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Mies van der Rohe

A Critical Biography, New and Revised Edition

Second Edition

Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography is a major rewriting and expansion of Franz Schulze’s acclaimed 1985 biography, the first full treatment of the master German-American modern architect. Coauthored with architect Edward Windhorst, this revised edition, three times the length of the original text, features extensive new research and commentary and draws on the best recent work of American and German scholars. The authors’ major new discoveries include the massive transcript of the early-1950s Farnsworth House court case, which discloses for the first time the facts about Mies’s epic battle with his client Edith Farnsworth. Giving voice to dozens of architects who knew and worked with (and sometimes against) Mies, this comprehensive biography tells the compelling story of how Mies and his students and followers created some of the most significant buildings of the twentieth century.

512 pages | 144 halftones, 24 line drawings | 7 x 10 | © 2012

Architecture: Architecture--Biography

Biography and Letters

Chicago and Illinois


“Franz Schulze’s 1985 biography of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has always been acknowledged as the most comprehensive and thoughtful biography of one of the key figures in twentieth-century architecture. This revised edition with significant new scholarship by its two authors will undoubtedly come to occupy the same position.”

Dietrich Neumann, Brown University

“This excellent revised edition of a work originally published in 1985, has 138 illustrations, incisive descriptions of Mies’ innovative creations and a fascinating account of his Pyrrhic victory in a lawsuit against his disaffected client Edith Farnsworth.”

Booklist, Starred Review

"One recent book, however, has been largely overlooked by reviewers, perhaps because it appears to be merely a revised edition of a volume that Mies lovers already have on their bookshelves. Other than the title, though, the book is a completely different animal. . . . Fresh research into Mies’s American commissions, among them the troubled history of his most alluring American residential work—a transparent glass house for the eminent nephrologist Dr. Edith Farnsworth—has resulted in an almost entirely new book.”

Architectural Digest

“This authoritative biography of Mies van der Rohe has been updated through building records, the recollections of students and a court transcript. It’s a gripping read, even if you’re not a fan.”

Christopher Woodword | Building Design

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations

1.      Youth in Imperial Germany: 1886–1905
2.      Apprenticeship, Marriage, and World War: 1905–18   
3.      Europe out of the Ashes: 1918–26   
4.      Weimar at High Tide: 1926–30   
5.      Political Crises and the End of the Bauhaus: 1930–36   
6.      America Beckons: 1936–38   
7.      Architect and Educator: 1938–49   
8.      A New Architectural Language: 1946–53   
9.      The 1940s   
10.    The Farnsworth Saga: 1946–55   
11.    American Apogee: Residential Work 1950–59   
12.    American Apogee: Commercial and Institutional Work 1950–59   
13.    Worldwide Practice: The 1960s   
14.    Was Less Less? 1959–69   
15.    Recessional: 1962–69   

Appendix A: Protégés   
Appendix B: Mies’s Career, in Publications and Exhibitions   
Bibliographic Afterword   

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