Louis H. Sullivan and a 19th-Century Poetics of Naturalized Architecture

Lauren S. Weingarden: Louis H. Sullivan and a 19th-Century Poetics of Naturalized Architecture. Surrey: Ashgate Publishing, 2009.

ISBN: 978-0-7546-6308-9; 456 pp.; 153 b/w ills.; 16 color plates; 124.99 USD

For most of the twentieth century, modernist viewers dismissed the architectural ornament of Louis H. Sullivan (1856–1924) and the majority of his theoretical writings as emotional outbursts of an outmoded romanticism. In this study, Lauren Weingarden reveals Sullivan’s eloquent articulation of nineteenth-century romantic practices—literary, linguistic, aesthetic, spiritual, and nationalistic—and thus rescues Sullivan and his legacy from the narrow role imposed on him as a pioneer of twentieth-century modernism. Using three interpretive models, discourse theory, poststructural semiotic analysis, and a pragmatic concept of sign-functions, she restores the integrity of Sullivan’s artistic choices and his historical
position as a culminating figure within nineteenth-century romanticism.

Ann. updated 2009-03-30