Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Costume

Enlart, Camille. Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Costume. V. 3. Paris: Picard, 1916.

Collection: Cret

In his final installment of Manuel d’Archéologie Française, Camille Enlart relies heavily upon visual sources including paintings, drawings, sculptures and artifacts to produce a chronological analysis of medieval dress and style. In the introduction, Enlart establishes himself within the contemporary academic milieu, citing contributors to the study of French dress while distinguishing himself as a more deliberate scholar. He expands the traditional chronological framework and fastidiously collects and cites sources, exemplifying the turn-of-the-century trend toward positivism. He also constructs a detailed index that not only links significant terms to relevant discussion within the book, but also assists the reader in organizing these terms, understanding their meaning, and situating them in their historical context. For Enlart, the scientific method affords a greater opportunity to effectively discern and communicate new meaning from familiar material.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Architecture Civile et Militaire

Enlart, Camille. Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Architecture Civile et Militaire. V. 2. Paris: Picard, 1904.

Collection: Cret

The second volume of Manuel d’Archéologie Française analyzes civil and military architecture as well as private residences, monasteries and gardens utilizing similarly scientific methods to further Enlart’s chauvinistic thesis. Again, Enlart relies heavily on visual references, incorporating a number of drawings, plans, and photographs that illustrate the hybridization and evolution of style. This text is also accompanied by an extensive index and a reference section entitled Répertoire Archéologique that provides a comprehensive listing of  archaeological and historical sites discussed in the book.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

Manuel d’Archeologie Francaise: Architecture Religieuse

Enlart, Camille.  Architecture Religieuse. Vol. 1, bks. 1 and 2, Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance. Paris: Picard, 1919-1920.

Collection: Cret

Turn-of-the-century gothic art historian Camille Enlart examined French architecture and fashion in his three volume work Manuel d’Archéologie Francaise. Published in two books, the first volume looks specifically at French religious architecture and continues Enlart’s career assertion that the cultural vacuum created by the decline of the Roman empire facilitated the insertion of French forms and themes into Mediterranean art and architecture. Enlart produces a formal survey analyzing various architectural elements, building plans, and construction practices to discern a more precise relationship between forms emerging from classical modes and those of Gallic (and likely Celtic) provenance. The resulting positivist history suggests that the Carolingian epoch represents a decided shift in the dominant aesthetic vocabulary in this part of Europe.

Each book in Enlart’s Manuel d’Archéologie Française includes a number of sketches, plans, and photographs of various architectural elements, construction practices, buildings, sculptures, and costumes. Comparative series play a significant role in each work providing information about the variety and evolution certain architectural objects.

For this volume, Enlart produced an extensive bibliography including works in English, French, Italian, and German divided into five categories: works that deal generally with the chronology and geography of French architecture; works that deal with the origins and duration of early Christian and Romanesque architecture; works that deal with French monuments from the 11th to the 16th century; works that deal with French influence in other countries for the same period; and works concerned with religious architecture. There is no index.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera

MacGibbon, David. The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera. Edinburgh: D. Douglas, 1888.

Scottish Victorian architect David MacGibbon moved to the French Riviera in 1874 after a tragic accident left his daughter Rachel permanently disabled. In this restorative climate, MacGibbon discovered the rich architectural heritage of Provence and its environs, documenting these spaces in a number of sketches that would later form the core of The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera. Published 14 years after this initial excursion, The Architecture of Provence and the Riveria examines ancient and medieval architecture in southern France, an heretofore underrepresented region in the annals of cultural history. Here, MacGibbon chronicles the early history of the region and explores its late-antique and medieval social and political infrastructure before focusing the remainder of his work on its art and architecture. In these sections, MacGibbon combines chronological, stylistic and geographic categories to organize his work, including a number of explanatory sketches to better demonstrate the spaces and works of art about which he has concerned himself.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1049 P8 M3

Rudiment D’Archeologie: Architectures Civile et Militaire

Caumont, Arcisse de. Abécédaire; or, Rudiment d’Archéologie: Architectures Civile et Militaire. 2nd ed. Paris: Derache, 1858

As a follow-up to his discussion of medieval religious architecture, Caumont examines civic and military architecture in Rudiment d’Archéologie: Architectures Civile et Militaire. Caumont encountered considerable difficulty when producing this study as much of this type of medieval architecture had been dismantled or destroyed. Nevertheless, the Société francaise d’archéologie determined that his completed work produced an effective system for classifying medieval war and civil architecture.

