The writings of Louisa Tuthill : cultivating architectural taste in nineteenth-century America
Cultivating architectural taste in nineteenth-century America
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This dissertation discusses the architectural writings of Louisa Tuthill ( 1798-1879), a little known nineteenth-century American author. Tuthill has been acknowledged for her History of Architecture from the Earliest Times (1848), the first history of architecture published in the United States. However, her numerous other books dealing with architecture have been largely ignored. As early as 1830, Tuthill published Ancient Architecture, a concise history of architectural origins for young readers. This volume was followed by three fictional works for juveniles describing the adventures of model Americans--an architect, an artist and a landscape architect. Tuthill also edited The True and the Beautiful, the first American collection of selections from Ruskin's work (reprinted twenty three times). Like her famous contemporaries, Downing and Ruskin, Tuthill associates architectural principles with moral qualities. Her educational books move beyond the sophisticated architectural and social theory of such authorities by presenting aesthetic ideas in popular literary forms for the common reader. While a tradition of male architectural writers addressed eager builders and wealthy patrons, Tuthill wrote for the American public of all classes and ages. In contrast to the tradition of builders' guides and style books, Tuthill contributed histories, advice books, children's stories and edited collections. When the History is placed within the context of Tuthill's other writings r it becomes part of a larger plan for elevating national morals, a plan requiring education in architecture history.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, June 1993.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 206-218).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Architecture, Urban Studies and Planning