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Albert Kahn: Innovation and Influence on 20th Century Architecture

On display at the Community Gallery of the Detroit Historical Museum
April 23, 2022 - July 3, 2022 , 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Albert Kahn:  Innovation and Influence on  20th Century Architecture

The Albert Kahn Legacy Foundation is pleased to collaborate with the Detroit Historical Society to present “Albert Kahn: Innovation and Influence on 20th Century Architecture,” an exhibit celebrating the work and legacy of Detroit’s most important architect of the first half of the 20th century. Kahn’s work enabled the creation of America’s modern industrial enterprises and created iconic office and civic buildings, homes and religious structures. This exhibit tells the story of historically significant architecture and design that has stood the test of time in Detroit, in Michigan and around the world and inspired the streamlined modernist designs that followed.



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Using numerous photos, wooden and LEGO building models, artifacts from Albert Kahn’s lifetime, and video clips, the exhibit shows the innovative genius behind the design and building of many of Detroit and Michigan’s most iconic structures–from the automotive factories of the early 20th century, such as the Packard Plant and Ford’s sprawling Rouge complex, to numerous Detroit landmarks, including the Fisher Building (“Detroit’s largest art object”), the Detroit Athletic Club, and the Belle Isle Aquarium and Conservatory. During the height of the Art Deco period, Kahn designed the former General Motors headquarters, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, and many buildings on the University of Michigan campus, including Hill Auditorium and the Carillon Tower.


As the world’s foremost industrial architect of his day, Kahn was the trailblazer in building factories for the Ford Motor Company, in meeting the needs of the Arsenal of Democracy efforts of WWII, and for the development of the Soviet Union’s industrial economy. His large firm of architects and designers established in 1895 (and still working today) fulfilled his wide-ranging talents. As a model of the successful immigrant to America, Kahn went on to influence the course of 20th-century architecture around the world. This exhibit demonstrates Albert Kahn’s genius, virtuosity, productivity and legacy.


“Albert Kahn: Innovation and Influence on 20th Century Architecture” will be on display in the Community Gallery of the Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, from April 22 to July 3, 2022.

This event is free with museum admission