A new exhibit, ‘Transformative Visions: Washington University’s East End, Then and Now,’ will open at the Garen Gallery at the Kemper Art Museum on Friday, February 2. The exhibit includes architectural drawings, photographs, and other material from University Archives that examine the rich history of architectural planning and design for the east end of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Located between the iconic Brookings Hall and the western edge of St. Louis’s renowned Forest Park, the east end has long been considered the main entry to the university, serving as a gateway from the surrounding city to the academic space of campus. The history of this area reflects the history of the university as a whole and reaches back to the end of the 19th century, during a time of significant transition in American higher education.
“Transformative Visions” explores the complex relationship between planning and design, as well as the broad range of theories and design strategies architects have used to shape this part of campus. The exhibition was curated by Leslie Markle, curator for public art, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts; James Kolker, university architect and associate vice chancellor; and Eric Mumford, Rebecca and John Voyles Professor of Architecture, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Support for the exhibit is provided by the William T. Kemper Foundation, Elissa and Paul Cahn, and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.