August 10, 2012
Like an Olympic athlete who maintains his drive and focus year after year, one of Cornell University’s most esteemed alumni is sprinting past his 80th birthday this weekend with a flurry of activity. Peter Eisenman (B.Arch. ’55) continues his significant contributions to architecture with exhibitions, lectures, and publications being presented in the coming months.
Palladio Virtuel — an exhibition that culminates a decade of Eisenman’s research on Andrea Palladio — opens August 20 at the Yale School of Architecture, in New Haven. A lecture on August 30 and a book to be published next spring will support the exhibition. Eisenman will also present the Piranesi Variations: A Field of Diagrams at the upcoming 2012 Venice Biennale. Other upcoming commemorations include events at his graduate school alma mater Cambridge and a symposium at Princeton University.
“Peter has no equal. He is the quintessential fox whose intellectual interests range across vast domains, and he is an indomitable hedgehog who is always focused on architecture qua architecture,” says Kent Kleinman, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (AAP). “As Isaiah Berlin observed of Tolstoy, to be both the fox and the hedgehog is a condition that only the greatest minds can sustain.”
At Cornell, Eisenman has been a visiting critic in architecture, most recently coteaching with Alex Maymind and with Richard Meier (B.Arch. ’57) in AAP’s New York City studio program. He was a Frank H. T. Rhodes Class of 1956 Professor and regularly lectures on campus.
His fierce loyalty to and continued support for Cornell athletics, especially his longtime love of Cornell hockey, are legendary. Eisenman’s son, Sam, is set to graduate from Cornell in spring 2013 from the School of Hotel Administration where he served as director of guest services for Hotel Ezra Cornell and was president of the Delta Chi Fraternity Cornell Chapter.