 100,000 items, including original preliminary design sketches and drawings in his own hand, working drawings and specifications, photographs and manuscripts. His collection is currently available to researchers by advance arrangement with the Prints and Photographs Division. Selected photographs and drawings are online here.
Born in 1918, Rudolph completed his graduate studies in architecture at Harvard University. He began his career in Sarasota, Florida, and gained international attention in the 1950s for designing modernist homes. Rudolph served as the chair of the Yale School of Architecture between 1958 and 1965, the youngest person ever chosen for the position. He designed the Yale Art & Architecture Building, which became an iconic symbol of modernist architecture. It is considered one of the earliest examples of the Brutalist style of architecture in the U.S. 

After leaving Yale in 1965, Rudolph created some of modernism’s most powerful designs over a 30-year period in New York City. In the 1980’s, his work shifted from the U.S. to Asia, where he related his modernist designs to the unique character of the region.  Before his death in 1997, Rudolph began the transfer of his archive to the nation’s library. 

The Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering was established in 2002 to focus attention on, encourage support for, and promote the study of the unmatched collections in this field, available through the Prints & Photographs Division.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at


PR 18-118
ISSN 0731-3527