Book Launch

American Modern: Architecture, Community, Columbus, Indiana

American Modern is the first in-depth publication about Columbus, Indiana, that demonstrates the unique blend of civic, industrial, and social forces that produced the preeminent laboratory of architectural modernism in the country.


July 10
Columbus, Indiana
The Former North Christian Church

Created in partnership Landmark Columbus Foundation with Bartholomew County Public Library, Heritage Fund, and Indiana Humanities

The event will feature the book’s author and Columbus native, Matt Shaw; photographer, Iwan Baan; and designer, Alex Lin.

There will be live piano music by Jasmine Yang (a recent graduate of Columbus North High School and the winner of the 2024 Betty F. Brown Awards for Instrumental Excellence), a cash bar, and a book signing with all of the authors. Limited edition posters are also for sale to support the book.

The definitive book on one of the foremost modernist cities and architecture destinations in the USA: Columbus, Indiana

The midwestern city of Columbus, Indiana, is more than a mecca of modern architecture; it is an example of how design can help foster a remarkable community. The dozens of buildings and projects by legendary architects—from mid-century titans such as Eero Saarinen and I. M. Pei to contemporary practitioners Deborah Berke and IwamotoScott—remain integral to its urban fabric. This book explores Columbus’s optimistic program of bold new architecture and landscapes, initiated by the legendary industrialist J. Irwin Miller and local leaders, and the generations-long quest to develop the ideal American city through design excellence.

This is the first in-depth history of Columbus, Indiana, demonstrating the unique convergence of civic, industrial, and social forces that produced the pre-eminent laboratory of architectural modernism in the USA. It presents a rich showcase of outstanding, generation-spanning architects and is published in association with Landmark Columbus Foundation, the civic organization behind the progressive preservation and promotion of the city’s architectural heritage, as well as the producer of the acclaimed program Exhibit Columbus, a two-year cycle of events that uses the context of Columbus to host conversations around innovative ideas and then commissions site-responsive installations in a free, public exhibition.


Author Matt Shaw—a Columbus native—is a writer, editor, and educator. The former executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Architectural Review, Domus, and Artforum.


The book features newly commissioned photography from Iwan Baan, a photographer whose work focuses on the intersection of architecture and the social fabric and has been published in books and periodicals internationally.


Studio Lin is a NYC-based graphic design practice established by Alex Lin. We focus on long-term collaborations where graphic design can have a meaningful impact both locally and internationally.

American Modern Exhibition at Gallery 506

To celebrate the forthcoming publication of American Modern, Landmark Columbus Foundation has partnered with the Columbus Area Visitor’s Center to produce an exhibition about the book.

A new exhibition of never-before-seen photographs of Columbus, Indiana, by legendary photographer Iwan Baan and three silkscreen prints by Studio Lin that expand on the book’s design and cover is now on view at the Columbus Area Visitor Center Gallery 506.

With 12 framed photograph prints that show Columbus landmarks such as The Robert N. Stewart Bridge (J. Muller International, 1999), North Christian Church (Eero Saarinen, 1966), First Christian Church (Eliel Saarinen, 1942), and the Cleo Rogers Memorial Library (I.M. Pei, 1969), among many others, the exhibition serves as a preview of the forthcoming book American Modern: Architecture, Community, Columbus, Indiana.

Gallery 506, Credit Hadley Fruits for Landmark Columbus Foundation