Exhibition Celebrates 75 Years of Oculus Magazine

This year, Oculus, a quarterly magazine published by the American Institute of Architects’ New York Chapter (AIANY), is celebrating a major milestone: its 75th anniversary.

To mark the occasion, the Center for Architecture, located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, is hosting an exhibition titled “Coverage: Seventy-Five Years of Oculus.” The exhibition—which is curated by Rick Bell, FAIA, executive director of the AIANY, and designed by 8 Point Studio—opens tonight with a reception and will be on view through September 23. It includes original issues of Oculus from AIANY’s archives dating back to 1938, and traces the publication’s history from an AIANY newsletter to the architectural journal it is today.


Many past editors of Oculus are local architects, such as David Helpern, FAIA, the late Denis Kuhn, FAIA, and John Dixon, FAIA; others are architectural journalists, including Jayne Merkel, Suzanne Stephens, and the late Stephen Kliment, FAIA. The current editor, Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA, has been at the helm since 2003, when Oculus re-launched as a quarterly journal. Full disclosure: I had the pleasure of working with Richards for seven years during my tenure as contributing editor to e-Oculus, the AIANY’s bi-weekly newsletter.

Says Richards of her time thus far as the editor of Oculus: “That I have had access to the depth and breadth of design talent that represents so much of the city’s—and the world’s—architectural history and future makes this a truly exciting and rewarding adventure.  I hope Oculus readers share that excitement.”


The first issue of an apparently still nameless newsletter that would later be titled Oculus.


A 1962 issue features an image of protesters against the demolition of Penn Station.



An issue from 2000, just before the re-launch.


Summer 2013 issue of Oculus

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