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Vol. 27 (2012) through current issue
The National Trust's Forum Journal is a quarterly publication featuring in-depth articles on preservation issues. It includes timely, comprehensive pieces, often organized around a specific theme, about preservation issues of interest to a wide range of preservationists working across the country.
Buddhist Art, Archaeology, and Icons of Seventy-Century Japan
Few periods in Japanese history are more fascinating than the seventh century. This was the period when Buddhism experienced its initial flowering in the country and the time when Asukadera, Kudara Odera, Kawaradera, and Yakushiji (the "Four Great Temples" as they were called in ancient texts) were built. Despite their enormous historical importance, these structures have received only limited attention in Western literature, primarily because they are now ruins. Focus has been placed instead on Horyuji, a beautifully preserved structure, but not a key temple of the period. Donald McCallum seeks in this volume to restore the four great temples to their proper place in the history of Japanese Buddhism and Buddhist architecture. Extraordinary archaeological discoveries in the past few decades in the Asuka-Fujiwara area provide the basis for the monumental task McCallum has set for himself. Three of the temples have been studied archaeologically, but one, Kudara Odera (the first royal temple in Japan), has until recently been known only through textual references—primarily those mentioning its nine-story pagoda, a format closely linked to the grandiose royal temples of China and Korea. A series of digs carried out between 1997 and 2001 at Kibi Pond yielded what are thought to be the remains of Kudara Odera. A platform, the appropriate size for a large pagoda, has been uncovered at the site, indicating the reliability of the textual sources. These results have necessitated a rethinking of early Buddhist architecture in Japan. The Four Great Temples gives the first detailed account in the English language of these excavations. In his detailed analyses of each of the four temples, McCallum considers historiographical issues, settings and layouts, foundations, tiles, relics, and icons and allows readers to follow their chronological evolution. A key feature is the interweaving of archaeological and documentary data to clarify numerous historical problems that have until now resisted plausible solutions. Although the focus is on temples, the book looks at broader political and religious developments that serve as a context for the study. It further makes an effort to unify data on great royal temples in China, Korea, and other parts of Japan, thereby providing cross-cultural insights into a matter that has frequently been discussed only in terms of a single region. The Four Temples is a masterful, multifaceted study that will fundamentally alter and enrich current understanding of Japan’s ancient Buddhist temples. It is sure to generate considerable discussion among scholars in the fields of Japanese and Asian history, art history, and Buddhist studies.
Beijing, Chicago, and Paris
While urban preservation is almost as old as cities themselves, it has become increasingly controversial in modern cities. In this book, Yue Zhang presents a cross-national comparative analysis of the politics of urban preservation. Based on comprehensive archival research and more than two hundred in-depth interviews in Beijing, Chicago, and Paris, Zhang finds that urban preservation provides a tool for diverse political and social actors to frame their propositions and advance their favored courses of action.
In cities from West to East, divergent political and economic interests have caused urban preservation to become contested. Exploring three of the world’s great cities, Zhang deftly navigates readers through each case study, illustrating the complexities of the politics of urban preservation in each city. In Beijing, urban preservation was integral to promoting economic growth and enhancing the city’s image during the lead-up to the 2008 Olympics; in Chicago, it is used to increase property values and revitalize neighborhoods; and in Paris, it offers a channel for national and municipal governments to compete for control over urban space.
Although urban preservation serves various purposes in these cities, Zhang explains how different types of political fragmentation have affected the implementation of preservation initiatives in predictable ways, thus generating distinct patterns of urban preservation. A comparative urban politics study of unusual breadth, The Fragmented Politics of Urban Preservation gives us insight into the complex policy process of urban preservation through which political institutions are intertwined with interests and inclinations, fundamentally shaping the direction of urban development, the physical forms of cities, and the lives of citizens.
Modernist Architecture's Encounter with the American City
Modernism in architecture and urban design has failed the American city. This is the decisive conclusion that renowned public intellectual Nathan Glazer has drawn from two decades of writing and thinking about what this architectural movement will bequeath to future generations. In From a Cause to a Style, he proclaims his disappointment with modernism and its impact on the American city.
Writing in the tradition of legendary American architectural critics Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs, Glazer contends that modernism, this new urban form that signaled not just a radical revolution in style but a social ambition to enhance the conditions under which ordinary people lived, has fallen short on all counts. The articles and essays collected here--some never published before, all updated--reflect his ideas on subjects ranging from the livable city and public housing to building design, public memorials, and the uses of public space. Glazer, an undisputed giant among public intellectuals, is perhaps best known for his writings on ethnicity and social policy, where the unflinching honesty and independence of thought that he brought to bear on tough social questions has earned him respect from both the Left and the Right. Here, he challenges us to face some difficult truths about the public places that, for better or worse, define who we are as a society.
From a Cause to a Style is an exhilarating and thought-provoking book that raises important questions about modernist architecture and the larger social aims it was supposed to have addressed-and those it has abandoned.
