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Carrere & Hastings: The Masterworks Hardcover – October 11, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847835642
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847835645
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This gorgeous volume shows us a bygone age when creating beauty in the built environment was a main desideratum – and Beaux-Arts scientific rationalism provided the tools for achieving that lofty goal." ~Traditional Buildings

About the Author

Laurie Ossman is director of the Woodlawn Plantation and Pope-Leighey House in Mount Vernon, Virginia, and author of Great Houses of the South. Heather Ewing is an architectural historian and a research associate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is a coauthor of The Castle, a history of the Institution's first building, and author of The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian. Steven Brooke is a fellow of both the American Academy in Rome and the Albright Institute, Jerusalem. His work has been widely published and exhibited.

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Customer Reviews

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Unfortunately, this book falls short.
Zootsuit Riot
The thoughtfulness and critical analysis which go into each essay make this a truly fascinating and satisfying read.
District of Columbian
Good scholarship and excellent color photographs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By James Hellyer on October 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
24 October 2011

I have read so many first rate books on Beaux-Arts Architecture and its architects that I believe it has spoiled me into assuming all such books will be of similar top drawer quality.
Therefore, I opened "Carrere and Hastings, The Masterworks" assuming I would be as equally pleased as with the prior books. At first view it appeared that it would fulfill the standards of the other books; yet, as I flipped through the pages something was wrong with what I was not seeing. The photographs are exceedingly crisp and magnificent in their portrayal of the exterior and interior work of Carrere and Hastings. Perhaps their work is slightly too much a confection of architectural styles on steroids than some of their contemporary architects; but, nonetheless their architecture displays a spectacular use of their creative imagination. But, alas in this sea of glowing photographs, the authors Ossman and Ewing did not see fit to provide the reader with a single plan or layout of any of these masterworks. It is as though they denied us a very important dimension necessary to fully understand the work described and photographed. The authors could have taken a well placed layout clue from Samuel G. White's book "McKim, Mead & White, The Masterworks" or Michael Kathren's book "American Splendor, Horace Trumbauer's Residential Architecture"; two books that were filled with well drawn plans that were essential to enlightening the reader on the depth of each project. Absent plans, "Carrere and Hastings" still remains an excellent book; but, in my opinion its omission of plans makes it unworthy of including into one's library.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Rabinowitz on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The firm of Carrere and Hastings was central to the period of American architecture that bridged the Beaux Arts to Art Deco periods, completing the establishment of the values displayed in the Worlds Columbian Exposition as the standard format for great official buildings, monuments and works of engineering while steering its conceptual underpinnings through a dizzying arrange of historical and inventive styles. The authors and photographer illustrate this panoply of historicist and modern inventions through privileged access to some of their finest buildings and homes. The combination of stunning photography and insightful and lively text opens a window into a world of American high style that is not only long past, but was for too long scorned as anachronistic and dismissed.

Through individual essays on some of the firm's most well known masterpieces, such as the Ponce de Leon Hotel in Saint Augustine and the New York Public Library building, as well as lesser known and rarely seen homes of Gilded Age elites, the book demonstrates the designer's capacity to subtly integrate artistic decorations, high style, and exquisite materials and treatments within a rational and comprehensive program that was the hallmark of Beaux Arts planning. The proud hopefulness and positivism that they infused in their work saw America's future as one that could take the best of the past from Europe and Asia and advance it in new and yet seemingly historic ways to represent the shining opportunity of the new land.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By District of Columbian on June 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Few books succeed in achieving exactly the mission that they outline in their introduction quite as grandly or successfully as does "Carrere and Hastings: the Masterworks." Fewer still do it with such grace, eloquence, or elegance. Right from the get-go, the authors identify the role they see this book playing within the realm of scholarship on their subjects, stressing the context they will provide for each of the 27 masterworks. It is this context that is truly one of the most outstanding features of this notable book. The genesis of each building is described in well-researched and exacting detail- from the vagaries of the clients, to design inspiration, to the working relationship between the two partners themselves. The story does not end with construction, but often takes the reader through the life-cycle of the building as well, from its initial public reception to subsequent disasters and restorations. Interesting points about the technological innovations of the buildings are unexpected and welcome asides. The writing is excellent and compelling and the photographs are breath-taking. The thoughtfulness and critical analysis which go into each essay make this a truly fascinating and satisfying read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Reader in Washington DC on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm an oldschool Francophile Washingtonian who loves its Beaux-Arts moments (have you ever noticed how Parisian Washington is visually?). This book is a gem with inspiring photography, brilliantly curated through text that guides you to some of the most sumptuous architecture. I'll be at the New York Public Library again next month, and this book offers a sophisticated perspective (I may also stop by 26 Broadway, aka the Standard Oil Building). It has also made me curious to revisit St. Augustine and Palm Beach, Florida, and I may make a field trip soon in my own city to the Carnegie Institute.
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