The Virgin & the Dynamo: Public Murals in American Architecture, 1893-1917
The beaux-arts mural movement in America was fueled by energetic young artists and architects returning from training abroad. They were determined to transform American art and architecture to make them more thematically cosmopolitan and technically fluid and accomplished. The movement slowly coalesced around the decoration of mansions of the Gilded Age elite, mostly in New York, and of public buildings and institutions across the breadth of the country.
The Virgin and the Dynamo: Public Murals in American Architecture, 1893-1917 is the first book in almost a century to concentrate exclusively on the beaux-arts mural movement in the United States. Beginning with a short history of the movement from its inception in Boston during the American Renaissance, Bailey Van Hook focuses on the movement's public manifestations in the period between the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 and the First World War.
Professor Van Hook explores different aspects of the mural movement, the concept and meaning of "decoration," the claim that murals are inherently democratic, the shift in preference from allegory to history, the gendered concept of modernity, the ideologies behind the iconography, and, finally, the decline of the movement when it began to be seen as old fashioned and anachronistic.
The Virgin and the Dynamo raises our understanding of the beaux-arts movement to a new level. For the general reader, this illustrated history will explain many familiar representations of local and national values.
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Abbey Abbey’s aesthetic Alexander’s allegory American Mural Painting American Renaissance appellate courthouse architect architecture artists Baltimore courthouse beaux arts muralists beaux arts murals Blashﬁeld Boston Public Library Caﬃn Cass Gilbert century Charles Civilization color commission composition contemporary Cortissoz Cox’s critic depicted designed diﬀerent dome Dynamo Edwin H eﬀect Essex County Courthouse example Farge’s female ﬁgures ﬁg ﬁgures ﬁrm ﬁrst ﬂoor frieze governor’s reception room Harper’s Harrisburg hired iconography ideal industry inﬂuence Jersey City John La Farge John White Alexander Justice Kenyon Cox Labor Library of Congress Low’s lunettes Marstine Massachusetts State Capitol Millet Minnesota State Capitol modern Mowbray Municipal Art Mural Decorations mural movement muralists Newark Oﬀering painters Painting in America panels Pennsylvania Pennsylvania State Capitol personiﬁcations Pittsburgh Puvis’s Pyle Reid represented Saint Paul Sargent scenes Science Scribner’s Magazine Seabury Simmons Simmons’s Society space Sturgis style subjects symbolic tion Turner Vedder Wilkes-Barre William World’s Columbian Exposition wrote