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What is Architectural History?


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Table of Contents

List of illustrations vii Acknowledgements x How to use this book xii Introduction 1 1 Foundations of a modern discipline 9 Architectural history as the architect?s patrimony 13 The architect as artist 19 Architecture and empirical knowledge 25 Architecture and culture 31 A modern discipline? 36 2 Organizing the past 41 Approach 43 Style and period 44 Biography 52 Geography and culture 57 Type 61 Technique 66 Theme and analogy 71 3 Evidence 76 4 How useful? 97 5 History and theory 115 Notes 134 Further reading 156 Index of names 164

About the Author

Andrew Leach is an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow and SeniorLecturer in Architecture at Griffith University


"A remarkable book which should prove extremely useful to anyoneinterested in the place of architecture in society, and in thequestions faced by architects and historians when addressing theinheritance from the past or the practice of the present." Architectural Research Quarterly "Though the book is aimed primarily at students in schools ofarchitecture and departments of art history, the clarity of Leach'sprose and his penetrating syntheses make the book useful even for amore senior audience." Journal of Architectural Education "A timely arrival in the wake of claims for architecture's'critical' and 'post-critical' status, this concise little bookwill prove a valuable compass to the on-going debates over thenature and future of architectural history. In a series of catholiccross-sections, Leach offers an erudite and even-handed account ofthe main lines of the discipline's (often divergent) developmentseven as he asks difficult questions regarding architecturalhistorians' most basic assumptions." John Harwood, Oberlin College "In this remarkable book, Andrew Leach makes the complex topicof historical knowledge in architecture accessible to a wideaudience. He examines the discipline from multiple perspectives,considering the shifts in theoretical and methodological positionsand situating them in their historic contexts. He reveals therichness of the field by highlighting its strategies, ambiguities,engagements with other disciplines, negotiations between polarities(high culture/low culture and the general /the particular), andrelationship to architectural practice. Through a careful analysisof key texts, Leach leads the reader to the ultimate question ofthe meaning of architectural history today." Zeynip Celik, New Jersey Institute of Technology "This is a very welcome addition to the sparsely populated fieldof studies on the historiography of architectural history. It iswritten in a clear, engaging and jargon-free language, but offersadvanced undergraduate and graduate students an intellectually verysophisticated grounding in the origins and development ofarchitectural history. By defining architectural history not as apurely academic pursuit, but as a cultural practice taking as itssubject the multiple cultural agencies architecture exercises, itsolidly places writing architectural history at the centre oftoday's reflection on culture." Caroline van Eck, Leiden University

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