• Mark Swenarton


This book has been primarily concerned to give an historical account of the Ruskinian tradition; that is, to explain why these thinkers thought about architecture as they did. In the course of doing so, we have seen that this entire tradition stood rather closer to both German Romanticism and philosophical idealism, and rather further from both historical materialism and the orthodox socialist movement, than has generally been thought. In conclusion I want to move away from. a primarily historical to a primarily critical concern, and ask how we should evaluate the legacy of the Ruskinian tradition today. The question to be answered is this: has this tradition, stemming as it did from Romantic ideas of nearly two hundred years ago, anything valid or useful to offer us as we approach the end of the twentieth century?


Historical Materialism Building Site Reproductive Work Building Trade Philosophical Idealism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes and References

  1. 1.
    On this aspect of postmodernism, see P. Harries, A. Lipman, S. Purden, ‘The marketing of meaning: aesthetics incorporated’, Environment and Planning B, 9 (1982) pp. 457–66; alsoCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. M. Swenarton, ‘Post-Modern Quartet’, Building Design (26 May 1985) pp. 24–31. The founding text of the New Right in architecture is D. Watkin, Morality and Architecture. The Development of a Theme in Architectural History and Theory from the Gothic Revival to the Modern Movement (Oxford, 1977).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    The sexual fantasies about manual workers of Carpenter and Ashbee were the most extreme instance of this. See E. Carpenter (ed. D. Fernbach and N. Greig), Selected Writings. Volume I. Sex (1984);Google Scholar
  4. A. Crawford, C. R. Ashbee. Architect, Designer and Romantic Socialist (1985).Google Scholar
  5. 3.
    R. Unwin, ‘Some Objections Answered’, Commonweal, 4, 126 (9 June 1888) p. 181.Google Scholar
  6. 4.
    But see A. Callen, Angel in the Studio: Women in the Arts and Crafts Movement (1979).Google Scholar
  7. 5.
    J. W. von Goethe, ‘Von Deutscher Baukunst’ (1772), in E. G. Holt, A Documentary History of Art (2 vols, New York, 1958) 2, p. 367.Google Scholar
  8. 6.
    W. Morris, ‘The Prospects of Architecture in Civilization’ (1881), in Morris Works 22, p. 144;Google Scholar
  9. J. Ruskin, The Stones of Venice II (1855) in Ruskin Works 10, p. 196.Google Scholar
  10. 7.
    A. J. Penty, The Restoration of the Gild System (1906) p. 11. For this idea in modernist thought, see S. Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture (Cambridge, Mass., 1941 and 1980) p. vi and pp. 11–13 and 875–81.Google Scholar
  11. 8.
    A. Loos, ‘The Poor Little Rich Man’ (1900), in A. Loos, Spoken into the Void. Collected Essays1897–1900 (Cambridge, Mass., 1982) pp. 125–7. For a discussion of Loos and Ruskin, see E. Timms, ‘Facade and Function: the alliance between Karl Kraus and Adolf Loos’, 9H 6 (1983) pp. 9–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mark Swenarton 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Swenarton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations