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Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.
(1910 - July 31, 1989) U.S.A.

Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.

Architect

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Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. was an openly gay architect, lecturer, and author. He was the son of Edgar J. Kaufmann, a wealthy Pittsburgh businessman and philanthropist who owned Kaufmann's department store. Edgar Jr. attended the School for Arts and Crafts at the Austrian Museum of Applied Art in Vienna in the late 1920s, studied painting and typography for three years with Victor Hammer in Florence, and was an apprentice architect at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin Foundation from 1933 to 1934. He strongly supported his father's decision to commission Fallingwater by Wright in 1936.

In 1940, Edgar wrote to Alfred Barr of the Museum of Modern Art, proposing the Organic Design in Home Furnishings Competition, won by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen. He served in the US military during World War II. Afterwards, he was Director of the Industrial Design Department at the Museum of Modern Art. Edgar's greatest accomplishment during his tenure was the Good Design program of 1950 to 1955, in which the museum joined forces with the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, promoting good design in household objects and furnishings.

After his father's death in 1955, Edgar Jr. inherited Fallingwater and continued to use it as a mountain retreat until 1963. Then, following his father's wishes, he entrusted it and several hundred acres of land to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy as a conservation in memory of his parents.

From 1963 to 1986, Edgar was an Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Art History at Columbia University. He authored several books on Wright architecture and modern design, and was a contributor to Encyclopædia Britannica. Following his death, Edgar was entombed alongside the remains of his parents in the family mausoleum on the grounds of Fallingwater.

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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