It’s a Book!

6 Jan


This month, Ashgate is publishing Passion and Control: Dutch Architectural Culture in the Eighteenth Century, the new book by our lecturer (and acting chair  Architecture and Heritage), Freek Schmidt. The publisher provides these two appraisals by two esteemed peers:

:Dutch society in the eighteenth century was characterized by a combination of financial, economic and intellectual innovation, but still suffers from an unmerited reputation of stagnation. Studies of its architecture are rare, but among the few recent book-length treatments of this neglected period, this book by Freek Schmidt stands out, because he is the first to offer an integrated view of buildings, architects, their education and public debate about architecture within a quickly changing and globalizing world.”
Caroline van Eck, Leiden University, The Netherlands

“Schmidt is a keen observer of the continually shifting terrain of the complex – and now largely lost – world of eighteenth-century Dutch architectural culture. Like the country itself, always shifting topographically, architecture in the period before the Napoleonic invasion centralized a federation of provincial and municipal sovereign entities was in a state of transition. Architects as such had yet to emerge professionally; and, as Schmidt shows, patrons, be they the Stadholders William IV and V or a growing middle class, shaped the appearance of Amsterdam, The Hague, and the countryside in collaboration with building trades. This is an exemplary study which relocates the very frame for understanding Dutch architectural culture between the seventeenth-century Golden Age and the national consolidation of the nineteenth century from accounts of style to a complex net of positions, postures, and discourse in the emerging cultures of print and in such original learned institutions as those rare survivors of the period, the Felix Meritis building in Amsterdam and the intriguing Teylers Museum in Haarlem, still one of the masterpieces of Dutch architecture.”
Barry Bergdoll, Columbia University, USA

Image: view of Teylers Museum by Wybrand Hendriks, ca. 1800.


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