Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction by Mari LendingPlaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction by Mari Lending

Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of Reproduction

byMari Lending

Hardcover | December 5, 2017

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We are taught to believe in originals. In art and architecture in particular, original objects vouch for authenticity, value, and truth, and require our protection and preservation. The nineteenth century, however, saw this issue differently. In a culture of reproduction, plaster casts of building fragments and architectural features were sold throughout Europe and America and proudly displayed in leading museums. The first comprehensive history of these full-scale replicas,Plaster Monumentsexamines how they were produced, marketed, sold, and displayed, and how their significance can be understood today.

Plaster Monumentsunsettles conventional thinking about copies and originals. As Mari Lending shows, the casts were used to restore wholeness to buildings that in reality lay in ruin, or to isolate specific features of monuments to illustrate what was typical of a particular building, style, or era. Arranged in galleries and published in exhibition catalogues, these often enormous objects were staged to suggest the sweep of history, synthesizing structures from vastly different regions and time periods into coherent narratives. While architectural plaster casts fell out of fashion after World War I, Lending brings the story into the twentieth century, showing how Paul Rudolph incorporated historical casts into the design for the Yale Art and Architecture building, completed in 1963.

Drawing from a broad archive of models, exhibitions, catalogues, and writings from architects, explorers, archaeologists, curators, novelists, and artists,Plaster Monumentstells the fascinating story of a premodernist aesthetic and presents a new way of thinking about history's artifacts.

Mari Lendingis professor of architectural history and theory at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design. Her books include, with Mari Hvattum,Modelling Timeand, with Peter Zumthor,A Feeling for History.
Title:Plaster Monuments: Architecture and the Power of ReproductionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.98 inPublished:December 5, 2017Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691177147

ISBN - 13:9780691177144

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Monuments in Flux 1

Plaster Perfection

Exhibiting History

Portable Monuments

Antiquities as Novelties

Reassessing a Space in Time

1 Travels in the Province of Reproductions 30

Architecture Museums

Rome-London-Paris-New York

American Perfection

An Epitome of Monuments in Central Park

Traveling in the Province of Reproductions

Temporal Cartographies

Scaffolded Visibility

2 Trocadéro: Proust's Museum 70

The Tyranny of the Particular

Viollet-le-Duc's Museum

Plaster Kiss

Traversing Names and Landscapes

Patina and the Work of Time


3 The Poetics of Plaster 106

Monuments in Time

Monuments in Space and Scale

Collapsing Taxonomies

Architectural Promenades

At Home in History: Traveling Portals

Preserved in Plaster

4 Cablegrams and Monuments 145

The Hall of Architecture, Pittsburgh

A Readymade Monument

Beaux-Arts Contemporaneity

Move Every Stone!

Cast in Situ, Lost at Sea

Remounting Monuments

5 The Yale Battle of the Casts: Albers vs Rudolph 183

The Yale Cast Collection

Historical or Contemporary

Beaux-Arts Brutalism

Cast Concrete and Plaster Casts

Chance Encounters

The Man, the Symptom

Polychronic Wonders

Fractured Temporalities (Learning from History)

Coda: Lost Continents, Fluctuating Objects 225

Museum Vogues

The Politics of Reproductions

When the Cathedrals Were White

Notes 238

Bibliography 264

Index 275

Illustration Credits 282

Editorial Reviews

"It is timely amid new contexts for preservation and when reproduction technologies are advancing, that Lending's analysis reveals the significance of their plaster precursors."--Olivia Horsfall Turner, Apollo