The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture

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A treasure trove of ideas and encouragement for architects looking for alternatives to the severity of modernism and graceless postmodernism.
The purpose of ornament-to articulate a realm of the imagination-is as important as it is misunderstood. Kent Bloomer, an outstanding sculptor and ornamenter whose work adorns the Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Reagan National Airport, Washington, DC, and other buildings, maintains that ornament is neither pure "art" in the ...

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Overview

A treasure trove of ideas and encouragement for architects looking for alternatives to the severity of modernism and graceless postmodernism.
The purpose of ornament-to articulate a realm of the imagination-is as important as it is misunderstood. Kent Bloomer, an outstanding sculptor and ornamenter whose work adorns the Harold Washington Library, Chicago, Reagan National Airport, Washington, DC, and other buildings, maintains that ornament is neither pure "art" in the contemporary sense of the word nor mere decoration, but rather a category unto itself, with its own unique language. He describes the key elements of ornament, rhythm and metamorphosis, and shows their application in such figures as the foliated scroll. Illustrated with the author's evocative line drawings and photographs of ornament from ancient Greece to the modern cityscape, the book is a hymn to the riches of architectural ornament.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Highlighted by b&w drawings and photographs, this volume reintroduces students of architecture to the importance of ornament, offering a synopsis of important ornamental features, language, and rules of composition. Bloomer, a renowned architectural ornamentalist who also teaches at Yale, argues that ornament is a nature-based, universal form of human communication, and must be preserved, understood, and cherished. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393730364
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/17/2000
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kent Bloomer teaches at Yale University.

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