February 29, 2012

The Simplified Classical




1937 Palais de Tokyo in Paris: Left above; Right from the river built for the exhibition. Copyright Pioneer from Google under Creative Commons Attribution. 2001.


Finally out of somewhere came an idea for a new piece of writing. Remember those “compare and contrast essays your English teachers and Writing 101 teachers always mentioned? I’m going to compare the architecture of Europe and America from the turn of the twentieth century through 1940.

So far, it’s been an interesting journey of discovery. Starting with revolt and succession from the Beaux Arts school of design which had held sway since the 1700’s, architects formed their own schools. One new theory of design turned into another until the Nazi’s, and you knew I would get there, brought a halt to the new thinking. Most of the German architects from this period migrated to America and headed departments and schools that are still a major influence on architecture and design today.

My thesis is that all the architecture of that period retreated to the sameness of simplified classical design no matter the politics or drama of the modern. We will see if I can prove it.

7 comments:

  1. I admire your ambition. I can barely write an online journal!

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  2. Do you have to have a thesis in mind to do a compare and contrast?

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  3. You do keep your mind so active. I can barely see the computer screen to read FB entries these days....

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  4. Tokyo? Wow! Rather ornate, I think.

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  5. I just read a good book by a fellow named Zunz who describes the effect the growth of corporations had on architecture in the US. I love your project. Dianne

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  6. That's an ambitious project! I'd be very interested to see what you learn about the Spanish modern architecture of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) in Barcelonia.

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  7. That's an ambitious project! I'd be very interested to see what you learn about the Spanish modern architecture of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) in Barcelonia.

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