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Shortly after inventing the polio vaccine, scientist Jonas Salk set his sights on another groundbreaking undertaking: creating an institute where science and art could meet and inform each other. In architect Louis Kahn, Salk found a man who not only shared this vision, but who was capable of designing the space to support it. The Salk Institute’s monumental modernist buildings and plaza, located on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, are the result of this collaboration.

In this episode, Jonathan Salk and Nathaniel Kahn, sons of Jonas Salk and Louis Kahn respectively, discuss their fathers’ relationship to each other and to the Salk Institute.

black and white contact sheet of four photographs of the Salk Institute and its grounds under construction

The Salk Institute being completed in the early 1960s. Credit: Salk Institute

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JIM CUNO:  Hello, I’m Jim Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. Welcome to Art and Ideas, a podcast in which I speak to artists, conservators, authors, and scholars about their work.

NATHANIEL KAHN: At the end of Casablanca, you know, Louis and Rick are walking off and— Rick, of...

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This post is part of Art + Ideas, a podcast in which Getty president Jim Cuno talks with artists, writers, curators, and scholars about their work.
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