Caumont organizes this work by theme unlike his work on religious architecture. Devoting the first part of the book to civil architecture, he examines monasteries, churches, and other town buildings, specifically documenting sundry architectural elements employing often rudimentary renderings to better articulate form and function. The second part of the book explores military implements including castles. Here, Caumont dissects castle construction and design, exploring the various construction techniques and architectural elements that made these spaces effective military outposts.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 C376

Rudiment D’Archeologie: Architecture Religieuse

Caumont, Arcisse de. Abécédaire; ou Rudiment d’Archéologie: Architecture Religieuse. 5th ed. Paris: Derache, 1886

In this French-language text, Arcisse de Caumont imagines medieval architecture as an aberrant rupture in the history of architecture in France. Situated outside the dominate classicist paradigm which flanks the period, Caumont perceives Middle Age architectural objects as degenerate. He classifies buildings according to two major eras which he terms ère romane and ère ogivale, further subdividing these categories into three epochs that express the initial moments of each in pejorative terms (terming one primordiale and, the other, primitive). This language denotes a specific attitude about the medieval period that might be reflected in contemporary literature.

As a reference work, Rudiment d’Archéologie provides access to a number of woodcuts that document buildings and architectural elements in varying states of decay. The images proliferated in this text demonstrate the specific iconographic concerns of medieval religious architecture and suggest a relationship with their architectural milieu.

The notion of aberrance is perhaps the most interesting historiographical element in this otherwise linear narrative documenting the iconographic in medieval architecture.That this degeneracy is so duly noted and then supplemented with visual expressions of space in ruin creates a curious dialectic.

Collection: Cret
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 C376 1886

L’Architecture Francaise de Jean Mariette

Mauban, André. L’Architecture Francaise de Jean Mariette. Paris: Van Oest, 1945.

In L’Architecture Francaise de Jean Mariette, André Mauban indexes the collected works of engraver and book collector Jean Mariette whose own publishing efforts included the completion and dissemination of at least five volumes concerning French Architecture. L’Architecture Francaise de Jean Mariette is divided into to two sections, the first indexes each work represented in Mariette’s five volumes and the second assembles notes, references, and plates that demonstrate Mariette’s work and explore his significance and influence. Throughout this French-language tome, Mauban is considerate of the reader, providing explicit instructions for using and understanding the book.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 M3 M3

New Collections, Maps, and Turtles!

Howdy all, and welcome back for another Mayaland Adventure! I hope everybody enjoyed the Independence Day weekend. The Architecture and Planning Library and Alexander Architectural Archive were closed over the weekend to celebrate, so it’s good to be back.

Recently, along with the volunteering on George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Architecture Collection, I worked with Donna Coates on accessioning a new collection. The process requires understanding the difference between relevant information and data for the archive, and that which is not pertinent to keep.

Some of the material is not kept because we can get copies online or within other resources, which includes items such as government documents or photocopies of publications. These items, though at times are rather interesting, cannot be kept due to limited space. With limited space comes a higher diligence for selecting essentials, and leaving items that are easily accessible elsewhere.

During the process of obtain new collections, we must also work to not get rid of aspects which another archive or department might use. Just because something does not apply to our archive does not necessarily mean someone else cannot use it. This is why we work with other facilities on campus or in town that might have use for the extra material. It is this cooperation that creates a friendly environment in the archival community.

Back in the George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Collection, we got together Friday to discuss the progress thus far, and how each member of the team thought the processing should continue. Ian brought up a good point that for the final sorting the collection should be placed into country categories, followed by alphabetical site sorting. This would allow researchers to acquire access to a specific region, instead of sifting through the entire collection. This is important for the archive as well because it prevents the material from being overly handled.

We also discussed how we would house the Andrew’s photos and writings. The decision we must make is whether to kept everything together, or boxed separately. This item is still up in the air at the moment. It seems, at least from my view that it would be useful to have the groups separate, because individuals would be likely to be looking specifically for photos or documentation, not necessarily both. It also feels more organized.

