Printed and Built at SAH, Chicago

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The Printed and the Built project is represented at the Society of Architectural Historians’ 68th annual conference in Chicago with the session “The Printed and the Built”. The session examines the relationship between the built, the drawn and the written as it came to expression in newspapers, illustrated magazines, and other public media in the 19th and early 20th centuries. A marked shift in architectural publication took place in this period in which the classical treatise was challenged by genres capable of efficiently disseminating visual and textual information to large audiences beyond the academies. The new illustrated press played an important role in this process, placing architecture firmly at the centre of public culture. In the early 20th century, newspapers and journals were supplemented by popular genres such as ladies magazines and advertisement, presenting both the private home and the public monument as matters of profound cultural importance. The session invites papers that explore the transition from the treatise tradition to new forms of publication, particularly the illustrated press. Magazines such as Le Magasin Pittoresque, Illustrated London News, and Illustrirte Zeitung provided their readers with a rich chronicle of architectural culture and contributed to open up new and heterogeneous fields of architectural expression and deliberation. Furthermore, they put architecture at the service of a new public: the modern bourgeoisie. As Richard Wittman argues, the new public sphere manifested itself architecturally not only in the form of buildings, but also as debates, programs, reactions and negotiations in and over public space. The spatial practices of the modern city was negotiated in print, making architecture key in what Jürgen Habermas came to call the structural transformation of the public sphere. The Printed and the Built session explores this process; an urgent task, it seems, at a time when public space is being rapidly reconfigured, both as a physical structure and a mediated environment.

The session takes place Thursday April 16, 10:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., on the SAH conference hotel’s Western Stage.  It is led by Mari Hvattum. Speakers and paper topics are:

Printing Ancient Polychromy, Ulrike Fauerbach, Arnd Hennemeyer ETH Zürich, Departement Architektur, Institut für Denkmalpflege und Bauforschung, Switzerland

The Public Building: Competitions in the British Press, 1836-57, Anne Hultzsch University College London, UK

The Pioneering Architectural History Books of Kugler and Fergusson, Petra Brouwer University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Utopia, Printed, Irene Cheng California College of the Arts, USA

Exhibition, Catalogue, Review: Promoting a New Berlin in 1901, Wallis Miller University of Kentucky, USA


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