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Schulze, Franz (1927-) | Lake Forest College Archives and Special Collections

Name: Schulze, Franz (1927-)
Variant Name: Schulze, Frank


Historical Note:

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Note:

As of August, 30, 2012, Franz Schulze is expecting to have two books published soon. The first, due to be published Octobver 5, 2012, is  his mostly rewritten and greatly augmented Mies van der Rohe: A Critical Biography, Expanded Edition (Univeristy of Chicago Press), co-authored this time with Chicago architect and student of Mies's student, Myron Goldsmith, Edward Windhorst.  Windhorst is also the co-author, with Kevin Herrington, of Lake Point Tower: A Design History (Chicago Architecture Foundation, 2009).  Another forthcoming title of Schulze's this fall is a critical biography of Chicago architect Helmut Jahn, scheduled to be released in Germany in November.

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Franz Schulze was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Illinois, Pekin and Chicago, as his civil engineer father moved to follow employment in the 1930s.  Perhaps his interest in art and architecture was stimulated by visiting with his father the 1933-34 Century of Progress Exhibition, Chicago, which he still remembers vividly.  After Lane Technical High School in his Chicago neighborhood, Schulze attended Robert M. Hutchins' University of Chicago and graduated in 1945 with a two-year wartime Ph.B. and a strong if somewhat crammed grounding in the classics. He went on to the Art Institute of Chicago's School for his B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees, the latter the terminal degree for academics in studio art. After two years teaching at Purdue University, Schulze, according to his own account, mis-stated his age (as twenty-seven, not twenty-five) to apply for and become art professor and head of the Art Department at Lake Forest College in 1952 (to 1958), succeeding the College's first full-time art professor, Joseph P. Nash (for Nash, see the finding aid for his collection elsewhere in this series of such guides).

Schulze taught at Lake Forest full-time from 1952 through 1991, and is the Betty Jane Hollender Professor of Art, Emeritus.  He was a popular teacher, garnering in 1968 the students' Great Teacher award.  He organized major, museum-quality exhibitions of art on campus in the 1950s and 1960s that fostered excellent town-gown relations while building student connossieurship.  He took emeritus status in 1991 to devote full-time to his work on his 1994-published biography of Philip Johnson.  He continued to teach courses occasionally and now participates in some classes.

Notable among his former students are Richard D. Armstrong '71, director of New York's Guggenheim Museum; Peter Reed '77, Senior Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, of New York's Musuem of Modern Art; Kingston Heath '68, author and Professor of Historic Preservation at the U. of Oregon; and Stephen M. Salny '77, author of books on architect David Adler (Norton, 2001), interior designer Frances Elkins (Norton, 2005), and interior designer Michael Taylor (Norton, 2009).

Schulze is an artist, working on canvas and with charcoal, and has done many portraits, including some of significant Chicago architects,  shown in Chicago in 2011.  His portraits of his Lake Forest College friends and colleagues provide a valuable chronicle of the campus and town history of the past almost six decades, including College presidents.  A show of his drawings took place February 18 through March 26, 2011, at the Printworks Gallery, Chicago.

The artist's work included also graphic design for College publications (Tusitala annual literary magazine), striking publicity for 1950s  town-gown Fireside chats, and in the early 1960s a new seal to replace the one in use for over a century.  This was the College's emblem through the decade and then again in the mid-1990s.

Schulze began writing art criticism for New York periodicals in 1958 and he has continued this  work into the 2000s.  He also served as art critic for the Chicago Daily News until it was absorbed into the Chicago Sun-Times in 1978, after which he wrote for that paper.  He has written several books and has contributed chapters, introductions and forewords to many more.  His own most notable books to date are Fantastic Images (1973), Mies van der Rohe: a Critical Biography (1985), and Philip Johnson: Life and Work (1994).  He was the lead author for 30 Miles North, a History of Lake Forest College, Its Town and Its City of Chicago (2000), the institution's first separate;y-published historical volume, and lead co-editor of the well-received 5th ed. of Chicago's Famous Buildings (2003).  His soon-to-be published Fall, 2012 titles are listed at the opening of this sketch.

