Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996

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Chermayeff taught architecture at Harvard.

From the description of Papers of Serge Ivan Chermayeff, 1945-1947 (inclusive). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 76973005

Architect, educator.

From the description of Oral history interview with Serge Chermayeff, 1985 May 23-24. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 77808794

Sergei Ivanovitch Issakovitch was born on October 8, 1900, in Grozny, then in Caucasia. He was educated in England, where he took the name of Serge Chermayeff at the suggestion of his guardian. By age thirty, Chermayeff had already become an established designer with his own architectural firm. He came to the United States in 1940, accepting a teaching position at Brooklyn College two years later. He stayed at Brooklyn College as professor and chairman of the department of design until 1946, when he moved to the Institute of Design in Chicago, where he was president for four years. In 1953, he became professor of architecture at Harvard University. He concluded his career as a professor at Yale University, where he taught between 1962 and 1969, at which time he became professor emeritus. He died on May 8, 1996.

From the guide to the Serge Chermayeff papers, 1957-1968, (Manuscripts and Archives)

d. May 8, 1996, Wellfleet, Mass.

From the description of Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. (Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)). WorldCat record id: 84481106

Serge Ivan Chermayeff was born in 1901 in Groznyy, Azerbaijan, and attended secondary school in England. He began his career as an interior designer for the London firm of Waring & Gillow, creating streamlined modern interiors for various residential and commercial clients. In 1931 he formed his own architectural office and was joined in 1933 by German Erich Mendelsohn, with whom he designed several notable projects in and around London and Southern England, including the De La Warr Pavilion (1934-1935), the R. J. Nimmo residence (1935), and the Dennis Cohen residence (1936), each a notable example of International Style design. Although his partnership with Mendelsohn ended in 1936, both men remained friends for many years. Among Chermayeff's most important designs during this period was that for his own residence, Bentley Wood (1937-1938), in East Sussex, England. A controversial laboratory for his ideas about public and private spaces and modern aesthetics, it received considerable attention from the architectural press. It led, however, to financial difficulties and Chermayeff was forced to sell in 1939, barely a year after completion.

In 1940, Chermayeff immigrated to the United States, settling briefly in San Francisco, California, to collaborate with local architects on several residential and commercial projects, including the Clarence Mayhew residence (1942) and the Walter Horn residence (1942). Chermayeff soon moved to New York City to become professor of art at Brooklyn College, a position he held until Walter Gropius recommended him in 1946 to serve as president of the Institute of Design in Chicago following László Moholy-Nagy's death. Chermayeff left Chicago in 1951 after the Institute of Design merged with the Illinois Institute of Technology. Teaching briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chermayeff then joined the faculty at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard in 1953, where he was instrumental in developing a rigorous curriculum for urban design and planning and in organizing symposia and collaborative projects around issues of contemporary urbanism. During this period, Chermayeff also maintained a small private architecture practice with Hayward Cutting. In 1962, Chermayeff accepted an appointment in Yale's School of Architecture, where he continued his research and teaching in areas of human interactions with city planning and architecture.

With co-author Christopher Alexander, Chermayeff published "Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanism (Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1963), and with co-author Alexander Tzonis he published "Shape of Community: Realization of Human Potential (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), both idiosyncratic but widely considered studies of how human biological and social needs intersect with the built environment. Chermayeff's selected lectures and writings were published in "Design and the Public Good," in 1982, which was edited by Richard Plunz, professor in the School of Architecture at Columbia University. A frequent speaker, guest critic, and prolific writer, Chermayeff was also active in numerous professional organizations, including CIAM, MARS, and the American Society of Architects and Planners, and was awarded honorary degrees from several colleges and universities. In addition, he was a life-long artist, industrial designer, and poet, exhibiting at galleries in Chicago and Boston and self-publishing several anthologies of his poetry. Throughout his years in the United States, Chermayeff also sustained close ties to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, maintaining a home and studio near Wellfleet, designing experimental architecture for several clients in the area, and advocating for the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Chermayeff died in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, in 1996.

