• Title: Crystal and Arabesque: Claude Bragdon, Ornament, and Modern Architecture
  • Author: Jonathan Massey
  • Released: 2009-03-28
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 352
  • ISBN: 082294362X
  • ISBN13: 978-0822943624
  • ASIN: 082294362X
Review “Bragdon is posthumously fortunate to have Massey write his intellectual, architectural and aspirational biography. The first book-length treatment of Bragdon and his world is as clear, complex and compelling as one of Bragdon’s own terreracts, or four-dimensional cubes.”
—Design Observer

“Few biographies of architects achieve such balance between buildings and ideas, events and concepts as this one. Crystal and Arabesque provides an important study of an endlessly fascinating albeit largely forgotten figure of architectural modernism. Because of Bragdon's participation in social, political and scientific discourses, this book will appeal to a wide audience, including readers interested in biography, American studies, design history, theatre and performance studies, and the history of science.”
—Spyros Papapetros, Princeton University

“In this beautifully argued book based on a rich exploration of original material, Massey recognizes in a little-known turn-of-the century American architect a body of work that challenged the core of modern architecture with its normative emphasis on rationalism, its prohibitions against ornament, and its narrowly instrumental view of technology.  Massey's combination of interdisciplinary breadth and substantial knowledge of architecture guarantees that his excellent book will make a significant contribution to architectural, art, and cultural history.”
—Sylvia Lavin, University of California, Los Angeles

“A definitive biography coupled with an interpretative and aesthetic analysis.”
—New York-Pennsylvania Collector

About the Author Jonathan Massey is associate professor in the Syracuse University School of Architecture.

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