Arkansas PBS > Engage > Pressroom > AETN to hold screenings of new film highlighting mid-century modern architecture

AETN to hold screenings of new film highlighting mid-century modern architecture

Posted 15 Sep 2011

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture,” a new documentary produced by the Arkansas PBS (AETN) that will premiere in November, will be screened across the state beginning in October.

“Clean Lines, Open Spaces” focuses on the construction boom in the United States after World War II. Much of what was built was a version of the International style that had been developing in Europe since before World War I. This new architecture used modern materials such as reinforced concrete, glass and steel and was defined by clean lines, simple shapes and unornamented facades.

“Mid-century modern is described as optimistic architecture, and when you look at it that way you start to notice how forward thinking the designs are,” AETN Producer Mark Wilcken said. “These building were made by people who weren't afraid of the future but reached for it.

“What I want people to get from this documentary is an appreciation for a style of architecture that is often misunderstood as cold or unattractive. When you understand the period in which they were built and the aspirations of the designers you start to see them in a new light.”

The documentary looks at examples of mid-century modern architecture around the state, from the University of Arkansas's Fine Arts Center designed by Arkansas native and internationally known architect Edward Durell Stone to the Tower Building in Little Rock, the Fulbright Library in Fayetteville that reflects the aesthetics of famous Chicago architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe, and the abandoned Hotel Mountainaire, perfectly defining art moderne.

Screenings scheduled around the state include:

Major funding for “Clean Lines, Open Spaces: A View of Mid-Century Modern Architecture” was provided by the Arkansas Humanities Council, with additional funding from the Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
The Arkansas PBS (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).