Life Lived: MIT’s Prof. Stanford Anderson, ex-chairman of the joint Harvard/MIT Aga Khan Program Committee

Life Lived: MIT's Prof. Stanford Anderson, ex-chairman of the joint Harvard/MIT Aga Khan Program CommitteeStanford Anderson, professor of history and architecture and a former head of the Department of Architecture died on Jan. 5. He was 81.

One of the country’s leading architectural historians, Anderson joined the faculty in 1963 for an extraordinary career at MIT that spanned more than 50 years. His research and writing concerned architectural theory, early modern architecture in northern Europe, American architecture and urbanism, and epistemology and historiography. But Anderson’s profound contributions as an author and intellectual, his colleagues say, are matched by his influence on MIT and how he formed the department’s shape and stature today.

“Stanford’s contributions over the past 50 years were enormous. He was a distinguished professor, significant scholar, generous mentor, and the long-term intellectual consciousness of the department.

Many of us, directly or indirectly, are deeply indebted to his stewardship, generosity, and legacy.”

– J. Meejin Yoon, Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture

Anderson served as head of the Department of Architecture for 13 years, from 1991 through 2004, as well as chair of the joint Harvard/MIT Aga Khan Program Committee from 1992-99. In 1974, he co-founded the department’s History, Theory and Criticism (HTC) Program with architectural historian Henry Millon and art historians Wayne Andersen and Rosalind Krauss, then directed the program from 1974-91 and again in 1995-96. Under his leadership, HTC grew to have an unusually large impact on the field, given its modest size.

“Stan Anderson was a historian and historiographer, a critical interlocutor of contemporary practice, and most notably an educator’s educator.

His leadership of the History, Theory and Criticism discipline group made MIT one of the strongest bastions of architectural history in the world and has graduated generations of preeminent historians and theorists whose impact on the field continues to grow.

His legacy is unmatched.”

– Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT and previously Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design

Sources:

Research, Insight & Perspective by A. Maherali

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