Category Archives: Art and design

Bench press in Providence

The above photo is the first on a list of benches from “14 Most Creatively Perfect Benches and Seats from All Around the World,” on the website Postize. The list of benches has gone viral, if not postal. Since I … Continue reading

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Adam on neighborly styles

In his book Classical Columns Robert Adam has an essay about one of his most enticing works, “The Sackler Library: Ancient and Modern.” It traces the influences of past and present design philosophies on his building at Oxford University. He … Continue reading

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Surrounded by beauty

Spent Friday morning surrounded by beauty at the auctioneer’s showroom of Kevin Bruneau out Elmwood way, just over the line in Cranston. The exterior of the low, tan cinder-block building belies its contents. A visitor, having mastered the desire to … Continue reading

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Architectural Revival on FB

“In an age of ugliness, a work of beauty is an act of defiance.” I recently discovered an amazing website called Architectural Revival. It is on Facebook, and is associated with ArchitectureMMXII, which recently felt the whip of publicity when … Continue reading

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ID this painting! Is it Miami?

The painting above is considered a capriccio – a drawing of an ideal but imaginary collection of buildings by themselves or within a designed rustic landscape. I ran across it the other day looking for something in my iPhoto library. … Continue reading

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Christo laundry, wacko RISD

The Jewelry District Association, in Providence, reports that Christo is going to cross the Providence River and line India Point Park with laundry, pegged on a giant laundry line. In my book, that crosses an important boundary, as does RISD’s … Continue reading

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Ugly by accident or design?

Christopher Woodward, the director of London’s Garden Museum, wrote “Why Are So Many New Buildings Ugly?” for its website. He had read British critic Stephen Bayley’s 2013 book Ugly: The Aesthetics of Everything, and describes an exchange Bayley had with … Continue reading

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Words that protect a nude

The essay that accompanies the girl being sold at a Roman slave market in the 1884 painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904) tries to cover up the nude with protective words. The writer, Titus Techera, performs an act of charity in … Continue reading

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Saving historic pavement

One of many fascinating narratives in Seven Ages of Paris was author Alistair Horne’s frequent return to the subject of how Paris’s streets evolved from muddy lanes awash in human waste to paved streets with gutters down the middle to … Continue reading

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TB: Ode to a Tuscan column

Here is February’s post for my blog at Traditional Building, titled “Ode to a Tuscan column.” It chews on some erudite – some might say persnickety – conversation about how to transform the entablature of a Tuscan column into the … Continue reading

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