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Re-creating the American Past: Essays on the Colonial Revival
by:Richard Guy Wilson
Although individually and collectively Americans have many histories, the dominant view of our national past focuses on the colonial era. The reasons for this are many and complex, touching on stories of the country's origins and of the founding fathers, the privileged position in history granted the thirteen original colonies, and the ways in which the...
Although individually and collectively Americans have many histories, the dominant view of our national past focuses on the colonial era. The reasons for this are many and complex, touching on stories of the country's origins and of the founding fathers, the privileged position in history granted the thirteen original colonies, and the ways in which the nation has adjusted to change and modernity. But no matter the cause, the result is obvious: images and forms derived from and related to America's colonial past are the single most popular form of cultural expression.Often conceived solely in architectural terms, from the red-brick and white-trimmed buildings that recall eighteenth-century James River estates to the clapboarded saltboxes that recall early New England, Colonial Revival is in fact better understood as a process of remembering. In Re-creating the American Past, architectural historian Richard Guy Wilson and a host of other scholars examine how and why Colonial Revival has persisted in modern times. The volume contains essays that explore Colonial Revival expressions in architecture, landscape architecture, historic preservation, decorative arts, and painting and sculpture, as well as the social, intellectual, and cultural background of the phenomena.Based on the University of Virginia's landmark 2000 conference "The Colonial Revival in America," Re-creating the American Past is a comprehensive and handsome volume that recovers the origins, characteristics, diversity, and significance of the Colonial Revival, situating it within the broader history of American design, culture, and society.
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