Schulze did not have formal academic training especially in architectural history.  He educated himself through his journalism and his teaching preparation, and in writing for New York periodicals found more interest in Chicago architecture than in the Chicago art scene, a "provincial" center that did not so much appeal in the abstract art capital of the world in the 1960s and 1970s.  This in turn led to the work on his landmark Mies biography, since Mies's Seagram's Building in New York was well-known and appreciated in that city.

Schulze's MFA from the Art Institute School is considered a terminal degree in studio art, the focus of Schulze's initial call to Lake Forest in 1952.  But a mid 1950s year of further study in Munich, Germany, furthered his knowledge of art and architectural history.  Also, as a regular reviewer of art books especially for Chicago newspapers, many of which now are in the Lake Forest College library collection (!), Schulze got a "free" self-education in areas of the histories of art and architecture about which he did not already know that much.

Schulze has been the most widely published and known campus author in the College's over one-hundred and fifty-year history, with a national and international reputation, his 1985 Mies biography translated into German and Japanese.  He is a well-known authority on modern art and architecture, and lectures internationally, most recently in Mexico City and Dresden, Germany.

Schulze has two grown sons, both married, Matthew in Washington, DC, and Luke in San Diego, CA, as well as two grandsons in DC.  His non-academic or non-scholarly interests include unfruitful life-long interests in the fortunes of the Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field being near his adolescent home) and the Chicago Bears.  He loves and is knowledgeable about classical music and when younger was active in campus folk music, even writing songs based on campus legends ("The Ballad of Espinose," for example, reprised in an April 2011 concert with the campus folk group, Fast and Cheap).  By nature a restless person, Schulze is always the first to leave a dinner party. This trait posed a problem for him on January 30, 2007 when his good friend Manya Scaff (Los Angeles) organized in his honor an eigthieth birthday party at Chicago's Arts Club.  Schulze continues to spend his days hard at work in his campus office and to frequent the library, when not in Chicago or traveling especially to visit friends and family in Washington, DC, and California.

Some Sources:

Andries, Dorothy, "North Shore Arts [Franz Schulze]," Lake Forester (LMarch 30, 1972), A ff.

Carroll, Nancy, "A Conversation with Franz Schulze, Art Critic for the 'Chicago Daily News,'" North Shore Art League News (Winnetka, Illinois), v. 19, no. 9 (may-June 1972), 6-9.

Contemporary Authors, v. 125, 405 ff.

"Modern Man, Biographer Franz Schulze Talks to Zurich Esposito, " Chicago Architect (July/August 2010), 46-47.

Rosenberg, Harold, "Place Patriotism and the New York Mainstream," New Yorker (July 15, 1972), 52 ff.

Schulze, Franz in conversation with Studs Terkel, "Where is American painting Going?" WFMT Perspective, v. 11, no 7 (July 1962), 18-29.

Updated August 30, 2012

Sources:

Andries, Dorothy, "North Shore Arts [Franz Schulze]," Lake Forester (March 30, 1972), A ff.

Carroll, Nancy, "A Conversation with Franz Schulze, Art Critic for the 'Chicago Daily News,'" North Shore Art League News (Winnetka, Illinois), v. 19, no. 9 (may-June 1972), 6-9.

Contemporary Authors, v. 125, 405 ff.

"Modern Man, Biographer Franz Schulze Talks to Zurich Esposito, " Chicago Architect (July/August 2010), 46-47.

Rosenberg, Harold, "Place Patriotism and the New York Mainstream," New Yorker (July 15, 1972), 52 ff.

Schulze, Franz in conversation with Studs Terkel, "Where is American painting Going?"  WFMT Perspective, v. 11, no 7 (July 1962), 18-29.

Note Author: Arthur H. Miller, Archivist and Librarian for Special Collections, amiller@lakeforest.edu





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