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American Architects and Their Books, 1840-1915 (Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book) Hardcover – October 31, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1558496026 ISBN-10: 1558496025

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press (October 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558496025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558496026
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,644,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is an important work at the intersection of architectural history and the history of the book.... It will appeal to a diverse group of scholars interested in the built environment of North America, the development of the architectural profession, the transmission of ideas, and the myriad ways in which these phenomena were shaped by books.

(Martha McNamara, University of Maine)

Taken with the first volume, these essays tell a compelling story of the maturing of the architectural profession in America and its link with the world of books, which indeed would seem to be essential to their work and thought.

(Eleanor Thompson, National Endowment for theHumanities Librarian, retired, The Winterthur Library)

American Architects and Their Books, 1840-1915, is a fascinating contribution to the history of the book.... The result is a coherent and rich discussion of book and print culture and the role it played in forging the architect's profession.... This entire collection, in fact, is a joy to read. It is also a joy to look at as the book includes more than one hundred illustrations depicting building plans, architectural details, interiors, and portraits of the architects. Several essays also include helpful appendices listing architects' book inventories.

(H-Net Reviews)

American Architects and Their Books provides multiple perspectives on the nexus of print culture and the built environment.... Individuals form the focus of this volume, but their participation in print culture comprises a greater narrative that helps fill a void in the history of the book.... By directly addressing the professional use of texts along with related matters, American Architects and Their Books, 1840--1915 affords valuable insights into American book culture.

(Libraries and the Cultural Record)

From the Back Cover

"Taken with the first volume, these essays tell a compelling story of the maturing of the architectural profession in America and its link with the world of books, which indeed would seem to be essential to their work and thought." —Eleanor Thompson, National Endowment for the Humanities Librarian, retired, The Winterthur Library

"This is an important work at the intersection of architectural history and the history of the book. . . . It will appeal to a diverse group of scholars interested in the built environment of North America, the development of the architectural profession, the transmission of ideas, and the myriad ways in which these phenomena were shaped by books."—Martha McNamara, University of Maine

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on February 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This volume of the Press's Studies in Print Culture and History of the Book series focuses on architects and their involvement in books. This involvement can be the effects particular books had on an architect or an architect's publication of books. In the era before architecture became a widely established discipline in universities, the books an architect sought out and studied on his own were the foundation of his practice. Such books rather than professors or courses influenced an architect's particular field and style. Many architects had extensive personal libraries; and architecture firms would have large office libraries. Before the days when national and regional associations such as the fledgling American Institute of Architects (founded 1857) set professional standards and educated the public on the role an architect could play in design of homes and public buildings, an ambitious and talented architect would publish his own books to "advertise his wares" with the aim of prompting conversation among his peers, drawing the attention of critics, and attracting clients.

The culture of books playing a central, formative role in educated and professional groups in the nineteenth century and into the early part of the twentieth could influence architects in different ways. In his short essay, the former Wellesley College professor and current chair of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission James O'Gorman shows how Melville's "antiurban" sentiments inhering in his description of a farmhouse in his short story "I and My Chimney" published in 1856 probably affected Frank Lloyd Wright in the development of his Prairie Style.
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