James Gamble Rogers and the Architecture of Pragmatism

Front Cover
Architectural History Foundation, 1994 - Architecture - 275 pages
foreword by Paul Goldberger

Only recently has the period between the two World Wars emerged as pivotal in the redefinition of American taste. The work of James Gamble Rogers (1867-1947) represents a built expression of the country's cultural elite during these years and comprises a significant chapter in American architectural history. Aaron Betsky covers the entire span of Rogers's career, paying particular attention to his more important buildings. These include the Harkness mansion, the Yale Club, and the buildings of Columbia-Presbyterian in New York; the downtown campus, library, stadium, dormitories and other assorted buildings of Northwestern University; and the Harkness Memorial Quadrangle, residential colleges, Graduate School, Law School, and Sterling Memorial Library at Yale, which with their blending of English medieval and renaissance motifs and their historical associations are perhaps the fullest expression of the neo-Gothic style in America.

Aaron Betsky investigates the central issues of American architecture through Rogers' private house commissions for wealthy clients seeking to define their lives and livelihoods through temples of taste, his corporate structures notable for both lucid organization and symbolic ornamentation, and his designs for universities and hospitals which integrated historical and social metaphors into redefinitions of institutional function.

The American Monograph series.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


chapter one Foundations
chapter two The Architecture of Pragmatism
chapter three Civic Architecture

7 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1994)

Aaron Betsky (born 1958) is a critic, curator, educator, lecturer, and writer on architecture and design, who since August 2006 has been the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Betsky was named as the director of the 11th Exhibition of the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2008. From 1995-2001 Betsky was Curator of Architecture, Design and Digital Projects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He worked as a designer for Frank Gehry and Hodgetts & Fung.

Bibliographic information