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Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Marta Galicki

(b Stockholm, April 25, 1709; d Stockholm, Nov 9, 1777).

Swedish architect, administrator, designer and collector. Considered the most technically orientated of 18th-century Swedish architects, he studied mechanics under the engineer Christoffer Polhem (1661–1751) and architecture and drawing with Carl Hårleman and continued his studies in Paris and Rome, while recruiting artisans for work on the Royal Palace, Stockholm. He became Hårleman’s assistant during the construction of the palace and succeeded him as Superintendent of Works (1753–68). He used the Baroque style in his refurbishment of the interior of the church of St Mary, Stockholm (1760). He was also responsible for the Rococo interiors of the royal palaces of Drottningholm and Stockholm and designed several country houses, such as Svenneby in Östergötland and Myrö in Närke (both 1770). As an urban planner he is best known for his designs for bridges. He also invented (1767) a type of tiled stove that remained a typical feature of Swedish interiors (...

Article

Danielle B. Joyner

From the time John Cassian established the first female foundation in Marseille in ad 410, monastic women lived in varying states of enclosure and were surrounded by diverse images and objects that contributed to their devotion, education and livelihood. The first rule for women, written in 512 by St Caesarius of Arles, emphasized their strict separation from men and the world, as did the Periculoso, a directive issued by Pope Boniface VIII (reg 1294–1303) in 1298. Various architectural solutions developed throughout the Middle Ages to reconcile the necessities of enclosure with the access required by male clerics to celebrate Mass and provide pastoral care. Nuns’ choirs, where the women would gather for their daily prayers, were often constructed as discreet spaces in the church, which allowed women to hear or see the Mass without interacting with the cleric, as in the 10th-century choir in the eastern transept gallery at St Cyriakus in Gernrode, Germany. In some Cistercian examples, the nuns’ choir appeared at the west end of the nave. Dominican and Franciscan architecture was largely varied. Double monasteries, which housed men and women, also required careful construction. A 7th-century text describing the church of St Brigida in ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

E. A. Christensen

(b London, 1806; d London, 1871).

English architect, designer, writer and collector. He received his architectural training under John Soane and practised independently from 1832. He wrote three books that established his expertise on the subject of Elizabethan design, architecture and ornament, and in addition he designed Elizabethan Revival furniture, which was shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.

From 1845 to 1852 Richardson taught ornamental and geometrical drawing as master of the architectural class of the School of Design at Somerset House, London. In 1846, along with H. J. Townsend (1810–90) and Richard Redgrave, he presented the curricular problems of the School to a Special Committee, which resulted in the reorganization of courses. In 1851 he was appointed Surveyor of the South Kensington estate of William Cavendish (1808–91), Marquess of Hartington (later the 7th Duke of Devonshire), and was responsible for supervising construction (1851–3) of the Earl’s mansion in Kensington Palace Gardens, London. His executed designs include works at Belsize Park, Hampstead (...

Article

(b Papendrecht, 1922)

Dutch furniture designer, collector and patron. Having originally trained as an architectural draughtsman, he became one of the most important furniture designers in the Netherlands after World War II. From 1947 he worked as a buyer, salesman and designer in the furniture department of the Bijenkorf store in Amsterdam. From 1955 to 1974 he designed for the furniture manufacturer ’t Spectrum in Bergeijk. Visser’s utilitarian concept of furniture was tempered by his interest in craftsmanship and his desire to produce unique works. Until 1955 he designed simple, well-constructed wooden furniture, using mostly natural pine. About 1955 he and his wife, Mia, moved into a house in Bergeijk, which had been designed and built for them by Gerrit Rietveld, and which they filled with furniture designed by Visser and his colleagues. In 1959 they began seriously to collect art by contemporary artists and enlarged their house with the addition of a gallery designed by ...