Presentation on theme: "Reading Sequence. Looking at Buildings Connoisseurship is essentially a means of judging or appreciating the value of artifacts is also its principal."— Presentation transcript:
Looking at Buildings Connoisseurship is essentially a means of judging or appreciating the value of artifacts is also its principal problem. Style is inevitably immutable. One style does not flow seamlessly into another. Rather the intentions of each style are stated emphatically and discrete instances are judged according to a standard. To be useful stylistic nomenclature should describe visual features, however, many long-established terms--colonial and Victorian-- refer essentially to historical and political periods and tell little about the building's appearance. Regionalism can of course attract its own connoisseurship, with attention focused on the best examples of the local style or alternatively on questions of which region produced the most admirable products.
What can we say?
Vernacular historians Historians of vernacular architecture find themselves allied against the “good-better-best” perspective. But how is Vernacular architecture distinguished from Architectural history? “There is considerably more concern for why things are done a certain way than there is for clarification of what constitutes a successful product.” p. ii
Dialogue between cultural historians and vernacular historians “Glassie argues that architectural decoration merely diverts attention from the crucial issue of form.” Form is clearly more useful than sheer recognition and description of its style. Yet levels of finish present more than the simple choice of a decorative mode. Building hierarchies reflect people differing abilities and desires to expend capital on architectural space and its elaboration. 1. visual range. 2. whose line of sight is involved 3. The social meaning of rooms within houses is expressed by variation of detail. Chappell’s conclusion: “There is important cultural information to be learned by paying attention to the relationship between shape and embellishment.”
The hierarchy of trim on a door shows owner intention
Hierarchy of spaces reflect social hierarchies
Distribution of buildings show sense of control and are meant to impact experience
Space and access to amenities can show group social hierarchies
Words and how we use them in architectural research Evidence-observable physical manifestation Feature-observable characteristic of structure Condition-features described by their dynamic relationship Observation-visible recognition of the character of a feature Representation-derived presentation of evidence in a pictorial form Documentation-evidence summarized in a narrative, tabular, or representational form--reduced to 2D. Periods of Construction--construction details seen as being simultaneous or within the time necessary to implementing a particular design
Ghost evidence Sherwood Forest, Stafford County
Baptist Church, 1864 Shell damage, North wing court house