Cover image for H.H. Richardson : the architect, his peers, and their era
H.H. Richardson : the architect, his peers, and their era
Meister, Maureen.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xliv, 153 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Beauty of a belief: the Ames family, Richardson, and Unitarianism / Picturesque in the design method of H.H. Richardson: Memorial Hall, North Easton / Inspiration and synthesis in Richardson's Paine House / Veil of nature: H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted / Then and now: a note on the contrasting architectures of H.H. Richardson and Frank Furness / Seeing Richardson in his time: the problem of the Romanesque revival
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NA737.R5 H2 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Buffalo Collection Non-Circ

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The architect H. H. Richardson viewed not as an isolated genius but as an exemplary figure of his times.

introduction by William H. Pierson, Jr. In this book leading scholars reconsider the significance of the late nineteenth-century American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, perhaps best known for his design of Boston's Trinity Church. Against the long-held view of Richardson as an isolated and proto-modernist genius, they argue for a broader understanding of his work within the context of his times. Viewed this way, Richardson becomes a more challenging figure--an architect who in many ways was shaped by and was consistent with his era, even as he dominated it. Thomas C. Hubka and Margaret Henderson Floyd examine individual Richardson buildings as vessels for his ideas. Francis R. Kowsky and James F. O'Gorman clarify our understanding of Richardson and his work in comparison to his peers Frederick Law Olmsted and Frank Furness. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner considers the legacy of Richardson's influence. In addition to shedding new light on the architect, the book shows how much Richardson scholarship has changed and matured over the course of a century. Copublished with the Oakes Ames Memorial Hall Association.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Within a plum-colored velvet cover, architectural scholars reconsider Richardson. An introduction describes the Ames family of North Easton, Massachusetts, Richardson's buildings for them, and a reinterpretation of their famous gatehouse. In following essays, each with notes and sources, Richardson is no longer seen as a protomodernist, as conclusions in Henry Russell Hitchcock's seminal The Architecture of H.H. Richardson and His Times of 1936 are reevaluated. The first essay discusses Richardson's "picturesque," a fresh look at his "Victorian" structures, and sources in Ruskin; the second focuses on the Paine House in Waltham, Massachusetts. Landscape architect Olmstead's collaborations with Richardson form the third essay; there are interesting descriptions of Richardson's railroad stations here. The fourth essay contrasts Richardson in Boston with Frank Furness in Philadelphia, and the final essay looks at the context of Richardson's design and some imitators. A survey of publications about his buildings has notes, forming an excellent bibliography. Name index only; small poor-quality black-and-white pictures, prints, and line drawings. The book lacks good color plates, particularly of the Ames Memorial in North Easton described throughout. New perspectives on the architect emerge, as do many sources for architectural historians. Graduate students through professionals. W. L. Whitwell; formerly, Hollins College