23 October 2009

A Little Bit About Studying in London

Me at the Royal Crescent - Bath, UK. [and the real reason I took this picture = directly behind me is a HA HA wall. Originally this wall was designed as a way to keep the cows and other livestock that grazed on the commons area off the park land directly in front of the Crescent. HA HA walls are my favorite bit of English landscape architecture...... basically because they are usually designed so that you can't see them until you literally fall over them.]

So... Just a note on some of my studies her at the Courtauld Institute. It has been a whirlwind of reading and writing. Our first assignment was to discuss Type, while our last discussion session focused on Function. It has been nice to get back into some theoretical discussions, as well as learning new things about early modern British Architecture. I had never realized the scope of architectural diversity and innovation during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It has also been fantastic to look at the ways that Medieval architectural styles in Britain changed during the 15th and 16th centuries. It always fascinates me just how much the Panofsky-esque view of high and low historical points has permeated through all levels of art and architectural history.

I have always found that the actual artistic production of any one period is just as sophisticated as any other, just on different levels or in different ways. The Gothic churches of the 12th and 13th century will always be just as meaningful as the churches constructed during the Italian Renaissance in the 16th century.

The information I have learned has also been influential on my continued thesis work. The romanticism of the late 18th and early 19th century has helped me to craft a framework for the romanticism of Fay Jones.

In other news - I went to Bath, Bristol and Wells this weekend. All of these great cities are in Somerset, and it was a wonderful trip - using all forms of transportation except the airplane.

The structure above I found while on an MP3 walking tour of Bath - a great purchase if you are traveling by the way. It is the only grade 3 listed bathroom structure in England.... it was put in when the park was designed during the late 19th century.

This is a photo of Wells Cathedral - the scissor arch is contemporary to the structure - even though it does look amazingly modern.

Bath Cathedral - a wonderful Medieval structure, mostly restored during the 20th century after damage during the second World War.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, nearly 150 years old that spans the Avon Gorge in Bristol. Designed by the famous engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.


  1. I just showed Bill the cathedral shots. Simply gorgeous. I'd love to see both places. Bill's been to the Bath Cathedral but not the Wells. Cheers and cherrio!

  2. Bath Cathedral is breathtaking! I'm so glad you have the chance to travel and explore such interesting places!

  3. P.S. I'm sure that if I had been studying in England instead of Italy, I would have broken my ankle on a HAHA wall... and it wouldn't have been so funny!