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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 (...


George E. Thomas

(b Gudenham Manor, near Taunton, Somerset, Dec 12, 1792; d Philadelphia, PA, March 29, 1852).

English architect and writer, active in the USA. He was apprenticed in 1811 to James Elmes (1782–1862), a successful London architect and writer on art and architecture. In 1815, after the minimal service of four years, Haviland set out for Russia where he hoped to gain an appointment in the Imperial Corps of Engineers. In St Petersburg he met the American ambassador and future president, John Quincy Adams (1735–1826), and his future brother-in-law, George von Sonntag, who encouraged him to immigrate to the USA. In 1816 Haviland arrived in Philadelphia, where he hoped to set up an architectural practice like Benjamin Henry Latrobe before him. Philadelphia had changed, however, since the national capitol had moved to Washington, DC, and the economic centre had shifted to New York. Where Latrobe had pioneered the role of the professional architect in the USA, Haviland initially succeeded to his position of taste-maker, bringing fashionable English styles to anglophile Philadelphia. Like so many of his contemporaries, Haviland needed to use every opportunity to present his talents, including teaching and publications. Shortly after his arrival, he was conducting classes on architecture; simultaneously he wrote ...


Antoinette J. Lee

(b Kilkenny, Ireland, c. 1758; d Washington, DC, Dec 8, 1831).

American architect of Irish birth. He studied architecture under the guidance of Thomas Ivory at the Royal Dublin Society’s School of Architectural Drawing c. 1779. Faced with limited professional prospects in Ireland, Hoban immigrated to the USA in 1785, settling first in Philadelphia. Two years later he moved to Charleston, SC, where private residences and public buildings such as the former State House (1789; now a court-house) are attributed to him. In 1787 he met George Washington, who was then on a tour through the southern states; this meeting led to Hoban’s participation in the competition of 1792 for the design of the President’s House (now the White House). He won with a design for a three-storey rectangular stone building, with a projecting central section of engaged columns above a heavy base. The central section and the floor plan resembled the Neo-classical Leinster House, Dublin, the residence of the Dukes of Leinster, built in ...


(b Rutland, MA, Oct 28, 1766; d Albany, NY, Jan 31, 1836).

American architect. His earliest training was with his father Samuel Hooker (1746–1832), a carpenter and builder. The family moved in 1772 to Albany, NY, the centre of Hooker’s activity throughout his life. The source of his training in drawing and surveying (the latter always a second profession) is unclear: he was possibly a pupil of the French architect Pierre Pharoux (c. 1760–95), who spent the winter of 1794–5 in Albany. Hooker’s first commission was the North Dutch Church (1796–8; now First Church of Albany). The influence of the Neo-classicism of Charles Bulfinch is strongly evident, particularly the latter’s Hollis Street Church, Boston, of 1787–8. Hooker’s original design is known from drawings, as the central portico of the church was destroyed during renovations in 1857. His next commission was the first New York State Capitol Building (1804–6; destr. 1883) in Albany. Few of Hooker’s buildings survive, although among those that do is the Albany Academy (...


David Rose

(b Devonshire, 1809; d Kingston, Ont., March 27, 1869).

Canadian architect of English birth. After training as a carpenter in Devonshire and a builder in London, he went to Kingston, Ontario, c. 1832. He worked on the Palladian-style court-house (1837–9; destr.) in Belleville by Thomas Rogers (c. 1780–1853), shaping four large tree trunks into Ionic columns for the portico. Returning to England in 1840, probably to acquire further training, Horsey was back in Kingston one year later listed as Architect, Civil Engineer and Master Builder and profitably engaged in building and selling terrace houses and single dwellings. For his family, Horsey built Elizabeth Cottage (c. 1843), 251 Brock Street, Kingston, an Early Gothic Revival residence, as a replica of the Horsey family manor house in Sherborne, Dorset. In 1848 Horsey succeeded William Hugh Coverdale as architect of the Provincial Penitentiary in Kingston. He continued Coverdale’s general classical scheme for the prison and designed a dome for the main building (rebuilt ...


Malcolm Thurlby

(b Bengeo, Herts, July 27, 1803; d Toronto, Feb 3, 1890).