From the description of Serge Chermayeff architectural records and papers, 1909-1980. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 505729803

Serge Ivan Chermayeff was born on October 8, 1900 near Grozny in the Chechen region of the Northern Caucasus. Chermayeff attended secondary school in England. He began his career as an interior designer for the London firm of Waring & Gillow, creating streamlined modern interiors for various residential and commercial clients. In 1931 he formed his own architectural office and was joined in 1933 by German émigré Erich Mendelsohn, with whom he designed several notable projects in and around London and Southern England, including the De La Warr Pavilion (1934-1935), the R. J. Nimmo residence (1935), and the Dennis Cohen residence (1936), each a notable example of International Style design. Although his partnership with Mendelsohn ended in 1936, both men remained friends for many years. Among Chermayeff’s most important designs during this period was that for his own residence, Bentley Wood (1937-1938), in East Sussex, England. A controversial laboratory for his ideas about public and private spaces and modern aesthetics, it received considerable attention from the architectural press. It led, however, to financial difficulties and Chermayeff was forced to sell in 1939, barely a year after completion.

In 1940, Chermayeff immigrated to the United States, settling briefly in San Francisco, California, to collaborate with local architects on several residential and commercial projects, including the Clarence Mayhew residence (1942) and the Walter Horn residence (1942). Chermayeff soon moved to New York City to become professor of art at Brooklyn College, a position he held until Walter Gropius recommended him in 1946 to serve as president of the Institute of Design in Chicago following László Moholy-Nagy's death. Chermayeff left Chicago in 1951 after the Institute of Design merged with the Illinois Institute of Technology. Teaching briefly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chermayeff joined the faculty at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard in 1953, where he was instrumental in developing a rigorous curriculum for urban design and planning and in organizing symposia and collaborative projects around issues of contemporary urbanism. During this period, Chermayeff also maintained a small private architecture practice with Hayward Cutting. In 1962, Chermayeff accepted a position at Yale’s School of Architecture, where he continued his research and teaching in areas of human interactions with city planning and architecture.

With co-author Christopher Alexander, Chermayeff published Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanism (Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday, 1963), and with co-author Alexander Tzonis he published Shape of Community: Realization of Human Potential (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971), both idiosyncratic but widely considered studies of how human biological and social needs intersect with the built environment. Chermayeff’s selected lectures and writings were published in Design and the Public Good, in 1982, which was edited by Richard Plunz, professor in the School of Architecture at Columbia University. A frequent speaker, guest critic, and prolific writer, Chermayeff was also active in numerous professional organizations, including CIAM, MARS, and the American Society of Architects and Planners, and was awarded honorary degrees from several colleges and universities. In addition, he was a life-long artist, industrial designer, and poet, exhibiting at galleries in Chicago and Boston and self-publishing several anthologies of his poetry.

Throughout his years in the United States, Chermayeff also sustained close ties to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, maintaining a home and studio near Wellfleet, designing experimental architecture for several clients in the area, and advocating for the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore. Chermayeff died in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, in 1996.

From the guide to the Serge Chermayeff architectural records and papers, 1909-1980, 1930s-1970s, (Columbia University Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Department of Drawings & Archives, )

