History of Art and Architecture

HAA 1923 Global Preservation

The late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century debates regarding the role of the architectural monument as a signifier of the past, as a container of memory and more importantly authenticity, were the definitive moment in the institutionalization and professionalization of architectural preservation around the world. In a 1903 essay titled 'The Modern Cult of Monuments,' art historian Alois Reigl claimed that while the creation of monuments (i.e. structures built to memorialize certain events or persons) had a long history that predates modernity, the 'cult of the monument' (i.e. the allocation of the monument as a unique and original object in a pre-ordained historical narrative of social and cultural evolution) came about as recently as the nineteenth-century. It is this coupling of the advent as well as the progress of modernity along with the formalization of systems of historic preservation that this course seeks to explore.