Join us for an exclusive curators tour of the Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia, led by curator Yuka Yokoyama and Guest Curator Bill Whittaker. The curators tours will take place over two weekends in October and last one hour.
Funded with generous support from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Shofuso and Modernism: Mid-Century Collaboration between Japan and Philadelphia, an installed exhibition at Shofuso and a virtual exhibition online, celebrates the friendships and transcultural exchanges among Shofuso’s Japanese architect Junzo Yoshimura (1908 – 1997, Japan), Japanese American woodworker George Nakashima (1905-1990, US), Swiss American designer Noémi Pernessin Raymond (1889-1980,Swiss French, born in Geneva) and Czech American architect Antonin Raymond (1888 – 1976, Czech), through their collaborative architectural projects, including their nearby Bucks County, PA studios. Shofuso was an internationally-known result of these creative exchanges and Shofuso’s 1954-55 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York was a primary influence on mid-century modern architecture and design.
Yuka Yokoyama, Curator, Associate Director of Exhibition and Programs at Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia
Yuka Yokoyama is a curator and Program Manager for JapanPhilly2020. Since 2009, Yokoyama has served as co-Director to Marginal Utility gallery in the Callowhill neighborhood in Philadelphia with her spouse David Dempewolf. She has curated exhibitions and created opportunities to engage and work on projects with the ICA Philadelphia, Arcadia University, Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR), Icebox at Crane Arts, Asian Art Initiative, New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA), Residency Unlimited, and the Pew Center for the Arts and Heritage, representing artists from diverse backgrounds.
Yokoyama’s interest in mid-century design and architecture grew while working for Sori Yanagi Design Institute and studying at the Woman’s College of Art (Joshi Bijutsu Daigaku) in Japan. Her areas of interest expanded to artist communities and activism in the twentieth century such as Mingei, arts and crafts movement to Bauhaus and Blackmountain college. After finishing curatorial training at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, earning M.A. in Museum Studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Yokoyama worked at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Philadelphia, Nippon Club, Ise Cultural Foundation and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.
William Whitaker, Guest Architectural Curator for “Shofuso and Modernism”, Curator and Collections Manager of the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design.
Trained as an architect and architectural historian at the University of New Mexico and the University of Pennsylvania, Whitaker primarily works on documenting and interpreting Penn’s design collections, including holdings related to the life and work of architect Louis I. Kahn and landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, as well as that of the husband and wife design team of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
Whitaker has organized and co-curated over 30 exhibitions, including retrospectives on Antonin and Noemi Raymond (2006), Wharton Esherick (2008), and Anne Griswold Tyng (2011) and served as the director of research for the landmark retrospective, Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown & Associates, organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2001, and as curatorial consultant for Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture, a major exhibition of the architect’s work organized by the Vitra Design Museum in 2012; currently on the world tour with venues in Rotterdam, Oslo, London, Taipei and SanDiego. Most recently he co-curated Experiments in Environment: The Halprin Workshops, 1966-71 (with Sarah Herda and Ellen Alderman; 2014) for the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts as well as Venturi’s Grandmother: Patterns for Production for the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia (with Kathryn Heisinger & others; 2014).
Whitaker has co-authored: The Houses of Louis I. Kahn (Yale University Press, 2013) with George Marcus, the first comprehensive study of the architect’s house designs, and is also a co-editor of Crafting a Modern World: The Architecture and Design of Antonin and Noemi Raymond (Princeton Architectural Press, 2006) with Kurt Helfrich. He has lectured on a wide range of subjects related to twentieth century architecture, landscape, and community design in the greater Philadelphia region, to audiences in the United States, Canada, Germany and India.