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Carrere & Hastings: The Masterworks Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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"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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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.
The book clearly set the social history of the principals and their clients within the context of the buildings, painting a picture of a time when great wealth and public- and private ambition combined to produce edifices that expressed a uniquely American confidence, a statement that is particularly pertinent in the current climate. I think the authors balanced their vast knowledge of the formal aspects of the structures and histories with this personal and social perspective to produce a vision of not only the buildings, but the lives and aspirations that they express and have produced a volume that would appeal to both architecture aficionados as well as those interested in the time and people of the worlds of Henry James and Edith Wharton. It is also beautifully photographed and printed to the Rizzoli standards of excellence.
Well written and beautiful book on Carrere & Hastings, two great architects who are long overdue recognition.
You'll want this on your coffee table to look at al the time.