SAH News

Abstracts from September 2010 Issue of JSAH

by User Not Found | Jun 29, 2012
The current issue of JSAH has four new articles of interest: Breaking the Taboo: Architects and Advertising in Depression and War by Andrew M. Shanken Perennially New": Santa Barbara and the Origins of the California Mission Garden by Elizabeth Kryder-Reid Paul V, the Column of the Virgin, and the New Pax Romana by Steven F. Ostrow The Context of the Nave Elevation of Cluny III by C. Edson Armi

Abstracts of Current Articles in September 2010 issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

The nave of Cluny III, the largest medieval church in Christendom, was destroyed, and written documentation is limited. The Context of the Nave Elevation of Cluny III studies the physical evidence, piecing together information about its structure, construction, articulation, and decoration. C. Edson Armi uses eighteenth-century depictions of the nave and the surviving Cluny III transept, as well as the priory church at Paray-le-Monial and other related buildings, to identify the artistic strands that the masons of Cluny combined to create the unique achievement of the mother church. Their sources included classical models, the ashlar decoration and apse design associated with the northern French Romanesque, and a strong local tradition of stone architecture, which was based on brick construction.  

The sole surviving monumental column from the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine is the focus of Paul V, the Column of the Virgin, and the New Pax Romana. In 1613 Pope Paul V removed and re-erected this column at the center of Piazza S. Maria Maggiore in Rome, crowning it with a gilded bronze statue of the Virgin and Child. After reconstructing the little-known history of the monument and situating it within the history of honorific columns and Paul's urban planning, Steven F. Ostrow examines the antiquarian interest it long held, what was known about its original context, and the symbolic associations with which it was endowed. This close reading of Paul's monument demonstrates how, by appropriating the column and topping it with a statue of the Virgin, the pope eloquently expressed the Church's longstanding belief in Mary as a bringer of peace and the protector of Rome. 

Elizabeth Kryder-Reid examines the origins of California's mission gardens and explores their reception and their contribution to cultural memory. The evidence presented in "Perennially New": Santa Barbara and the Origins of the California Mission Garden shows that the iconic image of the mission garden was created a century after the founding of the missions in the late eighteenth century, and two decades before the start of the Mission Revival architectural style. The locus of their origin was Mission Santa Barbara, where in 1872 a Franciscan named Father Romo, newly arrived from a posting in Jerusalem, planted a courtyard garden reminiscent of the landscapes that he had seen during his travels around the Mediterranean. This invented garden fostered a robust visual culture and rich ideological narratives, and it played a formative role in the broader cultural reception of Mission Revival garden design and of California history in general. These discoveries have significance for the preservation and interpretation of these heritage sites. 

Breaking the Taboo: Architects and Advertising in Depression and War chronicles the fall of a professional interdiction in architecture, precipitated by the Second World War. For much of the history of their profession in the United States, architects—unlike builders and engineers, their main competition—faced censure from the American Institute of Architects if they advertised their services. Architects established models of professional behavior intended to hold them apart from the commercial realm. Andrew M. Shanken explores how the Great Depression and the Second World War strained this outdated model of practice, placing architects within consumer culture in more conspicuous ways, redefining the architect's role in society and making public relations an essential part of presenting the profession to the public. Only with the unification of the AIA after the war would architects conduct a modern public relations campaign, but the taboo had begun to erode in the 1930s and early 1940s, setting the stage for the emergence of the modern profession. 

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