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Article

Amy Meyers

(b Kingsessing, PA, Feb 9, 1739; d Kingsessing, July 22, 1823).

American Naturalist and draughtsman. The son of the Pennsylvania naturalist John Bartram (1699–1777), he executed his first drawings in the 1750s as illustrations to his father’s observations on the flora and fauna of North America. Bartram accompanied his father on numerous collecting trips in the north-eastern colonies and on an expedition to Florida in 1765. His drawings were disseminated to European naturalists by his father’s friend and colleague Peter Collinson (1694–1768), an English merchant who was an important promoter of natural science in the 18th century. Compositionally, Bartram’s early works were structured after etchings by the English naturalists Mark Catesby and George Edwards (1694–1773). These artists were among the first to present organisms as part of their larger physical habitats—a practice that Bartram carried forward in his own work, challenging the traditional notion that organisms can be defined solely according to their own physical attributes. Through his drawings Bartram explored the complex interchange that occurs between animals and plants and their environmental contexts, defying the notion that individual organisms fall naturally into an abstract, hierarchical chain of being. He characteristically employed an undulating line that imparts energy to all the elements of a scene, suggesting that the whole of organic creation is united by a single, animated spirit....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

Mario Béland

(bapt Wallerstein, Saxony, Dec 10, 1744; d New York, Feb 5, 1813).

Canadian painter and architect of German birth. He studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna in 1762 and subsequently at the University of Jena in Saxony. During the 1770s he lived in several European countries before settling in Florence as a miniature painter at the end of the decade. About 1790 he moved to London where he pursued his career as a painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy. In 1792 he departed for America with a group of settlers and two years later set up a business in the area of York (now Toronto). In 1798–9 he worked as a portrait painter in Quebec, producing a wide range of pictures from miniatures on ivory to life-size canvases (e.g. Governor Prescott; Quebec, Mus. Semin.). From 1803 he made his living solely from painting, mainly in Montreal and Quebec. Berczy was recognized as one of the best painters in both Upper and Lower Canada. At the same time as he was becoming a popular portrait painter, he devoted time to religious painting and to architectural work, including plans made in ...

Article

Darryl Patrick

(fl 1820–50).

American architect. There is evidence that Bond was trained by Solomon Willard. Certain of Bond’s designs suggest the Greek Revival approach that Willard brought from Washington, DC. Bond’s style moved between Gothic Revival and a Neo-classical heaviness. In the Salem City Hall of 1836–37 the two-storey Greek Revival façade shows his carefully proportioned details. An example of Gothic Revival is St John’s Episcopal Church and Rectory (1841), Devens Street, Boston, which has a rather heavy granite façade dominated by a square tower with a battlemented roof-line; there are large quatrefoil windows in the walls below. In the same year Bond was called to Oberlin College in Ohio to design First Church, which had to be a Greek Revival design. He worked on Lewis Wharf (1836–40; later remodelled), Boston, where certain walls reflect his attraction to boldly massed granite surfaces. Bond’s best-known buildings during his life were at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. These included Gore Hall (...

Article

Leslie Freudenheim

(b Ellisburg, NY, 1859; d Burlingame, CA, Jan 21, 1896).

American architect. Despite his tragically brief career and six Neo-classical buildings, A. Page Brown will be remembered for his Ferry Building, the centerpiece of San Francisco’s waterfront; that city’s Swedenborgian Church with its Mission-style chairs, both icons of the American Arts and Crafts Movement; and his Mission-style California building for the 1893 Chicago Exposition, a structure that helped establish Mission and Mediterranean styles as appropriate for both domestic and commercial designs throughout the Southwest.

After briefly attending Cornell University, Brown spent three years with the New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. By December 1884, after two years studying European architecture, he opened his own New York practice. Commissions in San Francisco from the Crocker family in 1889 led him to open a West Coast office. He supervised the completion of the first Grace Cathedral (1890, replaced), designed the city’s second skyscraper and, in February 1892, his Mission Revival style design won the competition for the California State Building for the ...

Article

Marcus Whiffen

(b Providence, RI, Dec 3, 1733; d Providence, Dec 3, 1785).

American architect. He was from one of the leading families of Providence. Primarily a mathematician and astronomer, he became Professor of Experimental Philosophy at Rhode Island College (now Brown University). In 1770 he served, with Robert Smith (i), on the building committee for the College Edifice (now University Hall), which is modelled on Nassau Hall at Princeton University, NJ (architects Robert Smith (i) and William Shippen, 1754).