Canadian architect of English birth. Born with the name John Corby, he was articled to the architect William Ford (fl 1820s) in London in 1824. In 1832 he moved to Canada, settling in Toronto, then still known as York, and changing his name to Howard. He was one of the first formally trained architects in the city and he became one of the busiest in Upper Canada in the 1830s and 1840s; he also held the post of Drawing Master at Upper Canada College (1839–56). Of the many buildings he completed in Toronto before his virtual retirement in 1855, only his cottage orné, Colborne Lodge (1836; now a museum), survives. However, he established Neo-classical architecture as the model for commercial and public buildings in Toronto in the 1830s and 1840s with such works as the city’s Third Jail (1838; destr.); the Bank of British North America (...


Margaret Moore Booker

(b Madison, WI, Sept 25, 1847; d Washington, DC, Nov 20, 1914).

American sculptor. Born Vinnie Ream, Hoxie was a pioneer in a field long dominated by male artists and the first woman sculptor to gain a federal commission. Her strikingly good looks and controversial lifestyle sometimes led male contemporaries to dismiss her as the “pretty chiseler of marble,” but her considerable talent and skill eventually earned her praise and commissions.

Hoxie attended the Academy (part of Christian College), in Columbia, MO, where she began her artistic studies. By 1861 she was living with her family in Washington, DC, and one year later she was working for the postal service. At the age of 16 she became a student–assistant for sculptor Clark Mills (1810–83), and shortly thereafter made relief medallions and portrait busts of congressmen and other public figures. She was still in her teens when she modeled a bust of Abraham Lincoln (1865; Ithaca, NY, Cornell U. Lib.) from life—an early success that brought her national attention....



Gordon Campbell


Janet A. Headley

(b Hamden, CT, Dec 14, 1810; d Rome, Aug 2, 1894).

American sculptor, active in Italy. Ives trained as a wood-carver in New Haven, CT, and he may also have studied with the sculptor Hezekiah Augur. In 1838 Ives launched his career as a portraitist. Among the works that contributed to his rising reputation during the next two years were portraits of the professor Benjamin Silliman (plaster, c. 1840; New York, NY Hist. Soc.) and the architect Ithiel Town (marble, c. 1840; New Haven, CT, Yale U. A.G.)

Due to illness, Ives sought the milder climate of Italy; he lived in Florence from 1844 to 1851, when he settled permanently in Rome. In the third quarter of the 19th century, he rivalled Hiram Powers as the foremost American sculptor in Italy. He continued to produce portraits, notably statues of Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull (1869) and statesman Roger Sherman (1870) for Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol, but he developed a reputation as a sculptor of idealized marble figures. He excelled at representations of childhood; for example his ...


Robin B. Williams

(b Bath, 1792 or 1793; d Port Louis, Mauritius, 1837).

English architect, active also in the USA. Jay was among the earliest professionally trained architects to practice in the USA. From 1817 to 1820, he worked in Savannah, GA, where his celebrated Regency-style designs for public buildings and houses employed advanced building technology rarely seen in America. The son of a nonconformist minister, Jay was born in 1792 or 1793 in Bath, England, to a family of stonemasons. He was apprenticed in London to the architect David Riddall Roper (1773–1855) from 1807 to 1813 and exhibited student work at the Royal Academy beginning in 1809. Jay’s first commission, the Albion Chapel (1815–16), Moorfields, London, revealed Regency stylistic leanings with its simple square shape, blind arches and a crowning Pantheon-like dome.

In 1817 Jay immigrated to Savannah to design the Richardson-Owens-Thomas House (1816–19), a commission received through a family connection. The house is a tour de force...


Frederick D. Nichols

(b Shadwell, VA, April 13, 1743; d Monticello, VA, July 4, 1826).

American statesman and architect. One of the great founding fathers of the American nation, he was a self-taught and influential architect whose work was influenced by his first-hand experience of French architecture and his admiration for Classical architecture. ‘Architecture is my delight, and putting up and pulling down one of my favorite amusements’, he is reputed to have said. His major works are his own house, Monticello, VA, the State Capitol at Richmond, VA, and his innovative designs for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. He also conducted one of the earliest systematic archaeological investigations of a Native North American site, excavating a burial mound on his Virginia farm in 1784.