Vol. 5, no. 1 (2008) through current issue
An international point of reference for the critical examination of historic preservation. Future Anterior approaches historic preservation from a position of critical inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and theoretical analysis. The journal is an important international forum for the critical examination of historic preservation, spurring challenges of its assumptions, goals, methods, and results. As the first and only journal in American academia devoted to the study and advancement of historic preservation, it provides a much-need bridge between architecture and history. The journal also features provocative theoretical reflections on historic preservation from the point of view of art, philosophy, law, geography, archeaology, planning, materials science, cultural anthropology, and conservation. Future Anterior is essential reading for anyone interested in historic preservation and its role in current cultural debates.
Projecting the Urban Space of New East Asia
The idea of "Asian space" is undergoing a transformation as a result of rapid techological, economic, social and cultural changes. Following the shift to a global economy and an urban population explosion, Asian cities have projected as one of the mainstays of progress, national pride, identity, and positioning on the global stage. The extraordinary pace and intensity of the changes have created a situation unique in the history of urban development. Despite the immense of diversity of Asian countries, "Asia-ness" is often treated as a distinctive quality that has emerged from unique recent circumstances affecting Asian urbanizations as a whole. In Future Asian Space, 15 authors explore broad concepts relating to the creation and re-creation of "Asian space" and contemporary Asian identity, and their examination of different sites and research approaches illustrates the difficulty of pinpointing what "Asia-ness" is, or might become. Appropriate design and planning of cities is a critical elementin building a sustainable future and coping with environmental, social and cultural problems. Future Asian Space is designed to stimulate interests and engagement in discussions of the Asian city, and its trajectories in architecture and urbanism.
A Facsimile of the Revised 1948 Edition
Between 1937 and 1938, garden designer Christopher Tunnard published a series of articles in the British Architectural Review that rejected the prevailing English landscape style. Inspired by the principles of Modernist art and Japanese aesthetics, Tunnard called for a "new technique" in garden design that emphasized an integration of form and purpose. "The functional garden avoids the extremes both of the sentimental expressionism of the wild garden and the intellectual classicism of the 'formal' garden," he wrote; "it embodies rather a spirit of rationalism and through an aesthetic and practical ordering of its units provides a friendly and hospitable milieu for rest and recreation."
Tunnard's magazine pieces were republished in book form as Gardens in the Modern Landscape in 1938, and a revised second edition was issued a decade later. Taken together, these articles constituted a manifesto for the modern garden, its influence evident in the work of such figures as Lawrence Halprin, Philip Johnson, and Edward Larrabee Barnes.
Long out of print, the book is here reissued in a facsimile of the 1948 edition, accompanied by a contextualizing foreword by John Dixon Hunt. Gardens in the Modern Landscape heralded a sea change in the evolution of twentieth-century design, and it also anticipated questions of urban sprawl, historic preservation, and the dynamic between the natural and built environments. Available once more to students, practitioners, and connoisseurs, it stands as a historical document and an invitation to continued innovative thought about landscape architecture.
Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon
George Washington liked to shape his own circumstances. Over the years he carefully crafted both his inner self and his public persona, as well as many aspects of his aesthetic world. Washington’s life formed a unity, and his morality formed part of the backdrop to his designs at Mount Vernon. His house, gardens, and art collection—and his own writings about them—were a major part of the public face of his virtue. Washington usually acted with conscious moral purpose. “Moral” is meant here in the broadest possible sense, including such ethical matters as maintaining a public reputation, using one’s time wisely, fulfilling one’s duties to society, and living without luxuries. In the eighteenth century, the conception of morality also included the achievement of individual perfection, such as living a rational, tranquil, and harmonious life. Washington was obsessed, perhaps even more keenly than his contemporaries, with matters of honor, appearance, dignity, and duty to society. As a schoolboy, Washington copied down the maxim that “every action one takes should be in consideration of all of those present,” and indeed his lifelong actions as architect, collector, and landscape gardener were done in consideration of the public’s valuation of his moral worth. —from Chapter 1: George Washington: Morality and the Crafting of Self On the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon stands, with its iconic portico boasting breathtaking views and with a landscape to rival the great gardens of Europe, as a monument to George Washington’s artistic and creative efforts. More than one million people visit Mount Vernon each year—drawn to the stature and beauty of Washington’s family estate. Art historian Joseph Manca systematically examines Mount Vernon—its stylistic, moral, and historical dimensions—offering a complete picture of this national treasure and the man behind its enduring design. Manca brings to light a Washington deeply influenced by his wide travels in colonial America, with a broader architectural knowledge than previously suspected, and with a philosophy that informed his aesthetic sensibility. Washington believed that design choices and personal character mesh to form an ethic of virtue and fulfillment and that art is inextricably linked with moral and social concerns. Manca examines how these ideas shaped the material culture of Mount Vernon. Based on careful study of Washington’s personal diaries and correspondence and on the lively accounts of visitors to his estate, this richly illustrated book introduces a George Washington unfamiliar to many readers—an avid art collector, amateur architect, and leading landscape designer of his time.