Tag Archives: Making Dystopia

Church beauty as it used to be

Naturally, the beauty of churches has diminished along with the practice of religion in the West. And yet it is every day clearer and clearer that people want something to believe in, and too many end up believing in nothing, … Continue reading

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The joy of hating modernism

My favorite writer of all time is William Hazlitt, the British essayist of the early 19th century and contemporary of Charles Lamb and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was considered a “good hater” (or maybe it was “a good damner”) and … Continue reading

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“Dystopia” three years on

Three years have passed since British architectural historian James Stevens Curl’s masterful Making Dystopia was published by Oxford University Press. Subtitled “The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism,” the book can only have been about modern architecture, perhaps the … Continue reading

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Russia’s artful classicist – Da!

Historian James Stevens Curl, the author of Making Dystopia (2018), the most comprehensive critical history of modern architecture, has sent me a marvelous video of the classical work of the Russian architect Mikhail Filippov. His work has been described as … Continue reading

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Unify in the fight for beauty

The draft executive order to encourage classical architecture for federal buildings in Washington and elsewhere has shifted the world of architecture on its axis. Patrick Webb, a teacher of ornamental plastering at the American College of Building Arts in Charleston, … Continue reading

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A “cauldron of perversions”

I did a double-take when I saw, in Metropolis, the article “Far From Being a Temple to Rationality, the Bauhaus Was a Cauldron of Perversions,” by Beatriz Colomina. Of course, I knew that already, having read “Making Dystopia,” James Stevens … Continue reading

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Dalrymple: Curl’s ‘Dystopia’

Theodore Dalrymple, the British prison doctor, psychiatrist and social critic, has written several reviews of James Stevens Curl’s book Making Dystopia, the most detailed and penetrating history of modern architecture written thus far. Each of Dalrymple’s several reviews seems intended … Continue reading

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‘Spirit of the age’ bugaboo

Among the most inane of modern architecture’s founding conceits is that buildings reflect the spirit of the age. If a building truly reflects the spirit of the age rather than, as most people would expect, its architect’s desire to express … Continue reading

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A thrilling week of classicism

I am still coming down from the high honor of attending the Arthur Ross Awards, of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, as guest of James Stevens Curl, author of Making Dystopia and, for that, winner of the 2019 … Continue reading

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The streets of New York

I was in New York on Monday to celebrate James Stevens Curl’s laureateship, bestowed by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s 2019 Arthur Ross Awards, at the University Club of New York, for his book Making Dystopia, now high … Continue reading

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