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Glossary--Revealed Construction

revealed construction in late 15th ceentury

The practice by woodworkers of employing revealed construction in their designs is very old.


revealed construction pugin 1841

PRINCIPLES OF POINTED OR CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE:-- LECTURE 1

The object of the present lecture is to set forth and explain the true principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture, by the knowledge of which you may be enabled to test architectural excellence. The two great rules for design are these : 1st, that there should be no features about a building which are not necessary for convenience, construction, or propriety; 2nd, that all ornament should consist of enrichment of the essential construction of the building. The neglect of these two rules is the cause of all the bad architecture of the present time. Architectural features are continually tacked on buildings with which they have no connexion, merely for the sake of what is termed effect; and ornaments are actually constructed, instead of forming the decoration of construction, to which in good taste they should be always subservient.

Source: Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, The true principles of pointed or Christian architecture: set forth in two ... 1841; Harold Osborne, ed., The Oxford companion to the decorative arts. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press 1975, page 369, 659



Bruce James Talbert, Gothic forms applied to furniture: metal work and decoration for domestic ..., page 2‎ 1867

1873

Edwin William Godwin

Revealed Construction Edwin William Godwin 1873

Ernest Gimson (1864-1919), the celebrated British architect and designer in furniture, metalwork, plaster and embroidery, in 1884, met William Morris and came under his influence. Later he became acquainted with Philip Webb and other leaders of the Arts and Crafts Movement. In 1886, in London he met Sidney and Ernest Barnsley, and with them and W. R. Lethaby in 1890 formed a company of furniture designers and makers, and then in 1893 moved to Gloucestershire, all three finally settling at Sapperton, where they had workshops. Gimson, who only designed, did not make furniture, possessed a master's command of craft processes and respect for materials, significantly contributed to the emerging early-20th-century style. (A permanent exhibition of his work can be seen at the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery.)

Until the 1890s reforming designers of the Period worked entirely within the framework of historical revivals. The merit of their work lies in their true understanding of the past and of its applicability, suitably modified, to the changing scene, above all with reference to traditional craftsmanship. A. W. N. Pugin, for example, designed Gothic furniture where he employed revealed constructional methods such as the pegs securing joints, recognizing construction as fundamentally attractive in itself and not some­thing to be hidden, however skilfully, as had been cabinet-making practice for two centuries. Gimson and his asssociates followed in this tradition

Source: Harold Osborne, ed., The Oxford companion to the decorative arts. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press 1975, page 369, 659

Bibliography on History of Revealed Construction

DATE?

Gustav Stickley, [title] The Craftsman18:

All our readers are more or less familiar with the mam essentials of this idea, and even if they were not, the floor plans and illustrations given here speak for themselves. The first house, which we built for Mr. W. H. Phillips at Whitestone, Long Island, is entirely typical of the Craftsman style; the exterior showing the low broad proportions, the simple lines, the revealed construction and the characteristic grouping of the windows that distinguish all Craftsman houses. The interior is equally typical, showing as it does the recessed fireplace nook that serves at once to make the living room larger and to provide a sheltered nook where the warmth and home comfort of the whole place seem to center.

1975

Harold Osborne,

The Oxford companion to the decorative arts

New York: Oxford University Press, 1975, page 659.

The stress on rational structure and revealed construction was repeated by later reformist designers. Pugin was in charge of the Medieval Court at ...

1982

Jill Lever, Architects' designs for furniture‎ British Architectural Library, 1982, page 21

1990

[requested ill oct 25, 2009]

C Wainwright, Modernism in design, 1990

... go back to the generation before Viollet in order to examine the origin of this preoccupation with the moral value of Revealed Construction and consider ...

1990

Paul Greenhalgh, Modernism in design 1990 Page 28

By the 1810s the concept of Revealed Construction as one of the great ... 19) as an example of Revealed Construction as it should be applied to furniture. ...

1987

Susan Greenwald, "The poetics of revealed construction", Progressive Architecture May 1987 68, no. 5, pages 104-109.

1991

Isabelle Anscombe, Arts & crafts style Neew York: Phaidon, 1991, page 22

... Pugin relied upon the strong outlines of revealed construction, such as curved cross braces, enhanced simply by chamfered decoration, revealed tenons or

1996

A Markley , "Revealed construction-Arts & Crafts inspired bedside tables", Woodworker London, 1996.

1999

Stephen Weninger, "From Improvvisatrice to Beatrice: Gabriele Rossetti's Influence on His Daughter, Christina", Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies‎ 8 New Series 1999 page 21 article pp 17-33

We find an echo of this style of simple rectangular forms and revealed construction in Charles Locke Eastlake's influential Hints on Household Taste,

But Gothic Furniture of the Fifteenth Century (1835) has some designs that while immature were correct and too, used revealed construction. ...

1996

Richard Weston, Modernism‎ 1996, page 26

Pugin's conviction that the 'honest' expression of 'Revealed Construction' was a necessary - although not in itself a sufficient - condition for ...

1997

Margot Coatts, Pioneers of modern craft: twelve essays profiling key figures in the history ... 1997, page 14

... Edward Barnsley's furniture was made of solid English timber, with revealed construction, fielded panels, handmade metal handles, and all the distinctive features of the Cotswold style. It was not always as well made as it could be, and sometimes incorporated features of which his father would not have approved because they defied Arts and Crafts principles of honesty of construction. Barnsley did not have to develop his style from first principles, but adopted it ready-formed. In later years, when he was thinking through his work in a more personal way, inconsistencies were usually avoided.

Source: Margot Coatts, Pioneers of modern craft 1997

1907

Gustav Stickley, The Craftsman: an illustrated monthly magazine in the interest of better art ... -1907, page 124.

-

This is because revealed construction always appeals to the direct mind of a child, and the furniture intended for its use is most comfortable when it ...

1909

Gustav Stickley, Craftsman homes ‎ 1909, page 34

-

DETAIL OF ENTRANCE PORCH SHOWING HEAVY ROUND PILLARS, DECORATIVE USE OF REVEALED CONSTRUCTION IN THE ROOF, AND THE USE OF FLOWER BOXES. ...

... reductive style, with a preference for revealed construction and working methods which emphasized the natural qualities of his materials. ...

1984

Joanna Banham, Jennifer Harris, William Morris and the Middle Ages: a collection of essays, together with a Whitworth Art Gallery, 1984, page 118

Certainly, by 1860, the emphasis on the kind of 'revealed construction' which Pugin associated with the Middle Ages was already becoming something of a ...

1986

Penny Sparke, Design source book‎ 1986, page 21

... in their revealed construction and truth to nature and materials, for example -- but of Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement.

1986

Doreen Bolger, In pursuit of beauty: Americans and the Aesthetic movement‎ New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art,1986, page 20

Progressive design ideas found their earliest American expression in Modern Gothic furniture, which emphasized revealed construction and architectonic forms

1995

Megan Brewster Aldrich and Paul Atterbury, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin: master of Gothic revival‎ Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 1995, page 204

A W N Pugin's functional principles of revealed construction were well adapted to the board-and-barten villas and cottages of the Hudson River Valley, ...

1996

Linda Parry, William Morris London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1996, page 165

This table, with its revealed construction and structural honesty, clearly reflects the influence of A W N Pugin, and one design in the Victoria and Albert Museum ....

1996

William J. R. Curtis, Modern architecture since 1900‎ 1996, page 268

The Maison de Verre helped to refocus interest on metallic trames and on the culture of revealed construction, and was a major step in a line of experiments

1999

Susan Weber Soros and Catherine Arbuthnott, "Edward William Godwin,: aesthetic movement architect and designer," Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 1999, page 227.

Godwin also designed broad, severe forms with the revealed construction, structural supports, and use of solid wood that had been popularized by ...

2000

Sigrid Sangl, Barbara Stoeltie, and René Stoeltie, Biedermeier to Bauhaus 2000, page 154.

2000

Sigrid Sangl, Barbara Stoeltie, and René Stoeltie, Biedermeier to Bauhaus 2000, page 154.

... reductive style, with a preference for revealed construction and working methods which emphasized the natural qualities of his materials. ...

2003

Noel Riley and Patricia Bayer, The elements of design: a practical encyclopedia of the decorative arts from ... 2003, page 254.

Often large in scale - it is sometimes called Muscular Gothic - this furniture featured revealed construction, architectural elements such as sturdy stump ...

2005

Paul Duchscherer and Linda Svendsen, Beyond the bungalow: grand homes in the arts & crafts tradition 2005, page 113

In lieu of the revealed construction typical of most Craftsman-style homes, those of the Colonial Revival style tend to primly conceal all of their working