Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:

Theory and Design in the First Machine Age

By Reyner Banham | Go to book overview

7: Adolf Loos and the problem of ornament

AMONG THE EFFECTIVE contributors to the body of ideas that supported the Modern Movement, one must certainly number Adolf Loos. Yet his contribution was sporadic, personal and not always very serious in tone. As an architect he appears as one of the first to build in a manner that really valued simplicity of form as a virtue in itself, yet usually spoiled that simplicity by usages that wilfully departed from it, or materials that concealed it. As a writer he was prolific and usually well-informed, yet much of his influence depends upon one, or possibly two, of his most opinionated essays. As a person he was turbulent, combative, contradictory and capable of turning personal quarrels into public crusades, yet he was admired and courted, and people are still proud to claim his acquaintance,1 twenty or more years after his death.

His active career divides itself into three main parts. The first, down to his return from the U.S.A. in 1897 does not concern us immediately at this point. The second, of active building, teaching and journalism in Vienna, reaching a peak of productivity around 1910, produced his most influential writings, his most characteristic buildings. The third, which begins with his arrival in Paris in 1923 as an acknowledged celebrity, is the phase of his greatest personal influence, but one that is hardest to deal with historically --one has to accept the testimony of those who knew him then that they were pleased when they pleased him,2 and were flattered to be accepted into his circle of friends and admirers.

But this third phase was the product of the second. His celebrity on arrival depended only in part on his personal reputation, and hardly at all

____________________
1
Many architects came, or claim to have come, under his influence either in Vienna or Paris--most notably André Lurçat, Richard Neutra, Raymond Schindler and Eric Mendelsohn.
2
Lurçat, in conversation with the author, volunteered the information that one of his early designs faisait grand plaisir à Adolf Loos. Somewhere in this connection, by way of Loos's notorious Anglomania, may lie the explanation of what appear to be quotations from the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh that appear in Parisian architecture in the early Twenties--the tall 'oriel' window of Lurçat's Maison Guggenbuhl is a case obviously in point.

-88-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Theory and Design in the First Machine Age
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 342

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.