A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, by Barry Magrill

By Barry Magrill

In the late-nineteenth century the flow of development books that includes medieval church structure in England facilitated an unheard of unfold of Gothic revival church buildings in Canada. attractive numerous subject matters round the unfold of print tradition, faith, and payment, A trade of style information the enterprise of church construction. Drawing upon formal architectural research and cultural thought, Barry Magrill exhibits how trend books supply a different manner of learning the relationships among flavor, ideology, privilege, social switch, and economics. flavor was once an idea used to legitimize British - and to an volume Anglican - privilege, whereas different denominations resisted their aesthetic edicts. development books ultimately misplaced keep watch over of the exclusivity linked to flavor as advances in printing know-how and transatlantic delivery introduced extra books into and readerships accelerated past the pro periods. by means of the early 20th century flavor had develop into diluted, the architect had misplaced his heroic prestige, and architectural differences between denominations have been much less obvious. Drawing jointly the historical past of church construction and the wider styles of Canadian social and old improvement, A trade of style offers an alternate point of view at the unfold of spiritual monuments in Canada through having a look squarely at development books as assets of social clash round the factor of taste.

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Extra resources for A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1867-1914

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Frank Wills adopted the approach in the 1850 publication of Ancient Ecclesiastical Architecture. Coincident with the appropriation of history to serve modern demands of marketing was Wills’s disavowal of being interested in selling designs for monetary profit. His denunciation of history to facilitate contemporary economy (Wills claimed that friends persuaded him to publish a clutch of his own designs in the book) involved a ritual disavowal of making money at the expense of art. Through his disavowal of economic interest Wills asserted a greater respect for the symbolic value of his production, which would indirectly – and thus legitimately – lead to monetary benefit.

It was a temporal impossibility to build medieval churches in the nineteenth century, and so the pattern books represented an authoritative link to the past. The books constituted an aura of authenticity around the author’s intent on gaining control over his clientele. An author also claimed to be able to elevate a reader’s taste without also realizing that he was negating the exclusivity of taste through its broad public appeal. ” However, the increased public access to visual material associated with commercially based taste did not deliver on the books’ promises to elevate the status of the masses.

But his complaints were actually indi- 23 • the r ise of comm ercial so ciet y cations of what was common practice in the public arena; that is, taste and fashion converged at the point of economy. The transience of fashion was a problem for pattern book authors selling the idea of enduring taste. In this way, taste and fashion began to be conflated by contemporary pattern book readers. Taste’s social superiority and the privilege that went with it were contingent on people’s willingness to suspend their disbelief in the transience of fashion.

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