Henri Labrouste @ MoMA

“Henri Labrouste: Structure Brought to Light,” up at the Museum of Modern Art in New York through June 24, showcases the remarkable work of a little-known French architect of the nineteenth century. The retrospective focuses on his two large library projects in Paris: the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève and the reading room of the old Bibliothèque nationale. Both buildings are marked by an elegance of form, where slender iron support beams support airy, daylit vaults.

MoMA’s ad campaign features the byline “The architect who invented the modern library”—a grand boast that might not be so far off the mark. Labrouste’s influence can be directly seen in the design of prominent American libraries including the New York Public Library by Carrière and Hastings and the Boston Public Library by Charles Follen McKim.

Johnson Roberts Associates values the historical legacy of these beautiful spaces and appreciates their timeless grandeur. They vividly demonstrate the way that structures can embody philosophical ideals: space and light combine to create conditions for contemplation and intellectual exploration.

Find more information on the MoMA show at their website, here.

You can see vintage images of the New York Public Library and Boston Public Library from our online library postcard collection here and here.

Image: Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris—via Wikipedia Commons