Accents as Well as Broad Effects: Writings on Architecture, Landscape, and the Environment, 1876-1925

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University of California Press, 1996 - Architecture - 367 pages
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Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851-1934) is highly regarded among architectural historians for her 1888 biography of the nineteenth-century architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Less well known are her writings on architecture, decorative art, gardening, and landscape design, works that provide a rare view of cities and rural environments in turn-of-the-century America. Now David Gebhard brings Van Rensselaer's significant writings together in one volume, including a chapter from the 1925 edition of Art Out-of-Doors: Hints on Good Taste in Gardening.
An established critic in environmental and literary circles, Van Rensselaer wrote for the general public in such journals as the Century Magazine and for a specialized audience of landscape architects in Garden and Forest. She was a long-time contributor to The American Architect and Building News, the first architectural journal in the United States. She is an engaging and accessible writer, and her articles on Frederick Law Olmsted and the Boston Public Library won great praise. Although the only woman in a field that was male-dominated at the time, Van Rensselaer was, curiously enough, opposed to women's suffrage.
David Gebhard provides an excellent introduction to this unusual woman and to her place in American architectural criticism. Van Rensselaer's writings are still of interest today, not only for her broad environmental approach, but also for her ability to relate abstract concepts to examples of harmonious design. Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer (1851-1934) is highly regarded among architectural historians for her 1888 biography of the nineteenth-century architect Henry Hobson Richardson. Less well known are her writings on architecture, decorative art, gardening, and landscape design, works that provide a rare view of cities and rural environments in turn-of-the-century America. Now David Gebhard brings Van Rensselaer's significant writings together in one volume, including a chapter from the 1925 edition of Art Out-of-Doors: Hints on Good Taste in Gardening.
An established critic in environmental and literary circles, Van Rensselaer wrote for the general public in such journals as the Century Magazine and for a specialized audience of landscape architects in Garden and Forest. She was a long-time contributor to The American Architect and Building News, the first architectural journal in the United States. She is an engaging and accessible writer, and her articles on Frederick Law Olmsted and the Boston Public Library won great praise. Although the only woman in a field that was male-dominated at the time, Van Rensselaer was, curiously enough, opposed to women's suffrage.
David Gebhard provides an excellent introduction to this unusual woman and to her place in American architectural criticism. Van Rensselaer's writings are still of interest today, not only for her broad environmental approach, but also for her ability to relate abstract concepts to examples of harmonious design.
 

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About the author (1996)

Until his recent death, David Gebhard was Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Curator of the Architectural Drawing Collection at the University Art Museum, both at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He authored numerous books, including Romanza: The California Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright (1988) and Los Angeles in the Thirties (1989).

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