Brown was an amateur architect who never developed a personal style. The Providence Market House, built to his design in 1772–7, was of a plainness that makes all the more surprising the Baroque swagger of the curved pediment crowning the façade of his own house in South Main Street, Providence (1774). The design of his biggest building, the First Baptist Meeting House (1774–5), Providence, was assembled from plates in James Gibbs’s Book of Architecture (1728); its beautiful spire is from one of the alternative designs for the spire of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, while the underscaled portico comes from the Oxford Chapel (now St Peter’s) in Vere Street, London. The substantial house of his brother John in Power Street, Providence, begun in ...

Article

Marcus Whiffen

(b Oxford, Aug 14, 1734; d Annapolis, MD, between 16 Nov and Dec 19, 1774).

American architect. In 1748 he was apprenticed to his uncle James Buckland, a London joiner; in 1755, after completing his articles, he became an indentured servant to Thomson Mason, who had been studying law in London and had been asked by his brother George Mason (author of the Virginia Bill of Rights) to find a joiner to finish his house in Virginia. Buckland bound himself to serve ‘Thomson Mason, his Executors or Assigns in the Plantation of Virginia beyond the Seas, for the Space of Four Years’, and thus came to be responsible for all the woodwork, indoors and out, of Gunston Hall (1755–60), Fairfax County, VA. Gunston Hall served as a showpiece for Buckland. The two porches, one an adaptation of the Palladian motif and the other a half-octagon combining a Doric pilaster order with ogee arches, were the first of their kind in Colonial America, as was the chinoiserie decoration in the dining room. In designing it, he drew on several books from his own library: ...

Article

W. McKenzie Woodward

(b Pawtucket, RI, July 26, 1801; d Providence, RI, Sept 28, 1890).

American architect. Bucklin’s early training in architecture was as apprentice to John Holden Greene. When he was 21 he formed a partnership with William Tallman, a builder and timber merchant, and they remained associates until the early 1850s. Russell Warren worked with them between 1827 and the early 1830s, as did Thomas Tefft between 1847 and 1851.

Tallman & Bucklin was a prolific firm. It engaged in speculative residential construction and was awarded some choice local commissions between the late 1820s and 1850s. Most of these were Greek Revival, including the Providence Arcade (1828), a monumental covered shopping mall; Westminster Street Congregational Church (1829; destr.); Rhode Island Hall, Brown University (1840); the Washington Row (1843–5; destr.); the Providence High School (1844; destr.); and Athenaeum Row (1845), all in Providence. The Tudor-style Butler Hospital (1847), Providence, is probably by Tefft, the architectural prodigy who was working for the firm while a student at Brown University....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Boston, MA, August 8, 1763; d Boston, April 15, 1844).

American architect. Bulfinch was a leading architect of the Federal period in America, but had no formal architectural training.

Born to an aristocratic Boston family, Bulfinch graduated from Harvard College in 1781. In 1785 he embarked on a two-year tour of Italy, France and England, during which he developed a special enthusiasm for the Neo-classical style of Adam family, §3. On his return, he married a wealthy cousin and, by his own account, spent the following eight years ‘pursuing no business but giving gratuitous advice in architecture’. Bulfinch designed approximately 15 buildings during this early period, including three churches, a theatre, a state house for Connecticut, seven detached houses and a group of row houses. The style derives clearly from Adam, but it is notably shallow and linear, owing perhaps to the American use of wood and brick rather than stone, and to Bulfinch’s probable reliance on sketches and engravings of the English models. It is also likely that, at this stage of his career, Bulfinch did not supervise his buildings but merely provided elevations and floor plans to builders who constructed them. Notable among his early works are two churches for Pittsfield and Taunton, MA (both begun in ...

Article

(b Toulon, Oct 3, 1682; d Quebec, March 23, 1756).

French architect and military engineer, active in Canada. He arrived in Quebec in 1716. He was responsible for the fortifications of Quebec and Montreal, as well as those of important points for the defence of the colony, at a time when the royal treasury provided very little finance. He was also the author of a treatise on fortifications, which was never published.

An excellent draughtsman, Chaussegros de Lery sent to the French king plans of several interesting constructions by his predecessors, as well as plans for the construction, repair or completion of certain buildings destined to house the French authorities in Canada. Particularly important was the rebuilding in 1726 of the Palais de l’Intendant in Quebec, which also gave him the opportunity to discover techniques to improve the fire-resistance of the buildings erected in New France. He was also responsible for the plans (1744) to enlarge the cathedral of Notre-Dame, Quebec, which were never completed, and he drew up designs for churches and chapels intended for the major and smaller forts. His wide interests included involvement in the mines in the area of Charlevoix, as well as in a project to excavate a canal to circumnavigate the rapids of Lachine....

