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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Serge Ivan Chermayeff

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Serge Chermayeff was born in the Caucasus in 1900 and recieved his education in England. Much of his early architectural work is there. He taught at the European Mediterranean Academy in Cavalière, France in the early 1930s. In 1939 he came to the US to accept a post at the San Francisco Art Institute and Brooklyn College while pursuing private practice. At Brooklyn College he was chairman of the design department from 1942-1946. He was later on the faculty of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Insititute of Technology. In 1953 he accepted a position as head of the department of architecture at Harvard. From 1962-1970 he served as head of the architecture department at Yale. Among the noted buildings he designed are: the seaside Bexhill Pavillon in England; the Clarence Mayhew House in Oakland and the Horn House in Marin County, CA. He was the author, with C. Alexander, of "Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanism"(1963) and with Alexander Tzonis, of "Shape of Community: Realization of Human Potential" (1971). He was the co-founder of the American Society of Planners and Architects. He also served as president, on recommendation of Gropius, of the Chicago Institute of Design. He died at age 95 in Wellfleet, MA in 1996.