Son of a surveyor working in Virginia, he went on his father’s death to stay with his cousins at Tuckahoe, an early 18th-century plantation still existing on the lower James River. The H-shaped house had ingenious dome-shaped plaster ceilings in the office and schoolroom, possibly an influence on his later work. While a student at the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, in ...


Antoinette J. Lee

(b Paris, Aug 2, 1754; d Green Hill, MD, June 14, 1825).

American urban planner and architect of French birth. He was born into an artistic family, members of which served the French court, and grew up in circumstances that imbued him with an appreciation for art, architecture, city planning, and garden design (particularly the landscapes of André Le Nôtre at Versailles and elsewhere). In 1771 L’Enfant studied fine arts at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris. Six years later, as a lieutenant in the French Army, he volunteered his services to the new American republic in its struggle with Great Britain. During the War of Independence (1775–81), he saw action at Valley Forge, PA, Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA, and produced portraits and other illustrations in such quantity that he was referred to as the ‘Artist of the American Revolution’. In 1782, at the request of General George Washington, L’Enfant designed a temporary pavilion (destr.) in Philadelphia for the celebration of the birth of Louis XVI’s first son. In recognition of his services to the American nation, he was breveted a major in the Corps of Engineers in ...


Denys Peter Myers

(b nr Morristown, NJ, Aug 10, 1798; d Williamsburgh [now within Brooklyn], NY, Sept 26, 1854).

American writer and architect of French descent. He trained as a carpenter and later became an architect, following a development typical of his generation. By 1828 he had moved to New York City. He is best known for the manuals he wrote for builders. His first, The Young Builder’s General Instructor (1829), included plates copied from Metropolitan Improvements (1827–9) by the architectural writer and lecturer James Elmes (1782–1862). Dissatisfied with his own work, Lafever withdrew the book, which was succeeded in 1833 by his second and more mature work, The Modern Builder’s Guide. James Gallier (i), Lafever’s partner from 1832 to 1834, did the frontispiece, and James H. Dakin drew six of the 89 plates. By 1855 seven editions had appeared. The Beauties of Modern Architecture (1835), with 46 plates by Lafever and one by Charles L. Bell, his partner in 1835...


Donna Corbin

(b Chantilly, June 27, 1779; d New York, Oct 16, 1819).

American cabinetmaker of French birth. Lannuier received his training from his brother, Nicolas-Louis-Cyrille Lannuier, who was admitted to the Corporation des Menuisiers-Ebénistes in Paris on 23 July 1783. Charles-Honoré arrived in the USA in 1803 and settled in New York where he established a workshop at 60 Broad Street, an address he would occupy for his entire career. He was a contemporary and rival of Duncan Phyfe and became one of the pre-eminent furnituremakers in the USA working in the Late Federal period. His craftsmanship was of the highest quality, and he counted among his customers such distinguished New York families as the Morrises, Stuyvesants, and Rensselaers. He was perhaps the first American cabinetmaker to employ French manufactured cast-brass ornaments. Despite a reliance throughout his career on French styles—in the early years, on those of the Directoire and Consulate periods he experienced in Paris first hand, and later, after the move to New York, on those of imported Empire-period pieces—he nevertheless created a highly original style that is distinctly American. Of the large and well-documented body of Lannuier’s work, there is a preponderance of tables, especially pier- and card-tables (...


Jeffrey A. Cohen

(b Fulneck, W. Yorks, May 1, 1764; d New Orleans, LA, Sept 3, 1820).

English architect and engineer, active in the USA. His reputation rests on his efforts to introduce into a young USA unfamiliar new standards of professional practice and new advances in design. The standards and advances were those Latrobe absorbed in the 1780s and early 1790s in the offices of engineer John Smeaton and architect S. P. Cockerell, among the most prominent men in Britain in their respective fields. Before Latrobe arrived in Virginia in 1796, European professionals of comparable or greater standing in these fields had come to the USA, including William Weston (c. 1752–1833) in 1792, Etienne-Sulpice Hallet (1755–1825) in the late 1780s, and George Hadfield in 1795. It was Latrobe’s distinction, however, through his own efforts and through those of his pupils, to establish this professionalism in a lasting way in the USA. Beyond this, his works merit consideration for their artistic quality alongside those of the first rank internationally, while the survival of much of his considered testimony about design, about his professions and about the general temper of his times makes him one of the most articulate informants on these topics....


