The Vernacular and Academic Nostalgia

Farm Houses, Manor Houses, Minor Chateaux and Small Churches: From the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries, in Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France. New York: The Architectural Book Publishing Company, P. Wenzel and M. Krakow, 1917.

Another selection from the Paul Philippe Cret collection, Farm Houses, Manor Houses, Minor Chateaux and Small Churches is a collection of nearly 100 pages of images documenting vernacular architecture throughout Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France. While there is no index or table of contents, the book’s preface provides some unique insight into the function of this assembly. Written by AIA Fellow Ralph Adams Cram, we once again hear from a scholar seeking to return to a simpler moment, a time when architecture possessed “human scale.” Whether this response reflects the broader attitude toward the social and cultural activities that precipitated the First World War, or a more individual perspective, Cram suggests that the images compiled in the pages of this book are rooted in nostalgia, a time gone by and yet a moment his contemporaries should return to.

Collection: Cret
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 F3

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