Rudolf Steiner as Expressionist Architect. A lecture by Frederick Amrine. Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 2.30pm. The program includes afternoon tea. The architect Hans Scharoun, whose Berlin Philharmonic is one of the masterpieces of the postwar era, declared Rudolf Steiner’s second Goetheanum “the most important building of the first half of the 20th century.” A remarkable assertion, and even more so given that Steiner himself considered the second Goetheanum but a pale shadow of the first. Prof. Amrine’s slide lecture will provide an overview of both the first Goetheanum and its successor, together with a discussion of Steiner’s main ideas as an architectural theorist. All great geniuses are both sui generis and a reflection of larger contemporary movements. So it was with Rudolf Steiner, who can be situated within the early 20th-century artistic movement that has come to be called Expressionism. Both in his theories and in his artistic practice, Steiner realized the high aesthetic and spiritual ideals toward which others such Wassily Kandinsky, Antoni Gaudi, Hans Poelzig, Bruno Taut, Max Baer, Eric Mendelsohn, and Hans Scharoun were striving in his time.
Although many considered it a marginal phenomenon in the early 20th century, it returned forcefully later in the century: many of the most notable postwar buildings, such as the Sydney Opera House, Saarinen’s TWA Terminal, Libeskind’s Jewish Museum and – not least! – the masterpieces by Toronto’s native son Frank Gehry, can be seen as continuations of the Expressionist vision. Viewed in this light, Rudolf Steiner is revealed as a great pioneer within the field of architecture. Frederick Amrine has been a student of anthroposophy his entire adult life. He teaches literature, philosophy, and intellectual history at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in German Studies. His research has been devoted primarily to Goethe, German Idealism, and Romanticism. Admission: $20. Seniors and students: $15. Advance registration appreciated. Rudolf Steiner Centre Toronto, 9100 Bathurst St. #4, Thornhill ON L4J 8C7 Phone 905-764-7570 • Fax 905-889-3336 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.rsct.ca