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Leslie Topp investigates how "truth" in Viennese architecture at the turn of the twentieth century could be interpreted in a variety of ways, including "truth" to purpose, symbolist or ideal "truth", and ethical notions of authenticity. Drawing on newly uncovered archival materials, Topp offers a new interpretation of familiar buildings, demonstrating how they encompass utopianism, hyper-rationality, and subjectivism. She also explores the relationship between Viennese modern architecture and contemporary painting, psychiatry, fashion, labor issues, and anti-Semitic politics.Read more
- New archival research yielding original interpretations on 4 canonical buildings
- First book to examine the notion of truth in architectures with attention to social and cultural context
- Explores connections between architecture and painting, psychiatry, labor issues, banking, fashion and anti-Semitic politics
Reviews & endorsements
"Leslie Topp's book is important for offering new perspectives on well-known buildings, especially for systematically trying to answer the question of who the prople that commissioned them were. As a consistent and comprehensive narrative about four iconic modernist monuments, based at the same time on solid research and creative interpretation, it will also be an excellent teaching tool."
-Vladimi Kulic, Austrian StudiesSee more reviews
"Her work is both original and thorough, thus it is one of the best treatments of a subject that has received a great deal of attention."
-Jindrich Vybiral, Austrian History Yearbook
"Topp gets it right, and her meticulous analyses confirm what has been a growing understanding in recent years about the complexity and multifarious nature of early Modernism...Her work navigates deftly through the intricate and meandering course of the idea, and it provides a useful contribution to the literature on the early Modernism in Vienna."
-Christopher Long, University of Texas at Austin, Studies in the Decorative Arts
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- Date Published: June 2004
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521822756
- length: 250 pages
- dimensions: 257 x 180 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.64kg
- contains: 80 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. The Secession Building: multiple truths and modern art
2. The Purkersdorf Sanatorium and the appearance of science
3. The Postal Savings Bank: pragmatism and 'inner truth'
4. The Michaelerplatz Building, an honest mask.
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