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Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Melanie Hillebrand

(b London, June 5, 1856; d Durban, June 23, 1928).

South African architect of English birth. He studied at the University of London and was articled to W. W. Gwyther in London, then to J. McVicar Anderson and to Robert Hesketh. In 1881 he established his own practice in London. He moved to the colony of Natal c. 1886 and set up practice in Durban and Pietermaritzburg in partnership first with Percy Barr (d 1894), then with Arthur Fyfe until c. 1899, and finally with J. Wallace Paton (1874–1948) from c. 1899 until his death. Street-Wilson was a prolific architect and designed many houses, shops and office buildings, but his reputation was based on public commissions. The Pietermaritzburg Town Hall (1893; destr. 1898) was his first major work: a modest, two-storey ‘Free Renaissance design’ using the characteristic salmon-pink brick of the area. Invited to design a new structure after its destruction by fire, he created a florid three-storey version using imported plaster mouldings and cast iron. Other successful designs in this style include Scott’s Theatre (...