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Fitch, James Marston. James Marston Fitch papers, 1933-2000. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Serge Chermayeff papers, 1957-1968 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
creatorOf David R. Godine, Publisher. Records, 1965-1990. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996,. Oral history interview with Serge Chermayeff, 1985 May 23-24. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996. Serge Chermayeff architectural records and papers, 1909-1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001. Gyorgy Kepes papers, 1825-1989 (bulk 1909-1989). Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996. Artist file : miscellaneous uncataloged material. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
referencedIn Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. Douglas Putnam Haskell papers, Series I: Pending correspondence, 1949-1964. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Serge Chermayeff architectural records and papers, 1909-1980, 1930s-1970s Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Department of Drawings & Archives,
referencedIn Serge Chermayeff : vertical file. Centre canadien d'architecture, | Canadian Centre for Architecture | CCA
referencedIn Chermayeff, Serge, 1900- : [miscellaneous ephemeral material]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn James Marston Fitch papers, 1933-2000 Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Department of Drawings & Archives,
creatorOf Kuh, Katharine. Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk, 1930-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Walter and Ise Gropius papers, 1883-1981. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905-. Robert Jay Wolff papers, 1926-1969. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Blake, Peter, 1920-2006. Peter Blake architectural records and papers, 1910-2006 (bulk 1980-2002). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996. Papers of Serge Ivan Chermayeff, 1945-1947 (inclusive). Harvard University, Archives
referencedIn Papers, 1920-1995. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Reilly, C. H. (Charles Herbert), Sir, 1874-1948. Correspondence regarding Erich Mendelsohn, 1933. Getty Research Institute
creatorOf Plunz, Richard. Richard Plunz papers, 1935-1999 (bulk 1980-1999). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Walter Gropius papers, 1925-1969 (inclusive), 1937-1969 (bulk). Houghton Library.
referencedIn Herbert Matter papers, ca. 1937-1984 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-. Serge Chermayeff papers, 1957-1968 (inclusive). Yale University Library
creatorOf Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973. Shadrach Woods architectural records and papers, 1923-2008 (bulk 1948-1973). Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Kuh, Katharine. Katharine Kuh papers, 1908-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. Walter and Ise Gropius papers, 1883-1981. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Chermayeff, Serge, 1900-1996. Letters, 1941-1975, n.d., to Lewis Mumford. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Kiesler, Frederick. Letters received by Frederick Kiesler, 1937-1961. Getty Research Institute
referencedIn Peter Blake architectural records and papers, 1910-2006, (bulk 1980-2002) Columbia University. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Department of Drawings & Archives,
referencedIn Letters from others to Anthony Bertram, 1920-1971. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Filipowski, Richard E., 1923-. Richard E. Filipowski papers, 1940-1995. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
creatorOf Matter, Herbert, 1907-1984. Herbert Matter papers, circa 1937-1984. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Kuh, Katharine. Katharine Kuh papers, 1908-1994. Smithsonian Archives of American Art
referencedIn R. Buckminster Fuller papers, ca. 1920-1983 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Katharine Kuh papers, 1875-1994, bulk 1930-1994 Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Alexander, Christopher person
associatedWith American Society of Planners and Architects. corporateBody
associatedWith Art Institute of Chicago. corporateBody
associatedWith Baldwin Kingrey (Firm) corporateBody
associatedWith Bentley Wood (Sussex, England) corporateBody
correspondedWith Bertram, Anthony, 1897- person
associatedWith Blake, Peter, 1920-2006. person
associatedWith Blum, Betty, person
associatedWith Born, Ernest, 1898- person
associatedWith Breuer, Marcel, 1902- person
associatedWith Breuer, Marcel, 1902-1981. person
associatedWith Brooklyn College. corporateBody
associatedWith Chermayeff, Ivan. person
associatedWith Chicago Architects Oral History Project. corporateBody
associatedWith Church, Thomas Dolliver person
associatedWith Church, Thomas Dolliver. person
associatedWith Coates, Wells, 1895-1958. person
