The buildings that Marcel Breuer (1902-1981) designed and built during an era of exceptional architectural activity are of a number and a diversity of structure, material, form, and purpose that he could not have imagined at the outset of his life as an architect. To present a history of that career and a survey of that body of work is an undertaking appropriate to commemorate the centenary of his birth and to mark the passing of the century whose culture and physical environment Breuer helped shape.
To write this timely study, architectural historian Isabelle Hyman has utilized for the first time extensive unpublished archival material and collected hundred of photographs, sketches, notes, and plans. A number of the photographs were made especially for this book, and others, never before published, are from the personal collection of Mrs. Marcel Breuer. Hyman covers Breuer's entire career as an architect and documents his unbuilt as well as built work. The volumes opens with an introduction, in which she traces the critical reception of Breuer's architecture throughout his career and in the decades since his death. It is followed by Part I, a fully illustrated biography in six chapters that accounts for each phase of his practice from the 1920s through the 1970s as he moved from Germany and the Bauhaus to England and then to the United States. Part II is a survey in which all of Breuer's buildings and projects are summarized and most are illustrated. This survey is organized by type of commission - such as museum, library, church, single-family residence - revealing the remarkable range he achieved working for private, corporate governmental, and institutional patrons all over the world.