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LAMBERT, Phyllis

Born
Montreal, Quebec, 1927
Biography synopsis
Phyllis Lambert (née Bronfman) was born in 1927 to Samuel Bronfman and Saiyde Rosler, scions of the Seagram's distillery family. She was interested in art from a young age, contributing a sculpture to Annual Spring Exhibition of the Art Association of Montreal in 1940. She would later attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture. In 1949 she married Jean Lambert, a French economist, in Montreal, later settling in New York City. The marriage lasted until 1954. During this period her father was heavily involved in the planning of the building that would become the Seagram headquarters in New York. Due to her own interest in architecture, Lambert recommended Mies van der Rohe as the principle architect for the building, which she would help design. The Seagram Building would become synonymous with International Style architecture. She pursued a Masters in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago (1963). Her architectural career included the design for the Saiyde Bronfman Centre in Montreal, QC, and the restoration of the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Upon her father's death in 1971, Lambert returned to Montreal and became heavily involved in the movement to preserve the architectural heritage of the city. In 1975 she founded Heritage Montreal, an organization that focused on saving many of the older buildings in the Golden Square Mile and Old Port districts of Montreal. Her passion for architecture and her own collecting practices led her to found the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 1979, and acted as a consulting architect on the design of the Centre's permament headquarters which opened in 1989. Lambert has written numerous books on architectural history and preservation, and her career and philanthropy have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2014).
Media used
Architecture
Education
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, ? - 1948
Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, ? - 1963 (under Mies van der Rohe)
Memberships
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), 1985
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), 1972
Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ), 1970
File & Archive locations
Canadian Centre for Architecture, QC - Library
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
"Phyllis Bronfman Weds in Montreal." New York Times 18 May 1949: 31.
"Preservation Group Honors Canadian." New York Times 25 Oct. 1997: B10.
Disher, Scott. "A Passionate Proponent of Urban Conservation." Globe and Mail 30 May, 1983: M9.
Freedman, Adele. "Phyllis Lambert." Sight Lines: Looking at Architecture and Design in Canada Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1990: 75-79, 116, 209-210.
Freedman, Adele.. "Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal." Sight Lines: Looking at Architecture and Design in Canada Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1990: 192-196.
Glueck, Grace. "Philanthropist Backs Archive in Montreal." New York Times 29 May 1986: C1, C12.
Koch, Tom. "Building Personality." Why (Fall 1995): 21-23..
McGinkel, B.C.. "Slowly and Surely (and Somewhat Painfully): ore or Less the History of Women in Architecture in Canada." SSAC Bulletin (March 1991): 5-11.

Writings by
Goldberger, Paul, Phyllis Lambert, and Sylvia Lavin, eds. Modern views: inspired by the Mies van der Rohe Farnsworth House and the Philip Johnson Glass House. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2010.
Lambert, Phyllis. Building Seagram. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2013.
Lambert, Phyllis. Mies van der Rohe: The Difficult Art of the Simple. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2001.
Lambert, Phyllis. "Introduction." Photography and Architecture: 1839-1939. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1982.
Lambert, Phyllis. "Land Tenure and Concepts of Architecture and the City: Milton-Park in Montreal." Power and Place: Canadian Urban Development in the North American Context. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986.
Lambert, Phyllis and Alan Stewart, eds. Opening the Gates of Eighteenth-century Montreal. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1992.
Lambert, Phyllis and Kurt W. Forster. En chantier : the collections of the CCA, 1989-1999. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1999.
Lambert, Phyllis et al. The architecture of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2004.
Lambert, Phyllis, ed. Fortifications and the synagogue : the Fortress of Babylon and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1994.
Lambert, Phyllis, ed. Frederick Law Olmsted en perspective : photographies de Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander et Geoffrey James. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1996.
Lambert, Phyllis, ed. Mies in America. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2001.
Pare, Richard, Phyllis Lambert, and Jean-Louis Cohen. The Lost Vanguard: Russian Modernist Architecture, 1922-1932. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 2007.

Full text pdfs of exhibition reviews
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 15, 1940) "Art Association Opens 57th Spring Exhibit. Notable Feature of Display Is Unusually Large Proportion Of Portraits or Portrait Studies."  Montreal Star  March 21, 1940.  p.19.   Full-text pdf
Art Association of Montreal Annual Spring Exhibition: (Montreal, March 15, 1940) "Spring Exhibit Should Attract Crowds to Galleries at Week-End. Much Meritorious Work in 57th Annual Show Of Art Association of Montreal - Good Items Among Etchings and Drawings."  Gazette (Montreal)  March 23, 1940.  p.8.   Full-text pdf

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