Thursday, September 30, 2010

Public Lecture: "What Made Early American Architecture American: The Origin of Regional Building Practices"


"What Made Early American Architecture American: The Origin of Regional Building Practices"

Tuesday, October 12
5:30, Elvehjem Building (Chazen Museum of Art, L140)

Senior Architectural Historian, Architectural and Archaeological Research Department, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Lecture Description:  The study of early American architecture has often been framed within the broader context of colonial American history, a story that is shaped by the push and pull of two forces—European inheritances on the one part and the adaptation to local environments and developing social and economic conditions on the other hand.  Some things worked in the new world—others did not.  As with all aspects of their lives in the new world, American building practices were also selective in nature.  Colonists carefully chose those elements of British building that best suited their own peculiar needs and desires. They charted a separate course from mainstream English practices from the beginning of settlement in the first decades of the seventeenth century in the Chesapeake. Even in New England where the rupture of old world and new world lives was less traumatic, craftsmen eventually developed new construction practices outside English norms.  Although framing practic
es and materials set American colonial building apart from English precedents, new world settlers also rethought the arrangement of their houses and developed decorative ideas that made them in some respects distinctly American with regional variations.  This illustrated lecture explores some of these themes that are at the heart of the study of early American architecture. 

CO-SPONSORED by the Departments of Art History and Landscape Architecture, the Material Culture Program, and the Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures Program

1 comment:

  1. I was delighted when Dr. Lounsbury touched on the field stone houses of Bucks County and the Delaware Valley; the area in which I grew up. Also surprised to hear that log homes were an unknown structure in England; a product of American ingenuity. The colonists met their needs by using materials on hand and left much of the building tradition of their homeland behind. Thank you Dr. Lounsbury for a lovely and informative evening.
    Theresa Haffner-Stearns
    Allied Member ASID.