Tadao Ando was born in Osaka, Japan in 1941. A self-educated architect, he spent time in nearby Kyoto and Nara, studying firsthand the great monuments of traditional Japanese architecture. Between 1962 and 1969 he traveled to the United States, Europe, and Africa, learning about Western architecture, history, and techniques. His studies of both traditional Japanese and modern architecture had a profound influence on his work and resulted in a unique blend of these rich traditions. In 1969 Ando established Tadao Ando Architect and Associates in Osaka. He is an honorary fellow in the architecture academies of six countries; he has been a visiting professor at Yale, Columbia, and Harvard Universities; and in 1997, he became professor of architecture at Tokyo University. Ando has received numerous architecture awards, including the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1995, the 2002 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and also in 2002, the Kyoto Prize for lifetime achievement in the arts and philosophy. His buildings can be seen in Japan, Europe, the United States, and India.
In fall 2001, following up on the comprehensive master plan commissioned from Cooper, Robertson & Partners in the 1990s and completed in 2001, Tadao Ando was selected to develop an architectural master plan for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute to expand its buildings and enhance its 140-acre campus.