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Perspective

Breuer’s Bohemia
24.10.21

The driving ethos underpinning great works of architecture has long been a source of fascination for our team. For iconic architect, Marcel Breuer, modern architecture was not a style, but an attitude – one that was framed by the active cultural milieu of post-war America and the progressive mindsets of his clients.⁠

The recent documentary, Breuer’s Bohemia, engages intimately with this context, drawing on archival footage and interviews with historians, cultural icons and former residents of Breuer’s radical residential designs in Connecticut – often overshadowed by his early renown as a Bauhaus furniture maker. ⁠

Marcel and Connie Breuer at home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and New Canaan, Connecticut.
Photography courtesy of Pedro E. Guerrero Archive.

Breuer’s 1949 exhibition house at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan.
Photography courtesy of Ezra Stoller.

Marcel and Connie Breuer at home in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and New Canaan, Connecticut.
Photography courtesy of Ezra Stoller.

“The Jewish-born Hungarian architect Marcel Breuer is probably best-known for his brutalist design of New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art completed in 1966. However, Breuer’s revolutionary experimental house designs during the McCarthy era and its Cold War politics in the early 1950s to the radical Vietnam war years and free love of the late 1960s have garnered far less attention, though they remain a potent chapter in American architecture, particularly in the Connecticut suburbs of New York,” (Breur’s Bohemia).

The film is directed by art historian, James Crump, and produced by Ronnie Sassoon, who live in Breuer’s landmark Stillman House II in Litchfield – lending a personal tone to the narrative, also captured in a companion book published by Monacelli Press.

Watch the documentary at Vimeo On Demand. ⁠

Breuer’s Bohemia companion publication.
Photography by Monacelli Press.

Marcel Breuer.
Photography courtesy of Breuer’s Bohemia.