James SpeyerArt Curator + Architect
A. James Speyer was born in 1913 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1934, and continued his graduate education at the Chelsea Polytechnic in London and the Sorbonne in Paris (1934-37). He also spent two additional years studying under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, from which he received his master’s degree in 1939. Speyer served in the military during World War II. In 1946 he became a Professor of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology while also maintaining a private practice designing residences. Between 1957 and 1960 Speyer was also Visiting Fulbright Professor at National University in Athens, Greece. In 1961 he left IIT to became Curator of Twentieth Century Paintings and Sculpture at The Art Institute of Chicago, where he was highly regarded for his innovative exhibitions and installations. Speyer remained at the Art Institute until his death in 1986.
Taken from the Art Institute of Chicago’s interview with A. James Speyer