Exhibiting a Slide Collection: The Life and Career of Leonard J. Currie, FAIA
Tatum, Steven E.
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Leonard J. Currie headed the Virginia Tech architecture program, in Blacksburg, Virginia, from 1956 to 1962, where he was a seminal figure. After Currie’s death in 1996, his daughter left his slide collection with the Virginia Tech Art and Architecture Library, where Steve Tatum began scanning and cataloging it about ten years ago. The collection comprises 13,000 original slides chronicling Currie’s career in remarkable detail from studying with Gropius and Breuer at Harvard, through heading an Organization of American States program for low-cost housing in Bogotá, heading architecture programs at Virginia Tech and the University of Illinois at Chicago, and then settling into private practice in Blacksburg. Currie documented his slides meticulously throughout his career on the mounts and boxes. Cataloging has always required some research to understand his notations in English and Spanish. During the summer of 2020, Tatum expanded the research to interpret Currie’s career for a year-long exhibition in the Art and Architecture Library as well as a more thorough account published in WordPress.