The builder rehabilitated?
Advertising and the property market
Having examined the building and decorating of the urban house, this chapter explores how the artisan approached marketing and selling real estate. As the first sustained analysis of property advertising in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Atlantic world, this chapter first considers how regional variations and social demographics (aristocratic audiences in London and Dublin compared with merchant audiences in Boston and Philadelphia) dictated the form and content of property notices, reflecting on issues such as location, quality of structural and decorative finish, convenience and decorum. But while house building and house selling were principally economic activities, representing the motivating force for building mechanics to enter the real estate market, the evidence from property advertisements reveals that builders were cognizant of the semantics of advertising rhetoric and employed a vocabulary that emulated that of auctioneers, luxury goods manufacturers and other polite retailers.
A genteel life in trade
This chapter presents a cultural history of the eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century building tradesman in Britain, Ireland and North America, focusing on his social identity and professional class; the textual and visual representations of the building trades in contemporary print culture; degrees of social and professional mobility; and the means by which the builder promoted and self-fashioned as an arbiter of architectural taste. Of particular importance here is how the reputations of tradesman were characterized in social and architectural discourse at a time when concerns were raised about the quality of speculatively built urban domestic architecture (in terms of aesthetics and sound construction), a discourse predicated on the emerging architectural profession and its corresponding demand for authority over all aspects of design and building. Taken together, the themes of this chapter provide the cultural backdrop for an examination of the artisan’s relationship to house design, to interior decoration and to real estate advertising.
Architecture and the artisan, 1750– 1830
This book advances an innovative look at a well-known, if arguably often misunderstood, historic building typology: the eighteenth-century brick terraced (or row) house. Created for the upper tier of the social spectrum, these houses were largely designed and built by what is customarily regarded as the lower tier of the architectural hierarchy; that is, by artisan communities of bricklayers, carpenters, plasterers and related tradesmen. From London and Dublin to Boston and Philadelphia, these houses collectively formed the streets and squares that became the links and pivots of ‘enlightened’ city plans, and remain central to their respective historic and cultural identities. But while the scenographic quality of Bath and the stuccoed interiors of Dublin have long enjoyed critical approbation, the ‘typical’ house is understood less in terms of design and more in terms of production: consequently, historians have emphasized the commercial motivations of this artisan class at the expense of how they satisfied the demands of an elite, and taste-conscious, real estate market. Drawing on extensive primary source material, from property deeds and architectural drawings to trade cards and newspaper advertising, this book rehabilitates the status of the house builder by examining his negotiation of both the manual and intellectual dimensions of the building process. For the first time, Building reputations considers the artisan as both a figure of building production and an agent of architectural taste.
Nineteenth-century stained glass and the international exhibitions, 1851– 1900
Windows for the world: nineteenth-century stained glass and the international exhibitions, 1851-1900 focuses on the display and reception of nineteenth-century stained glass in an international and secular context, by exploring the significance of the stained glass displayed at ten international exhibitions held in Britain, France, the USA and Australia between 1851 and 1900. International in scope, it is the first study to explore the global development of stained glass in this period, as showcased at, and influenced by, these international events.
Drawing on hundreds of contemporaneous written and visual sources, it identifies the artists and makers who exhibited stained glass, as well as those who reviewed and judged the exhibits. It also provides close readings of specific stained glass exhibits in relation to stylistic developments, material and technological innovations, iconographic themes and visual ideologies.
This monograph broadens approaches to post-medieval stained glass by placing stained glass in its wider cultural, political, economic and global contexts. It provides new perspectives and fresh interpretations of stained glass in these environments, through themed chapters, each of which highlight a different aspect of stained glass in the nineteenth century, including material taxonomies, modes of display, stylistic eclecticism, exhibitors’ international networks, production and consumption, nationalism and imperialism.
As such, the book challenges many of the major methodological and historiographical assumptions and paradigms relating to the study of stained glass. Its scope and range will have wide appeal to those interested in the history of stained glass as well as nineteenth-century culture more broadly.
Chapter 3 discusses the stylistic diversity of stained glass in this period, as evident in the international exhibition displays, which demonstrate a varied and eclectic approach to historicism and modernism; two concepts which were not mutually exclusive in this era. Nineteenth-century stained glass was continually associated with, and assessed in relation to historic styles, yet artists simultaneously encountered and adopted new styles including Japonisme and Art Nouveau. Significantly, this chapter also charts the rapid secularisation of the medium and its adaptation to modern settings and contexts, as influenced by and demonstrated at these exhibition environments.
Chapter 5 discusses how the exhibition environment stimulated new iconographies and meanings in stained glass. Using a number of examples it demonstrates how the stained glass exhibits reflected, and influenced, some of the global political themes of the nineteenth-century exhibitions: nationalism, imperialism, and human variety. This chapter makes an important intervention in stained glass studies by considering, for the first time, the role of stained glass in the formation of racial and ethnic stereotypes to both emphasise human variety and reinforce social hierarchies. It also considers the influence of non-western culture and religions on the development of stained glass.
Chapter 2 explores, chronologically, exhibition by exhibition, the ways in which stained glass was physically displayed at the international exhibitions, and charts the reaction of exhibition organisers, exhibitors, the public and critics to some of the main official and unofficial stained glass displays at these events. It therefore provides an overview of the significance of stained glass at these events, and reveals changing attitudes towards the displays of stained glass within these new environments.
Classification, organisation and status
Chapter 1 focuses on the classification and status of stained glass, revealing the ways in which international exhibitions contributed to debates over its artistic status, display and arrangement within the exhibition environments. It begins by examining the theoretical problems and potentialities of displaying an architectural art such as stained glass in a temporary exhibition setting, putting it into a museological context. It also explores how official exhibition classification schemes propagated interpretations of stained glass as a manufactured product rather than a decorative art. Finally, it addresses issues of artistic education, practice and labour in relation to nineteenth-century stained glass, interrogating the role of the artist in an age of industrialisation, and argues that in this era, stained glass was intrinsically hybrid, a product of collaborative labour.