University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

The craftsman
Volume XXXI, Number 3 (December 1916)

Freehof, M. E.
Old architectural details which inspire modern architectural beauty,   pp. 259-266 PDF (3.0 MB)


Page 259


- OLD ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS WHICH IN-
SPIRE MODERN ARCHITECTURAL BEAUTY
r is natural and also very wise to turn to the past for
inspiration for fresh beauty, to study the work that has
stood through many generations unquestioned in
power. As architecture slowly developed, many ex-
periments with proportion of wall surface and suitable-
ness of detail have been tried out and their success or
jt *   .- * 1i .                -  -. .. .
             thneir lailure stands today as superb object lessons to
whoever cares to observe them. The architects of today build accord-
ing to their ideals as honestly and as fearlessly as did the old masters.
The architects of the future will do the same.
   We are showing a few pencil sketches by Mr. M. E. Freehof that
hold great suggestions for builders of today. The grandly simple
Nall, exquisite detail, perfect proportion and ar-
angement of columns, masterly treatment of gate-
ffays of some of the old architecture surely hold
      rich suggestions for workers of today. To
      accompany these sketches we can find no
      more fitting comments upon the value of the
      past to the present than certain penetrating
      passages from Ruskin's "Seven Lamps of
      Architecture." We have selected some of
      his comments from the "Lamp of Beauty"
      and sonm frnrm ihp "I~inmn nf PIVIXT,"' ÷1-Q÷
hold particularly excellent advice to young architects about the han-
dling of large wall spaces and the treatment of detail.
O F the many broad divisions under which architecture may be
       considered, none appears to me more significant than that The combination
       into buildings whose interest is in their walls, and those of the
straight
                                                                 line of
power
whose interest is in the lines dividing their walls.   In the Greek with
the curve of
temple the wall is as nothing; the entire interest is in the detached beauty
is beauti-
                                                                  fully brought
out
columns and the frieze they bear; in French Flamboyant, and in i        
this arch from
our detestable Perpendicular, the object is to get rid of the wall Granada.
surface, and keep the eye altogether on           "I -!
tracery ot line; in nomanesque work and
Egyptian, the wall is a confessed and hon-
ored member, and the light is often allowed
to fall on large areas of it, variously dec-
orated. Now, both these principles are ad-
mitted by Nature, the one in her woods and
thickets, the other in her plains, and cliffs,
and water; but the latter is pre-eminently
259
ihe
xbad
itions
nd
toat
met-


Go up to Top of Page