Robert Russell

(b Charleston, SC, March 17, 1758; d Philadelphia, PA, Nov 4, 1809).

American architect. Manigault was born into a wealthy Huguenot planter family. He was South Carolina’s most talented gentleman architect. As a young man he was sent to Europe, where he spent a good deal of time in Geneva. He read law at Lincoln’s Inn in London beginning in 1777. He was in London at the time of the greatest influence of Adam family §(3), and he remained a designer in Adam’s Neo-classical style, seemingly uninterested in later developments. He returned to Charleston in 1780 with a substantial collection of architecture books.

Manigault’s active career began around 1800 when he designed a house (destr.) for himself in Charleston. Soon after, he probably designed the First US Bank, now the Charleston City Hall. This attribution is traditional, rather than documented; nevertheless it is reliable. The original interior is long gone, but the exterior (restored 2006) is still largely in the Adam style. In ...


Damie Stillman

(b New York, Oct 17, 1763; d New York, May 25, 1853).

American architect. The leading architect in New York during the Federal period, he was trained by his father, John McComb sr (1732–1811), a mason and builder–architect. The younger McComb began his career in the 1790s in a style combining Colonial Palladian tendencies with a Neo-classicism inspired by Robert Adam, and he retained the latter character in his work to the end. In his unexecuted designs, this quality is especially seen in unusual room shapes, but in his completed buildings it is most revealed in proportions and in decorative detail. His architectural work comprised town and country houses for the leading citizens of New York, a number of churches and a variety of semi-public buildings in that city, two college buildings in New Jersey and a series of lighthouses stretching from Virginia to the eastern end of Long Island.

McComb’s best-known work is New York City Hall, the execution of which, based on the competition-winning design submitted jointly by him and ...


John Morrill Bryan

(b Charleston, SC, Aug 12, 1781; d Washington, DC, March 3, 1855).

American architect, engineer, cartographer and writer. He claimed to be the first native-born American to have completed ‘a regular course of study of Architecture in his own country’ and believed this training distinguished him both from 18th-century dilettantes and from contemporary competitors who came to architecture from the building trades. His work is indicative of an informed interest in new building types, materials and techniques and a recognition of the symbolic importance of style. He viewed his profession as a public trust and concentrated on the design of civic buildings and monuments. An influential architect, he promoted both fireproof construction and rational classicism, which later became hallmarks of American Federal architecture. His efforts did much to define the nature of American architectural practice in the 19th century.

Mills studied English and European pattern-books and learnt the rudiments of draughting and structure. In 1800 he moved to Washington, DC, and entered the office of ...


William L. Beiswanger

House in Albemarle Co., near Charlottesville, VA, designed and later remodelled by Thomas Jefferson for his own use (see fig.). Although Jefferson continued to work on the house for more than 40 years, there were two main building programmes, in 1770–84 and 1796–1809. Jefferson began designing the house in 1768, mainly using for his guide the 1742 edition of The Architecture of A. Palladio (London, 1715–20) by James Leoni. This first version of the house superimposed the Ionic and Doric orders for the porticos that fronted the three-bay central block on the entrance and garden façades. Around 1777 the first changes were made, with the addition of octagonal bows to the wings and garden front of the central block. Jefferson used his hilltop site to advantage to conceal the service wings (planned in the 1770s but built during the remodelling in modified form after 1800). He reversed the usual Palladian scheme, where the wings flank an entrance court, by placing the wings behind the house and setting them into the side of the hill. The roofs are transformed into terrace walkways connected to the main floor of the house and serve both as extensions for the house and as landscape elements....


Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Elise Madeleine Ciregna

Term coined in the 19th century to describe the overwhelmingly dominant style in the fine and decorative arts in Europe and North America during the 18th and 19th centuries. Neo-classicism is not one distinct style, but rather the term can describe any work of architecture or art that either copies or imitates ancient art, or that represents an approach to art that draws inspiration from Classical models from ancient Greece and Rome. The most influential theorist of Neo-classicism was the German art historian Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose major work, Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks, was translated into English in 1765. The Neo-classical style in North America was most popular from about 1780 to 1850.

Interest in Classical art and architecture has remained more or less constant throughout Western history, peaking most notably during the Renaissance and again in the 18th century. The systematic excavations and ensuing scholarship on the archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii, buried by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in ...