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A New and Native Beauty: The Art and Craft of Greene & Greene Hardcover – October 1, 2008
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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The book does as much as possible to demonstrate the tectonic qualities of Greene and Greene's architecture as can be captured on paper - ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW There's no doubting the expertise of the contributors - THE WORLD OF INTERIORS
About the Author
Edward R. Bosley is James N. Gamble Director of The Gamble House, Pasadena, California, and the author of Greene & Greene (2000). Anne E. Mallek is Curator at The Gamble House.
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Wright is known as the founder of the influential Prairie School of architecture and design. It would be surprising if the Greenes were not influenced by Wright. If they weren't, they would probably have been marginalized unknowns. The Greenes' works display the natural-world motifs and sharp lines, most notably horizontal, and rich woods associated with the Prairie School. Like Wright, the Greene brothers were open to a Japanese influence in architecture and design. Working in California, the Greenes were more directly in touch with this Japanese architecture and design than Wright was. With respect to the natural-world motifs, the Greenes would include mountains and the layeredness and lushness of California vegetation; whereas Wright's and the Prairie School's natural references were mostly the wide regional flatlands, grassland, and the understated, spare beauty of wildflowers. "The carefree playful feeling of these [Greene brothers'] windows contrasts with the rigidly rectilinear designs of the Prairie School and the ornate flora of Louis Comfort Tiffany's windows and lampshades...," is how one essayist distinguishes the Green brothers particular style.
The Greenes' individualized style carries through their range of projects from houses and public buildings, chairs and bureaus, stained glass, and metalwork. Gardens and walkways and other landscaping features were also included in some of their projects. Often thick vegetation was placed close to the walls of a house so that it mingled with the architecture. This was another difference between the Greenes and the designers of the Prairie School. Whereas the Prairie School designers sought to make the individual parts of a design stand out while making for a harmonious whole, the Greenes were not so concerned about this. Works of the Greene's could thus often be impressionistic even though they held the same basic design principles as those of the Prairie School.
The different facets of the Greene brothers' work in the early part of the 1900s are covered in 11 illustrated chapters. The variety of illustrated matter of period photographs, relatively recent photographs, design and architectural drawings, and photographs of the brothers succeed in not only recording and critiquing their work, but in bringing the brothers as individuals who were artists, their personal touches, and the context and ambiance of their time to life. The essays too, with their expertise and knowledge on the specific topics, freely bring in the biographical for a supple, multidimensional comprehension of the brothers.
At the Huntington Library in California until January 2009, the exhibition of the Greenes' work and life corresponding with this book travels to the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and in July 2009 to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.