Modern Architecture and Other Essays

Author(s): Vincent Scully

theory and history | Princeton University Press

Vincent Scully has shaped not only how we view the evolution of architecture in the twentieth century but also the course of that evolution itself. Combining the modes of historian and critic in unique and compelling ways--with an audience that reaches from students and scholars to professional architects and ardent amateurs--Scully has profoundly influenced the way architecture is thought about and made. This extensively illustrated and elegantly designed volume distills Scully's incalculable contribution. Neil Levine, a former student of Scully's, selects twenty essays that reveal the breadth and depth of Scully's work from the 1950s through the 1990s. The pieces are included for their singular contribution to our understanding of modern architecture as well as their relative unavailability to current readers. Levine offers a perceptive overview of Scully's distinguished career and introduces each essay, skillfully setting the scholarly and cultural scene. The selections address almost all of modern architecture's major themes and together go a long way toward defining what constitutes the contemporary experience of architecture and urbanism.
Each is characteristically Scully--provocative, yet precise in detail and observation, written with passionate clarity. They document Scully's seminal views on the relationship between the natural and the built environment and trace his progressively intense concern with the fabric of the street and of our communities. The essays also highlight Scully's engagement with the careers of so many of the twentieth century's most significant architects, from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Kahn to Robert Venturi. In the tradition of great intellectual biographies, this finely made book chronicles our most influential architectural historian and critic. It is a gift to architecture and its history.


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This book is long overdue. The absence of a comprehensive collection of Scully's work has left the field unfortunately--even suspiciously--unbalanced. His writings are important for their immediate impact and for their enduring lessons. The book will appeal to practicing architects and architectural historians, but it is also a major contribution to general cultural history that should attract audiences far outside architecture. -- Michael Hays, Harvard University I greet this book with great pleasure. Neil Levine's editorial commentary adds immeasurably to the appreciation that this and future generations will take in reading Vincent Scully's remarkable and remarkably influential writings. -- Robert Stern, Yale University

Shortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2003.

Vincent Scully is Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University and the author of many books, including "The Shingle Style, Frank Lloyd Wright, Modern Architecture: The Architecture of Democracy, American Architecture and Urbanism", and "Architecture: The Natural and the Manmade". Neil Levine is Emmet Blakeney Gleason Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. He is the author of "The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright" (Princeton) and other works.

Acknowledgments 6 Introduction 8 Vincent Scully: A Bibliographical Sketch 12 Chapter 1: American Villas: Inventiveness in the American Suburb from Downing to Wright 34 Chapter 2: Wright vs. International Style 64 Chapter 3: Archetype and Order in Recent American Architecture 64 Chapter 4: Modern Architecture: Toward a Redefinition of Style 74 Chapter 5: The Nature of the Classical in Art 88 Chapter 6: Frank Lloyd Wright and Twentieth[Century Style 106 Chapter 7: The Death of the Street 120 Chapter 8: Doldrums in the Suburbs 128 Chapter 9: RIBA Discourse 1969: A Search for Principle between Two Wars 142 Chapter 10: Where is Modern Architecture Going? 158 Chapter 11: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Stuff of Dreams 170 Chapter 12: Architecture, Sculpture, and painting: Environment, Act, and Illusion 198 Chapter 13: Le Corbusier, 1922[1965 236 Chapter 14: Introduction to The Lois I. Kahn Archive: Personal Drawings 250 Chapter 15: Robert Venturi's Gentle Architecture 260 Chapter 16: Architecture: The Natural and the Mammade 282 Chapter 17: Louis I. Kahn and the Ruins of Rome 298 Chapter 18: Everybody Needs Everything 320 Chapter 19: The Architecture of Community 340 Chapter 20: America at the Millennium: Architecture and Community 358 Bibliography of Vincent Scully's Writings 368 Index 384 Text and Photography Credits 398

General Fields

  • : 9780691074429
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : August 2004
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Vincent Scully
  • : Paperback
  • : 400