Prelimnary Map of Central Portion of Maya Ruins of Yaxha, El Peten, Guatemala
Prelimnary Map of Central Portion of Maya Ruins of Yaxha, El Peten, Guatemala

The problem arises, however, with items that are contained in the documentation that fit better within the photos portion. Here would be required to make sure to have detailed notation of each item to create a complete inventory. We also must find a place for all the drawings and sketches present within the collection. This includes maps, stelae and masks, and graffiti. These are just a couple of the questions the team faces as we continue work on the collection.

Before heading out, check out this cool photo I found while sorting. It is the ‘casa de las tortugas’ or House of the Turtles! You can see a rough scale of the building based on the individual standing in front. Enjoy las tortugas, and until next time this is Austin from Mayaland, signing off.

Casa de Las Tortugas
Casa de Las Tortugas

Three Hundred Years of French Architecture

Blomfield, Reginald. Three Hundred Years of French Architecture, 1491-1794. London: A. Maclehose, 1936.

This is the second installment from the pen of Sir Reginald Blomfield to be included in our series on French Architecture. In Three Hundred Years of French Architecture, the English scholar and architect, whose own architectural work represents a rejection of what he considered “the paralysing conventions of the Victorian era,” explores the relationship between the evolution of style in French architecture and its historical backdrop. Blomfield addresses Three Hundred Years of French Architecture to the everyman, whose collective cultural curiosity he believes should be tempered by history. To that end, he parallels an indulgent listing of canonical works with often entertaining prose, generating a well-illustrated, linear narrative of the intellectual history of style through the rich period of Neoclassicism in France.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 B53

Mayaland Adventures

Early last month, on the 2nd of June, I embarked on the exciting adventure of volunteering at The Alexander Architectural Archive in Battle Hall. For a long time I have wanted to work in an Archive, and thanks to the graciousness of the staff, that dream has become a reality. I knew volunteering in the Archives would allow me to be introduced into a career I hope to achieve, while working from the ground up.

Before getting started Donna Coates, the wonderful person that gave me this opportunity, took me through some of the hidden rooms which I would work from. I must preface the next  statement with the knowledge that I am a huge database guy. When growing up I would make spreadsheets of just about anything that I could to get a clear sortable list. So it should come as little surprise that while exploring and discussing the many different aspects of Archives, I became overly excited for the work to begin.

I learned that day I would be focusing on the George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Architecture Collection during the summer, and hopefully into the fall or further. My primary assignment involved going through the numerous boxes and sorting the photos, drawings, and negatives. This has the purpose of creating a more accessible collection which will allow more patrons to know what is available. Each site that George and Gerrie visited was documented with extensive notes and photos. The research would in turn be sorted and placed in site accounts detailing the features and aspects. This work created one of the most comprehensive collections of Mayan site data in history.

George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews collection, photos and sketches
George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Collection, photos and sketches

During the first month of volunteering I have focused on the photos and drawings. In this time I have created nearly 300 folders from about 14 boxes. When I say they took photos, I mean THEY TOOK PHOTOS! Which, personally, I think is ridiculously cool. Each photo that I come across leads me further on the path to understanding George and Gerrie, and their passion for Mayaland.

Along with the photos, other interesting material such as codex drawings, building and renovation sketches, and masks for the Stelae have surfaced. These less-documented aspects of their research gives a unique view of the understanding process which George went through when recreating ancient Mayan features. Great Palaces from sites such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, and Palenque, to name a few, stand still in time before me as I carefully handle and document each new discovery. The detail that comes through in the black and white photos creates the feeling of a time machine, hurdling you back to the 70s and 80s in the jungles Mayaland. Many of the sites are no longer accessible to visitors, for fear by locals that the constant agitation ruins the ancient structures. This, along with jungle growing back over many of the paths that were once available, make George and Gerrie’s photos all the more important.

Chichen Itza Palace photo with building sketch on mylar overly
Chichen Itza Palace photo and sketch

Above is a photo I think does well to give an idea of the building sketches George created. It is a photo of a Chichen Itza palace structure. On top is the mylar overly which George sketched his detailed drawing of the palace. Though not all the photos in the collection have such sketches, especially those that less than 8×10, many of the large photos about 16×20 in size possess sketches. Along with the drawings that link directly to the photos, George has created numerous sketches that depict typical wall segments and designs.

If you have any questions or would like to know more please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer in  timely fashion. In future posts, I will continue to update you on my adventures in the Alexander Architectural Archives and the work being done on the George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Collection, along with other happenstances which might occur! Til next time, from Mayaland, this is Austin Hixson signing off.