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Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
(1898)

I: the historical tradition,   pp. [1]-16


Page [1]

                              I
            THE HISTORICAL TRADITION
THE last ten years have been marked by a notable develop-
     ment in architecture and decoration, and while France will
long retain her present superiority in these arts, our own advance
is perhaps  more significant than that of any other country.
When we measure the work recently done in the United States
by the accepted architectural standards of ten years ago, the
change is certainly striking, especially in view of the fact that
our local architects and decorators are without the countless ad-
vantages in the way of schools, museums and libraries which are
at the command of their European colleagues.   In Paris, for in-
stance, it is impossible to take even a short walk without finding
inspiration in those admirable buildings, public and private, re-
ligious and secular,  that bear the stamp of the most refined
taste the world has known since the decline of the arts in Italy;
and probably all American architects will acknowledge that no
amount of travel abroad and study at home can compensate for
the lack of daily familiarity with such monuments.
 It is therefore all the more encouraging to note the steady ad-
vance in taste and knowledge to which the most recent ar-
chitecture in America bears witness.  This advance is chiefly
due to the fact that American architects are beginning to per-


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