Renzo Piano, “How Did You Do It, Mr. Piano?”

The Harvard Art Museums building, which opens November 16th, consolidates three museums in a single volume capped by an art study center and state-of-the-art conservation laboratory. Architect Renzo Piano will speak about the project, followed by a conversation moderated by historian and critic Kenneth Frampton, Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University, with Mr. Piano and Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. 

This event is open to the Harvard GSD and university community, and to the general public, on a first-come-first-served basis. Once the capacity of Piper Auditorium has been exceeded, viewing via simulcast will be available in Gund Hall. For accessibility accommodations please contact the events office in advance at (617)-496-2414 or [email protected] 

Renzo Piano, a laureate of the Pritzker Prize and many other distinctions, founded Renzo Piano Building Workshop in 1981 following a partnership with architect Richard Rogers and engineer Peter Rice; early experimental practice; and work in the offices of Franco Albini, Louis Kahn, and others. RPBW (Genoa, Paris, and New York) is internationally recognized and lauded for its public spaces, excellence in engineering, and sensitivity to existing structures, as well as for architectural design. 

Kenneth Frampton was born in the United Kingdom in 1930 and trained as an architect at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. After practicing for a number of years in the United Kingdom and in Israel, he served as the editor of the British magazine Architectural Design. In 1972–73 he was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has taught at a number of leading institutions, including the Royal College of Art, the ETH Zurich, EPFL Lausanne, the Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, and the Berlage Institute in The Netherlands. He is currently the Ware Professor of Architecture at the GSAPP, Columbia University, New York; and he is the author of Modern Architecture and the Critical Present (1980), Studies in Tectonic Culture(1995), American Masterworks (1995), Le Corbusier (2001), Labour, Work & Architecture (2005), and an updated fourth edition of Modern Architecture: A Critical History (2007). His latest book, forthcoming from Lars Müller in spring 2015, is A Genealogy of Modern Architecture: A Comparative Critical Analysis of Built Form.

Thomas W. Lentz is the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. He oversees one of the leading arts institutions in the United States, with a collection of more than 260,000 objects and a staff of over 260. A 1985 graduate of Harvard’s doctoral program in fine arts, Lentz is an expert in Persian painting and has organized a number of significant exhibitions in the field of Asian art. From the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design, where he was curator of Asian art, Lentz moved to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He spent seven years at LACMA, then returned to the East Coast in 1992 to the Smithsonian, initially head of research and collections at the Freer and Sackler galleries (the Smithsonian’s Asian art museums), later becoming deputy director, before being appointed director of the Smithsonian’s international art museums division in 2000. He came to Harvard in mid-November 2003.

More information about Harvard Art Museums may be found here.


Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].