Saturday, August 27, 2016

SAH lectures resume in September

We are thrilled to begin the second half of our lecture series, "Architecture Around the World", in September.  This series is a partnership between the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians and the Steedman Architectural Library of SLPL.  

First up will be Amanda Burke of the Missouri State Preservation Office  speaking on "Historic Cemeteries: Maintenance, Documentation, Restoration, and Funding".  It will be held on Tuesday, September 27.  Starting at 6:00 pm, the Steedman Room will be open for viewing; the talk will be at 6:30.  

NOTE:  Because of our Fantasy Maps exhibit in the Carnegie Room, this talk will be held in the "Training Room", a room that is on the same (second) floor as the Steedman Room and Fine Arts Dept.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Steedman Treasure: A. W. N. Pugin's prototype for Contrasts

A. W. N. Pugin's book Contrasts, self-published in 1836, had a profound impact on the development of architectural and decorative taste of the nineteenth century.

The text of the book is Pugin's passionate indictment of what he saw as the failings and inappropriate uses of the Neo-classic style, and was his first salvo in a lifelong campaign of championing the medieval design forms of Britain's Catholic past.  The final chapter is entitled "The Wretched State of Architecture at the Present Day."

The illustrations Pugin used were literally a series of contrasts. He presented one image of a building or object in the Neo-classic style, in his mind depleted and inappropriate.  Next to it he drew an image of the same type of structure, but designed in his idea of a proper, honest, and high Gothic design.

The Steedman sketchbook for this book is an early version (1833) of the drawings that Pugin was considering using, and does not include any text, only a series of beautifully drawn images of 15 "Contrasts".   The book that was eventually published in 1836 does not include any of these generic drawings; Pugin chose instead to use real buildings as his examples.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finding Flounders talk 4/26/16

 Jan Cameron prepares to speak on St. Louis' Flounder Houses and the survey the Cultural Resources Office recently completed.

Before the talk, visitors viewed the Steedman Room and some of its most recent acquisitions.

Please join us again on September 27 to hear Amanda Burke speak on the care, restoration, and funding of historic cemeteries.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Learn about Flounder Houses, April 26

The next lecture in this popular series, co-sponsored by the Steedman Architectural Library and the St. Louis Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians, will be held in the Carnegie Room of Central Library on Tuesday, April 26.  Jan Cameron (Preservation Administrator, Cultural Resources Office of the City of St. Louis) will speak on "St. Louis Flounder Houses".  

Jan Cameron and the City's Cultural Resources Office have identified approximately 280 flounder houses and their variants in the City of St. Louis. Flounders appear in only a few cities, and St. Louis has by far the largest number of extant examples. She will share her insights into this unique 19th century vernacular house form.  For more details about the study, and to find out just what flounder houses are, see this article from St. Louis Public Radio:

From 6:00-6:30 p.m., the Steedman Architectural Library will be open for viewing. The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the third floor Carnegie Room.

After a summer hiatus, the next talk in the series will be held on September 27.  Amanda Burke of the Missouri State Historical Preservation Office will discuss "Historic Cemeteries:  Maintenance, Documentation, Restoration, and Funding."

 These events are FREE and open to the public

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The next lecture in the Architecture Around the World Series, presented by the Steedman Architectural Library and the Society of Architectural Historians, features Betsy Bradley speaking on St. Louis Modern: A Thematic Survey of Modern Movement Non-Residential Architecture, 1945-1975.” The program takes place in Central’s Carnegie Room on March 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Betsy Bradley

Bradley is the Director of the Cultural Resources Office of the Planning & Urban Design Agency of the City of St. Louis. She will review some of the physical changes in St. Louis by tracing a dramatic transformation in outlook and image in St. Louis through its architecture in the Mid-Century Modern Movement.
At the end of World War II, the city had the form and mind-set of a conservative nineteenth-century urban area for which Downtown was the Central Business District of a small metropolitan region. By 1970, nearly everything had changed – socially, and culturally, and in many ways physically.
Her talk will provide an overview of what took place and begin to establish how we can understand the changes the city experienced during the Gateway Years.
From 6-6:30 p.m., visitors can step inside and view one of Central’s most special rooms, the Steedman Architectural Library. The group will then move to the Carnegie Room for Bradley’s lecture.
The next talk in the series will be “St. Louis Flounder Houses,” presented by Jan Cameron on April 26.
The event is FREE and open to the public.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Propping up the Past lecture of 2/23/16

Many thanks to Jesse Francis and Marie Taylor for their very interesting and informative presentation about their adventures in preserving early log structures.   Please join us again on March 22!
Karen Bode Baxter, John Guenther, Jesse Francis

 Steedman Room with new books  on display