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Greek Revival America Hardcover – March 23, 2010
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From Library Journal
This opulent book is a highly personal and somewhat unconventional view of the Greek Revival in America during the first half of the 19th century. Written with obvious feeling by noted social historian Kennedy, it advances the argument that the Greek Revival arose not from the desire to emulate ancient Greece but from the psychological and sexual anxieties of individuals. Kennedy covers considerable ground in this provocative study, from Jefferson's role in shaping the early republic to the stylistic contributions of A.J. Davis and Benjamin Latrobe. One appendix provides a useful list of important Greek Revival buildings in America. Worth acquiring for the illustrations alone--there are over 190 spectacular color photographs--this book should interest social and architectural historians alike.
- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"With hundreds of full-color photographs specially commissioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation along with illuminmating illustrations, the book demonstrates the lasting importance of the Greek style and its impact in America evidenced in iconic buildings including churches, banks, government offices and private estates." ~Luxist
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Top Customer Reviews
This massive and beautifully bound volume will make your jaw drop. It's organized in an alternating series of chapters and magnificent color photographs, each touching on an important aspect of this most "American" style. Really a work of art history, anyone with an interest in this particular architectural style should treat themselves to this important, detailed study. The origins of the style in Greece, its social and physical origins in the United States, its manifestation in building, interiors, its use in public structures, and its eventual demise following the Civil War (in favor of Romantic styles) are all skillfully covered in both words and full-spread photographs.
A common misconception of Greek Revival is that it was essentially a Southern social phenomenon, and a style unique to wealthy plantation owners. This book appropriately readjusts that notion and suggests that the Greek Revival flourished in ALL regions of the United States as an expression Democratic supremacy, as an outlet for anxiety caused by a feeling of cultural inferiority, and as a reference to the Jeffersonian ideals of an independent, agricultural nation-state. Those social networks drove builders to erect their columns in New York and Georgia, in Iowa and Tennessee. Few states lack at least one nationally important example of Greek Revival.
The book is not a catalog of buildings, but is a narrative and visual study of the style and its related social movements. In addition to the photographs, there floor plans and architectural elevations. Domestic architecture features prominently, but there is a chapter dedicated to public buildings too.
No serious architectural historian, art historian, or dedicated amateur should be without this book. Make a LARGE space on your bookshelf to set it.