Moving Rooms

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Yale University Press, 2007 - Architecture - 320 pages
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Since at least Tudor times there have been architectural salvages: panelling, chimney pieces, doorways, or any fixtures and fittings might be removed from an old interior to be replaced by more fashionable ones. Not surprisingly a trade developed and architects, builders, masons, and sculptors sought out these salvages. By 1820 there was a growing profession of brokers and dealers in London, and a century later antique shops were commonplace throughout England.

This fascinating book documents the break-up, sale, and re-use of salvages in Britain and America, where the fashion for so-called “Period Rooms” became a mainstay of the transatlantic trade. Much appreciated by museum visitors, period rooms have become something of a scholarly embarrassment, as research reveals that many were assembled from a variety of sources. One American embraced the trade as no other--the larger-than-life William Randolph Hearst--who purchased tens of thousands of architectural salvages between 1900 and 1935.

 

  

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Contents

Salvaging the Interior 15001820
11
Salvage and a More Amateur Antiquarianism
21
Continental Imports and the Wardour Street Trade
37
England and the French Connection
59
Interiors and a New Professionalism 18501950
69
The Growth of a Transatlantic Trade in Rooms and Salvages
101
The Period Room in European Museums
119
North American Museums and the English Rooms
147
Checklist of British Rooms and Salvages Exported to the USA
233
Charles Roberson of the Knightbridge Halls
252
The Paris Firm of Carlhian et Cie Exporters of French Rooms
258
The Tryon Memorandum
261
The Sherborn Note
263
The Hearst Sale
265
Notes
275
Select Bibliography
308

Into American Houses go English Room
201
William Randolph Hearst the Great Accumulator
219
Epilogue
229

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Page viii - My warm thanks go to the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London, and especially to Brian Allen and Frank Salmon there, who agreed to co-publish my book with Yale University Press.

About the author (2007)

John Harris is Curator Emeritus of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is an architectural historian and the author of The Palladian Revival: Lord Burlington and His Villa at Chiswick and Sir William Chambers, both published by Yale University Press.

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