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Hudson, NY, Aug 24, 1806; d Baton Rouge, LA, May 10, 1852).

American architect. He spread eclectic historicism to the western states in the mid-19th century. Dakin was first trained as a carpenter but in 1829 entered the office of architects Ithiel Town and Alexander Jackson Davis in New York. Highly skilled as a draughtsman, in 1832 he became a full partner in the firm. He was responsible for the Rockaway Marine Pavilion (destr.), a large Grecian-style hotel on Long Island. Soon after starting his independent practice in 1833 he designed the Bank of Louisville (1834–6), KY, an excellent example of his adaptation of Greek elements for an American business building. The details recall similar motifs that appeared in Minard Lafever’s books, for which Dakin drew some of the plates. Though known principally for his Classical Greek designs, Dakin was also an early designer in the Gothic Revival style, as in his Washington Square Dutch Reformed Church, New York (...

Article

Patrick A. Snadon

(b New York, July 24, 1803; d Orange, NJ, Jan 14, 1892).

American architect. From the 1830s to the 1850s he was one of the most influential architects in the USA. His work ranges from major government and institutional buildings to ornamental garden structures; his main contribution to American architecture was his introduction of the European Picturesque in his designs for Italianate and Gothic Revival country houses and cottages. With his partner, Ithiel Town, he also refined and popularized the American Greek Revival. He revolutionized American architectural drawing through rendering buildings in romantic landscapes rather than in the analytical, Neo-classical style that preceded him. In 1836 he helped form the American Institution of Architects and advanced professionalism in American architecture through his scrupulous office practices, being, for example, the first American architect to use printed, standardized specifications.

At the age of 16, Davis left school in New York to work as a type compositor in Alexandria, VA. During this time, probably influenced by reading contemporary Gothic novels, he made drawings of prison and castle interiors akin to Piranesi’s engravings of imaginary prisons. In ...

Article

American architectural partnership formed in 1903 by William A(dams) Delano (b New York, 21 Jan 1874; d New York, 12 Jan 1960) and Chester H. Aldrich (b Providence, RI, 4 June 1871; d Rome, 26 Dec 1940). Aldrich graduated from Columbia University, New York, in 1893. After a year with the New York architects Carrère & Hastings he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris (diploma 1900). He returned to Carrère & Hastings until he formed the partnership with Delano. The latter also studied architecture at Columbia University and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (diploma 1902). After about a year with Carrère & Hastings working as a draughtsman, he became Aldrich’s partner. Their initial commissions were private residences in the stately neo-classical styles fashionable in the early 20th century, for example the John D. Rockefeller House (1906–8), Pocantico Hills, New York, and 925 Park Avenue (...

Article

Damie Stillman

Architectural and decorative arts style that flourished in the USA from shortly after the acknowledgement of independence in the Treaty of Paris (1783) until c. 1820. The term is derived from the period surrounding the creation of the federal constitution in 1787 and was in use in a political sense by that year. Essentially it was a form of Neo-classicism, strongly influenced by manifestations of that style in England and, to a lesser extent, in France; but at times certain more conservative qualities inherited from the previous Colonial period are also present. The inspiration of European, and especially English, Neo-classical architecture was to be expected in a society grounded in that of 18th-century England; but an added impetus was the association often cited at the time between the fledgling American republic and the ancient Roman one.

Although a few indications of European Neo-classical influence are found in the American colonies before the Revolution began in ...

Article

Donna McGee

(b London, 1799; d Montreal, June 23, 1872).

Canadian architect of English birth. His background is unclear, but he was evidently trained in the Neo-classical style, probably in London, and emigrated to Canada in 1838. He settled in Sherbrooke, Quebec, where he completed his first major commission, the Court House (1841) in Sherbrooke, a Neo-classical brick building with a Doric portico. He subsequently moved to Montreal and appears in notarial records as an architect between September 1841 and February 1872. His masterpiece is the Bonsecours Market (1844–7), Rue des Commissaires, Montreal, a commission won by competition in 1842. Combining Greek Revival and Palladian styles, it was conceived as a multipurpose building to be used as a market, concert hall and offices of the city council. Its tin-covered dome crowns a long stone building, with central entrances and end wings. Facing the port, it has three storeys with a rusticated basement, hammer-dressed stone in the main part and channelled ashlar with radiating voussoirs at the wings. The city façade on Rue St-Paul is of two storeys, with a pediment over the entrance supported by six baseless cast-iron Doric columns. The dome is set on a high drum, with wood Ionic pilasters between arched windows. Few other buildings are attributed to him with any certainty....

