Claude-Nicolas Le-doux, The eye of the architect: Coup d'oeil du Théâtre de Besançon, in: Architecture considerée sous le rapport de l'art, des moeurs et de la legislation, vol.1, Paris 1804

Wilhelm von Kaulbach, Die von König Ludwig I. mit der Ausführung monumentaler Bauwerke betraut gewesenen Künstler, ca. 1850, © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich.

Reviewing the Past and Present of the Architecture Profession

Meister des Marienlebens, Portrait of a master builder, ca. 1470, © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich.

Louis Kahn in his studio, © Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania, Photo: George Pohl.

Block statue of Bekenkhons, New Kingdom, 18. dynasty, ca. 1320 BC., © Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst Munich Photo: Jürgen Liepe.


Pinakothek der Moderne
der Technischen Universität München
Barer Strasse 40
+ 089 23805360
The Architect –
History and Present of a Profession

September 27, 2012-March 2, 2013

After 35 years as an exhibition curator, 10 of which at the Pinakothek der Moderne, the Founding Director of the Architekturmuseum, Prof. Dr. Winfried Nerdinger, is marking his departure with the exhibition The Architect – A Profession Past and Present.

Although building is one of mankind’s oldest occupations and architecture is regarded as the "mother of all arts," a detailed knowledge of an architect’s work and the historical development of the profession are known to but a few. A comprehensive look at the many facets of an architect’s job is now being shown for the first time in this major exhibition. The development from master builder to artist and from servant of the court to general manager is
traced, as is the differing notion of an architect’s task and status in various countries, cultural circles and centuries.

A multifaceted and fascinating image of the profession is given through sculpture, painting, drawing, photos, models and films. Examples have been taken from Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as from the present day. They not only illustrate and explain the history and importance of the profession but also the architect’s relationship to his client, the implementation of an idea, self-representation in architecture and the influence of music, theatre and film. In addition, other subjects such as how master builders are portrayed in sagas and myths, the architect as a theoretician or "global player," the tools used to turn ideas into reality and a look at the future of the architect are also outlined.

A comprehensive and richly illustrated, two-volumed publication with 45 contributions by renowned scholars accompanies the exhibition (Prestel, 2 volumes with a total of 816 pages and 650 illustrations; available for €76 at the Museum Shop or €98 in bookshops).

The Architekturmuseum der TU München’s own rooms in the Pinakothek der Moderne opened on September 16, 2002 with the exhibition Exemplarisch. Since then, 42 others have followed in close succession, most of which have been the museum’s own exhibitions on historical and current subjects, accompanied by well-received and scholarly publications. As a university institution, the objective of the Architekturmuseum has always been to research all subjects in a thorough and academic fashion and to reach both a specialist public as well as interested lay people. As a leitmotif, this intention has conditioned the subjects selected over the past 10 years and the way they have been presented in the Pinakothek der Moderne. It is a fortunate coincidence within the museum landscape in Germany that — in conjunction with the collections of modern art, design and graphic works in the Pinakothek der Moderne — the appeal and potential of the internationally renowned Architekturmuseum has been able to have such a widespread public impact. The 3-volumes series Architektur ausstellen, the final volume of which is to be published this September, provides an overview of all the exhibitions held as the Architekturmuseum since 1977.

Le Corbusier, 1956, © Architekturmuseum der TU München, Photo: André Villers.

Philibert de l'Orme, The bad architect, in: Le premier tome de l'architecture, Paris 1567, © Bavarian State Library, Munich.

Philibert de l'Orme,The good architect, in: Le premier tome de l'architecture, Paris 1567, © Bavarian State Library, Munich.

Office Foster + Partners Photo: Nigel Young / Foster + Partners.

Colleagues of Aldo Rossi in front of Arduino Cantafora's wall painting La citta analog< for the XV. Triennale di Milano 1973, Photo: Heinrich Helfenstein, Zurich.


Sculpture of a master builder as atlas in the eastern choir of the Mainz Cathedral before 1239, © Bischöfliches Dom- und Diözesanmuseum, Mainz.