May 29, 2023

‘Great Lives’ Lecture Series Continues with Architect I.M. Pei

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The William B. Crawley Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, Feb. 11 with iconic architect I.M. Pei, presented by Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim. The JON Properties/Van Zandt Restorations Lecture.

Because of restrictions on public gatherings on campus, the entire series of 18 lectures will be pre-recorded and delivered electronically, through Zoom Webinars, with closed captioning available. Although the presentations will be taped in advance, there will still be a live Q&A session following the online debut of each lecture, in which the speaker will be available to answer questions submitted by audience members.

I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei

Chinese-born American architect I.M. Pei (Ieoh Ming Pei, 1917-2019) was one of the most acclaimed and world-famous architects of the 20th and 21st century. He was awarded the 1983 Pritzker Architecture Prize for his iconic design for the east building of the National Gallery of Art (1968-78) in Washington, D.C., and the underground reception area and the central glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris, France (1983-93). After earning his B.A. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.A. at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he became well-known for his use of structural concrete as a smooth, ‘men-made’ stone and contemporary interpretation of the Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) and the International Style. The National Gallery of Art east building is quintessential I.M. Pei with the walls clad with continuous and smooth Tennessee pink marble, the use of architectural concrete molded by skilled cabinetmakers, and the application of the isosceles triangle for all architectural forms and smaller details. Pei’s buildings cover a wide range of skyscrapers, university buildings, and art museums in and outside of the U.S., which have been built in refined geometrical forms and demonstrate harmonizing effects with the surrounding skylines, cityscapes and landscapes.

Other upcoming lectures include novelist Horatio Alger, given by UMW Reference and Humanities Librarian Emeritus Jack Bales on Feb. 16; General Douglas MacArthur, given by Professor of History and American Studies Porter Blakemore on Feb. 18; and authors and Black rights activists Anna Julia Cooper and W.E.B. DuBois by Professor of Sociology Kristin Marsh. To learn more about Great Lives and view past and upcoming lectures, please visit