Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is the first retrospective of Louis Kahn’s work in two decades, presenting over 200 objects related to Kahn’s selected buildings and projects in the form of architectural models, plans, original drawings, photographs, films and more. With complex spatial compositions and a mastery of light, Louis Kahn’s architecture is regarded as a touchstone of 20th century modernism. Dignified, beautiful, and imbued with a powerful universal symbolism, Kahn’s designs remain a testament to his belief that architecture should be monumental and spiritually inspiring. Among his most famous works are the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA; the Kimbell Art Museum in Forth Worth, TX; and the National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

At The San Diego Museum of Art, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture will be accompanied by Shape, Shadow, Space, an exhibition of architectural photography from students of the Woodbury University School of Architecture. The Museum will also present a symposium on Saturday, November 5, 2016, featuring Ariel Plotek, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The San Diego Museum of Art; Wendy Lesser, editor of The Threepenny Review and author of the forthcoming biography, You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn (due in spring 2017); William Whitaker, Curator and Collections Manager, Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design; and Sara Lardinois, Project Specialist, The Getty Conservation Institute. The Museum will also screen the film My Architect, A Son’s Journey, presented by the director and Kahn’s son, Nathaniel Kahn on January 13.

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture was accompanied by a series of programs and events.

November 4 | Friends’ Lecture and Reception
November 5 | Members’ Preview
November 5 | Symposium: Louis Kahn
November 6 | Family Drop-In Day: Exploring Architecture
November 15 | ArtStop: Louis Kahn
November 17 | Culture & Cocktails
November 18 | Friday Morning Lecture & Tour Series
November 19 | Architectural Photography Workshop
November 22 | Art of Élan: Defining Place
December 9 | Cathedrals of Culture: The Salk Institute
December 10 | Architectural Photography Workshop
January 13 | My Architect: A Son’s Journey


An exhibition of the Vitra Design Museum, Germany, in collaboration with the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, and the New Institute, Netherlands, Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture is globally sponsored by Swarovski and has been organized in San Diego by Dr. Ariel Plotek, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The San Diego Museum of Art.

Global Sponsor

National Assembly Building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Louis Kahn, 1962–83 © Raymond Meier.