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The Order of Ornament, the Structure of Style examines the emergence of modernism in Central European art, architecture and design, and its relationship to late nineteenth-century theories of style advanced by John Ruskin, Owen Jones, Gottfried Semper, and Alois Riegl. In addition to basing their investigations of artistic development on works produced in all periods and cultures, these theorists looked to natural science and linguistic studies for models with which to order their studies. They suggested to artists and architects that ornamental motifs and compositions from remote cultures and periods could furnish the means to create rational designs, express creative processes, and produce new perceptual possibilities for both the constructed facade and the painted surface. Debra Schafter's study thus positions nineteenth-century visual aesthetics within a broader intellectual context that is philosophical and scientific, while contributing to a new understanding of the origins of modernism outside of the premiere centers often associated with the Modern movement.Read more
- Presents the conceptual context in which nineteenth-century theories of style were framed
- Positions nineteenth-century visual aesthetics within broader intellectual currents
- Contributes to a new understanding of the emergence of modernism in Central Europe
Reviews & endorsements
'Shafter illustrates her ideas with some well-chosen examples, particularly from the work of Klimt and Otto Wagner … there is no doubt that The Order of Ornament marks the debut of a thoughtful and capable historian.' Architectural Review
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- Date Published: February 2003
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521791144
- length: 292 pages
- dimensions: 255 x 181 x 24 mm
- weight: 0.837kg
- contains: 87 b/w illus.
- availability: Unavailable - out of print May 2005
Table of Contents
Cultural context: Vienna at the crossroads
2. The order of ornament in nineteenth-century theories of style
John Ruskin and the representation of divine order
Owen Jones and natural structure
Gottfried Semper and evidence of function
Alois Riegl and the psychological disposition
3. Ornament of language
The language of architecture
Ornament as emblem
The formal sign
Symbolizing the creative process
The perceptual signifier
4. Visual evidence
Palais stoclet as Gesamtkunstwerk
The subsequent impact.
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