Urban Development and the Royal Fine Art Commissions

Urban Development and the Royal Fine Art Commissions

Urban Development and the Royal Fine Art Commissions

Urban Development and the Royal Fine Art Commissions

Excerpt

This book deals equally with the nature of good architecture and the nature of good town planning -- two subjects that are often kept well apart -- and it deals also with the practical difficulties that lie in the way of building better cities. It is my contention that fewer mistakes would be made if there were a better public appreciation of architecture and town planning, and if stronger support were given and more attention paid to the work of the Royal Fine Art Commission for England and Wales and the Royal Fine Art Commission for Scotland. As Chairman of the latter Commission since 1983, I have seen something of the inside workings of urban development. But I emphasise that the opinions in this book are my own. No member of either Commission has read or in any way endorsed the least part of what I have written.

My debts to others are numerous. I am especially indebted to the Rockefeller Foundation, who appointed me as a Scholar in Residence at the Bellagio Center in Italy and thus gave an invaluable impetus to the beginning of my work. Without the help of the Rockefeller Foundation, this book would probably never have been written. I am also very much obliged to Mr J Carter Brown, Chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, DC, for information about the work of the Commission in Washington -- information which I could have obtained in no other way. Professor Allan Rodger and Mr George Tibbits of the Department of Architecture and Building, University of Melbourne, gave much kind assistance, and I was greatly helped by being allowed to use the Department's library. Use of the library of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland was also most valuable. Mr Charles Prosser, Secretary of the Scots Commission, has helped by finding documents and photographs. My obligations to Mrs Margaret Tierney, also of the Commission, are very numerous. Colonel James Bannatyne fortified my resolution on some points of history. And my friend Professor Arthur Knodel took pains to ensure that my translations of Diderot and Le Corbusier were up to his own high standards. I wish to express my sincere thanks to all who have helped.

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