Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

The Titanic

Black and white photograph depicting a structure protruding from water
© 1978 Stanley Tigerman

Image actions

  • Black and white photograph depicting a structure protruding from water




Stanley Tigerman
American, 1930–2019

About this artwork

The groundbreaking innovations of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe left a lasting impact on both the practice and teaching of architecture in the United States, especially in Chicago. As director of the School of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Mies stressed the importance of bold, clean designs based on structure, materials, and function. Stanley Tigerman was among the many architects schooled in the Miesian tradition, and he based much of his work in the 1960s and 1970s on the designs of the famed architect. Tigerman’s restless curiosity and iconoclastic spirit, however, led him to question the authority and durability of Mies’s program. The Titanic is a conceptual project that was meant to provoke architects to contend with the Mies legacy, challenging them to choose sides: move beyond Mies or remain cemented to the past. The photocollage pitches Mies’s Crown Hall (1950–56), one of the architect’s most iconic and revered designs, into the deep. Tigerman mailed copies of the work to members of the architectural establishment, including an offer of a one-way ticket on the Titanic. Although the title of the work portends the end of Mies’s dominance, Tigerman acknowledged that many would see the building as rising back to the surface, ever triumphant.

Currently Off View

Architecture and Design


Stanley Tigerman


The Titanic


State Street, 3360 South




Photomontage on paper


Approx. 28 × 35.7 cm (11 × 14 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Stanley Tigerman

Reference Number



© 1978 Stanley Tigerman

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions