- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
Ships in 1 to 3 days
More copies of this ISBN
Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Ageby Mosette Broderick
Synopses & Reviews
A rich, fascinating saga of the most influential, far-reaching architectural firm of their time and of the dazzling triumvirate—Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White—who came together, bound by the notion that architecture could help shape a nation in transition. They helped to refine Americas idea of beauty, elevated its architectural practice, and set the standard on the worlds stage.
Their world and times were those of Edith Wharton and Henry James, though both writers and their society shunned the architects as being much too much about new money. They brought together the titans of their age with a vibrant and new American artistic community and helped to forge the arts of Americas Gilded Age, informed by the heritage of European culture.
McKim, Mead & White built houses for Americas greatest financiers and magnates: the Astors, Joseph Pulitzer, the Vanderbilts, Henry Villard, and J. P. Morgan, among others . . . They designed and built churches—Trinity Church in Boston, Judson Memorial Baptist Church in New York, and the Lovely Lane Methodist Church in Baltimore . . .
They built libraries—the Boston Public Library—and the social clubs for gentlemen, among them, the Freundschaft, the Algonquin of Boston, the Players club of New York, the Century Association, the University and Metropolitan clubs. . . .
They built railroad terminals—the original Pennsylvania Station in New York City—and the first Roman arch in America for Washington Square (it put the world on notice that New York was now a major city on a par with Rome, Paris, and Berlin). They designed and built Columbia University, with Low Memorial Library at the centerpiece of its four-block campus, and New York University, and they built, as well, the old Madison Square Garden whose landmark tower marked its presence on the citys skyline . . .
Mosette Brodericks Triumvirate is a book about America in its industrial transition; about money and power, about the education of an unsophisticated young country, and about the coming of artists as an accepted class in American society.
Broderick, a renowned architectural and social historian, brilliantly weaves together the strands of biography, architecture, and history to tell the story of the houses and buildings Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White designed. She writes of the firms clients, many of whom were establishing their names and places in upper-class society as they built and grabbed railroads, headed law firms and brokerage houses, owned newspapers, developed iron empires, and carved out a new direction for Americas modern age.
"In this unsatisfying overview, Broderick looks at one of the leading architectural firms in turn-of-the-20th-century America. Redefining the American aesthetic, McKim, Mead & White put its stamp on Boston, Baltimore, and Newport, and most particularly New York, where it built NYU's and Columbia's libraries, the second Madison Square Garden, and the original Pennsylvania Station. High-minded Charles McKim brought American architecture up to European standards, but his personal life was overshadowed by a messy divorce and tragedy in his second marriage. Well-born William Mead was the sober, hard-working partner who shepherded the firm to success. Poorly educated Stanford White became more a celebrity decorator than an architect and was murdered by a madman obsessed with White's mistress. NYU architectural historian Broderick (The Villard Houses) is too dry for a general audience in discussing the firm's architectural masterpieces, while she shies away from a deep look at the men behind them: she chooses, for instance, not to focus on the firm's bisexual atmosphere. General readers interested in either a popular study of the great architectural firm or in the 'scandal' and 'class' of the subtitle will be disappointed. (Nov.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
Book News Annotation:
Broderick (architectural history, New York U.) has produced a fascinating history of three of America's most influential architects, detailing their projects as well as their personal fortunes and misfortunes. Set in the gilded age, and filled with stories about the prominent Americans who hired the architects, the volume describes the process of building and decorating their mansions, including buying trips made in Europe, as well as the design and construction of many prominent American monuments, including the Boston Public Library and Pennsylvania Station in New York City. Based on exhaustive research, Broderick follows the money for these projects, giving readers a clear idea of the frequently shocking costs along with the personal struggles that went into the buildings. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Arich, fascinating saga of the most influential, far-reaching architectural firm of America’s Gilded Age; of the dazzling triumvirate—Charles McKim, William Mead, and Stanford White—who came together bound by the notion that architecture could help shape a nation in transition and, in so doing, elevated architectural practice in America and set the standard on the world’s stage.
An extraordinary portrait of the three men, the age in which they lived, and the world they helped to define.
About the Author
Mosette Broderick is the director of the Urban Design and Architecture Studies Program and the Historical and Sustainable Architecture M.A. Program at New York University. She lives in New York City.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like