Scully is a pioneer of 20th century architecture. This volume is the grand sum of his career. It is not only the history of great edifices, but also a book that explores the unique dialogue between human beings and their buildings and the natural world. 500 color/b&w photos.
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A brilliant distillation of the ideas of the man called by Philip Johnson ``the most influential architecture teacher ever.'' Here, Scully (Art History/Yale; Pueblo, 1974) surveys with charm, eloquence, and philosophical reflection the history of the symbolic structures that mediate between the human beings who created and use them and the natural world. Scully's major theme is that architecture either imitates natural forms, as in pre-Hellenic Greece and in early as well as contemporary America, or contrasts with them, separating humans from nature, as in classical Greece and Rome, Renaissance Italy and France, and 18th-century England. Starting with a lyrical description of the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, drawing analogies with the sacred mountains and building of the Southwest Indians, he tours with pleasure, insight, and familiarity the Acropolis, the pyramids and the Romanesque Hagia Sophia, leading to the achievement of the Gothic cathedral--which Scully sees as an incarnation of the City of God and the human body, indeed of ``multiple truths,'' a cumulative concept that, he says, ``human beings seem afraid to acknowledge.'' He expresses this syncretism in his vision of Chartres: ``It lifts itself singing out of the wheat, within which the poppies, the blood of Adonis, grow.'' In spite of his eclecticism, Scully excludes from his architectural pantheon the ``brutalist buildings'' of the International School and Le Corbusier because, he says, they have no human relevance. Throughout, Scully reveals himself as a gifted writer, rising from a crisp structural analysis of Notre Dame to an incantatory reading of a whole urban landscape, coming to rest on the ultimate meaning of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., designed by his own student Maya Lin. In its interaction between the living and the dead, between nature and humanity, the memorial is very much a reflection of Scully's teaching. Thoughtful, passionate, and visually exciting--a work that will unquestionably encourage others both to create meaningful monuments, buildings, gardens and to understand them. (Over 500 illustrations, including 200 color and 200 b&w photographs.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
The relationship of human-made structures to the natural world has long held fascination for Scully ( New World Visions of Household Gods & Sacred Places , LJ 10/1/88), currently one of America's most dazzling and influential architectural historians. His latest work is not a comprehensive survey of architecture through the ages, as the title suggests. Rather, it is a series of 11 provocative essays that probe how we have confronted nature through its buildings, structures, and landscapes. Chapters focus on the Greek temple; sacred mountains in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Aegean; the Gothic cathedral; Italian towns; Palladio; and the French classic garden. While some of the book's themes and examples may seem familiar to readers of his previous work, Scully rarely disappoints: the writing is both lyrical and dramatic, and the numerous photographs that accompany the text are insightful and opulent. An important addition to any architectural library that both lay readers and scholars will appreci ate.
- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Svce., Washington,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St Martins Pr, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110312097425
Book Description St Martins Pr, 1993. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB0312097425