Article

Terms used to describe the art and architecture produced during the reigns of Georges I (r. 1714–27), George II (r. 1727–60), George III (r. 1760–1820) and George IV (r. 1820–30), who ruled Great Britain and her colonies from 1714 to1830, and the subsequent revival of this style in the second half of the 19th century. In England about 1850 the phrase “Georgian style” appeared with reference to the art and architecture of the Georgian period, and by the mid-1870s the term emerged in American architectural commentary. The term “Regency style” is sometime applied to the architecture of George IV (Prince Regent 1811–20 and King 1820–30). In time, the Georgian style expanded to include furniture, decorative arts and even painting. Georgian Revival usually refers to buildings that draw upon the styles, forms, details and, in some cases, materials of the Georgian period with usage beginning in England during the later 1860s and in America in the 1880s....

Article

Robert L. Alexander

(b Paris, 1765; d Paris, 1848).

French architect and draughtsman, active in the USA, England and France. All that is known of the first 40 years of Godefroy’s life is that he served 18 months in the army, probably practised engineering briefly and spent 19 months in Napoleonic prisons before being exiled to the USA. He arrived in New York on 26 April 1805 and in December took up a post as drawing-master at the college founded by the Sulpicians of St Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. His modest competence in drawing, evident in several works in pencil and pen, bistre and coloured washes, suggests training. A few are landscapes and one, the Battle of Pultowa (1804–5; Baltimore, MD Hist. Soc. Mus.), is a historical composition, but most are Neo-classical designs, for example for diplomas, employing allegorical subject matter. Godefroy’s importance lies in his introduction of recent French ideas in the buildings he designed and built in Baltimore. He began to study architecture ...

Article

American, 18th – 19th century, male.

Active in Pennsylvania.

Born at the end of the 18th century, in France.

Painter, watercolourist, sculptor, architect. Historical subjects, allegorical subjects, figures, landscapes, urban views, architectural views.

P. Maximilian F. Godefroy exhibited several times at the Royal Academy of Arts between ...

Article

Ronald R. McCarty

Ronald R. McCarty

Term used to describe a style inspired by the architecture of Classical Greece. The introduction of a new ‘National Style’ adopted by the USA during the first half of the 19th century saw ancient architectural forms from Greece and Rome being used as inspiration for the new federal and domestic buildings built throughout the country. Interior furnishings and decorative arts were similarly dominated by the Grecian mode from the 1800 through the 1850s.

During the late 18th century and early 19th, throughout the USA, classical taste experienced an enormous growth in interest stimulated by discoveries and study of ancient civilizations. The term Greece, ancient §XI 2., (i) describes the style celebrating the Classical architecture of ancient Greece and the reinterpretation of Grecian architecture evidenced in monumental buildings and the decorative arts designed to furnish them. The USA doubled in size between the years 1800 to 1840, with the population growing to over 17,000,000 across the country. During these important years of growth in America, new state government buildings were commissioned whose Neo-classical façades represented the ideals of a new nation: a strong and united America. The Greek Revival style was adopted for new courthouses, state capitol buildings, banks, schools, prisons, and churches. Many incorporated the use of domes, porticos, rotundas, and colonnades in classical façades and building forms....

Article

Leland M. Roth

(b Livorno, Italy, c. 1763–4; d Washington, DC, Feb 5, 1826).

American architect of English origin. After studying architecture with James Wyatt in London, he received the first travelling scholarship in architecture from the Royal Academy (1790). He was, however, frustrated with his progress professionally. On the recommendation of the painter John Trumbull, then serving as Secretary to the American Minister to Great Britain, Hadfield was appointed superintendent of construction of William Thornton’s US Capitol in Washington, DC. In 1795 he emigrated to the USA. While overseeing construction of the Capitol, Hadfield established a practice in Washington, in 1796 designing the first US Treasury building (destr.), the Ionic order of which was based on that of the Erechtheion, Athens. Hadfield thus shares with Benjamin Henry Latrobe the honour of bringing a true Greek Revival to the USA. Hadfield’s boldest Greek Revival design was the emphatic portico he added to the Custis-Lee Mansion (1817–20) in Arlington, VA; the six massive unfluted Doric columns are modelled on those at Paestum. His most important extant buildings show his command of the Greek Revival idiom and include his Ionic Washington City Hall, with its grand Ionic portico (...