associatedWith Cutting, Hayward person
associatedWith Cutting, Hayward. person
associatedWith Cutting, Heyward person
associatedWith David R. Godine, Publisher. corporateBody
associatedWith De La Warr Pavilion. corporateBody
associatedWith Dell & Wainwright. corporateBody
associatedWith Eckbo, Garrett. person
associatedWith Filipowski, Richard E., 1923- person
associatedWith Fitch, James Marston. person
associatedWith Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983. person
associatedWith Gideonse, Harry David, 1901-1985. person
associatedWith Giedion, S. (Sigfried), 1888-1968. person
associatedWith Gilbey House (London, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Gropius, Ise. person
associatedWith Gropius Walter 1883 1969 person
associatedWith Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969. person
associatedWith Hamyln House (London, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Harvard University. Graduate School of Design. corporateBody
associatedWith Haskell, Douglas Putnam, 1899-1979. person
associatedWith Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) corporateBody
associatedWith International Congress for Modern Architecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001. person
associatedWith Ketchum, Gina and Sharp. corporateBody
associatedWith Ketchum, Gina & Sharp. corporateBody
associatedWith Kiesler, Frederick. person
associatedWith Kuh, Katharine. person
associatedWith Kuh, Katharine. person
associatedWith Le Corbusier, 1887-1965. person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Matter, Herbert, 1907-1984. person
associatedWith Mendelsohn, Erich, 1887-1953. person
associatedWith Plunz, Richard. person
associatedWith Practical Equipment Ltd. corporateBody
associatedWith Reilly, C. H. (Charles Herbert), Sir, 1874-1948. person
associatedWith Royal Institute of British Architects. corporateBody
associatedWith Rudolph, Paul, 1918- person
associatedWith Rudolph, Paul, 1918-1997. person
associatedWith Sekler, Eduard F. (Eduard Franz) person
associatedWith Sert, Jose Luis person
associatedWith Sert, José Luis, 1902-1983. person
associatedWith Taylor, Charles H. person
associatedWith Tyrwhitt, Jaqueline. person
associatedWith Tyrwhitt, Jaqueline. person
associatedWith Tzonis, Alexander. person
associatedWith Tzonis, Alexander. person
associatedWith Wachsmann, Konrad, 1901-1980. person
associatedWith Weingarten Brothers Showrooms (London, England) corporateBody
associatedWith Wolff, Robert Jay, 1905- person
associatedWith Woods, Shadrach, 1923-1973. person
associatedWith Wurster, William Wilson. person
associatedWith Yale University corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. School of Art and Architecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Yale University. School of Fine Arts. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Massachusetts--Cape Cod
Great Britain
England
United States
Massachusetts--Wellfleet
England--Manchester
Illinois--Chicago
Cape Cod National Seashore (Mass.)
Maine
India
Massachusetts--Orleans
Subject
Newspaper offices--United States--Orleans (Massachusetts)
Architecture
Architecture--Massachusetts--Cape Cod
Showrooms--Interior design--England--London--Regent Street
Architects--Correspondence
Cape Cod National Seashore (Mass.)
Furniture--Tubular steel--20th century
Vacation homes
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.)
Architecture--India--20th century
Architects--20th century
Houses--England--London--Hamlyn house (Cohen house)
Architects--Great Britain--20th century
Newspaper buildings
Architecture, Modern--20th century--United States
Architects--United States
Apartment houses--20th century
National parks and reserves Law and legislation Massachusetts
Exhibition--England--London
Brooklyn College
Architects--Interviews
City planning
Industrial designers United States
Laboratories
Houses--20th century--England
Architecture--History--20th century
Harvard University. Graduate School of Design
Houses--20th century--United States--California
Country homes
International style (Architecture)
Yale University. School of Art and Architecture
Architects
Architecture--Study and teaching
Steel furniture
Houses--20th century--United States--Maine
Architecture--Great Britain--20th century
Industrial designers
Weekend houses--Architects'--United States--Wellfleet (Massachusetts)--Chermayeff house
Architects--United States--Correspondence
National parks and reserves--Law and legislation
Office buildings--England--London--Camden Town--Gilbey House
Pavilions--20th century--England--Bexhill--De La Warr Pavilion
Apartment houses--United States
Laboratories--England--Manchester
Dwellings--20th century
Urban planning
London (England). Weingarten Brothers Showrooms
Country houses--Architects'--England--Sussex--Bentley Wood (Chermayeff house)
Occupation
Architect
Educators
Function

Person

Birth 1900-10-08

Death 1996-08-05

Americans

English

Information

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