Greene & Greene

Overview

Greene & Greene, a comprehensive overview of the successful collaboration between Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, examines the exceptional architecture projects produced by the talented brothers. Best known for their beautifully crafted houses and for using wood as their primary medium, the brothers brought high-art beauty and craftsmanship to the architecture of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Published by Phaidon Press, Greene & Greene presents significant new research and new ...
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Overview

Greene & Greene, a comprehensive overview of the successful collaboration between Charles Sumner Greene and Henry Mather Greene, examines the exceptional architecture projects produced by the talented brothers. Best known for their beautifully crafted houses and for using wood as their primary medium, the brothers brought high-art beauty and craftsmanship to the architecture of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Published by Phaidon Press, Greene & Greene presents significant new research and new photographs. The additional inclusion of new structures and new biographical information makes this book one of the most comprehensive studies of the Greene brothers' partnership.

Filled with 250 color and 150 black and white illustrations, as well as 100 line drawings, Greene & Greene is a visual odyssey of Charles and Henry's great projects. The book includes newly commissioned interior and exterior color photography and previously unpublished archival black and white photography and line drawings. Also included are two specially commissioned watercolor renderings created from drawings of houses that were designed but never built.

In researching the Greenes' work, Greene & Greene author Edward R. Bosley not only consulted the traditional archives but was able to use his unique position as director of the Greenes' only public landmark, The Gamble House, to gain access to private homes by the architects and never before published papers. Bosley also interviewed family members, homeowners, and relatives of former clients, which provides for diverse interpretations of the Greenes' reputations.

Unique to Greene & Greene are text and illustrations covering two houses previously unknown to have been designed by Henry Greene. Another exciting discovery by Bosley was a partial typescript of the original firm's job book, found in the architectural archives at the University of Texas at Austin, forgotten among the papers of another architect. This finding allowed for the creation of a comprehensive chronology of the Greenes' work published as an appendix to the main text. Greene & Greene differs from other books published on the Greene brothers in the scope of its research. The book covers a wide range of Greene projects and also includes a broad review of their work in context with their time and competitors.

In 1893 the Greene brothers followed their parents to California after completing their studies and apprenticeships in Boston. Perfectly matched but completely different, Bosley asserts that the brothers were at their best as progressive architects when they worked together. "Charles tended toward a critical, artistic, and random intellect, while Henry's approach to life was more methodical, precise, and dependable," Bosley explains. It was, according to Bosley, this fraternal bond between the men that made possible their creations of exceptional works of art and craft. The classic period of the Greenes' collaboration from 1907 to 1910 was a time for the brothers to use and promote their favorite medium, wood. Everything else the brothers did before and after this period are seen, according to Bosley, as bookends to these years.

Although the Greenes produced exceptional projects together and seemingly enjoyed their partnership, they eventually parted professional ways. Some have blamed external economic forces for the decline of their firm; however, Bosley contends that the "real reasons are more complex and lie among the same bonds that made the brothers' work a success." Charles saw himself as an artist and viewed architecture as one vehicle to express his creativity. Fearing his other artistic loves—painting, writing, and wood carving—would be ignored as long as he practiced architecture professionally, he moved with his family in 1916 to Carmel, CA. Henry Greene continued to create buildings in harmony with nature and also developed a talent for garden and landscape design.

However, recognition of the significance of the Greenes' work came late in life, long after they had stopped working. Their professional peers and the media basically ignored their work from 1930 until after World War II. In 1948, the Southern California chapter of the American Institute of Architects honored the brother architects and over the next few years various architecture and trade journals published reassessments of their work. In 1952, the American Institute of Architects honored the Greenes with a Special Citation. In 1954, Henry passed away and in 1957 Charles died—both men living long enough to enjoy the revival in appreciation for their work.

About the Author:
Edward R. Bosley has a BA in Art History from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). While at Berkeley, Bosley was first exposed to Greene and Greene when he lived in the William R. Thorsen house, designed by the brothers. He is the Director of The Gamble House in Pasadena, CA and a recognized authority on Greene and Greene. He has written the following books in Phaidon's Architecture in Detail series: First Church of Christ Scientist, Gamble House and University of Pennsylvania Library.

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Editorial Reviews

Jonathan Kirsch
With hundreds of plans and drawings, illustrations and photographs, "Greene & Greene" manages to show us where their architecture originated, how and why it works, and where it fits in architectural history. At the same time, it is a lush, opulent and tantalizing book that may send readers on the road in search of the local houses.
Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714843575
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2000

    A Greene & Greene Opus

    This is the defining book about Arts & Crafts architects Charles & Henry Greene. Where many other volumes are mere picture books with bullet points, Bosley's book is both a feast for the eyes and the mind. So much information is packed into this book, you will want to read it twice. GREENE and GREENE is richly designed, beautifully written, and contains photographs I have never seen before. I have virtually every book written about the brother architects, but this is the reference I will forever turn to first.

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