Moving Rooms The Trade in Architectural Salvages John Harris

Series:
The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
17 Aug 2007
ISBN:
9780300124200
Dimensions:
240 pages: 265 x 195 x 29mm
Illustrations:
180 b&w illustrations, 60 colour images

Since at least Tudor times there have been architectural salvages: panelling, chimney pieces, doorways, or any fixtures and fittings might be removed from an old interior to be replaced by more fashionable ones. Not surprisingly a trade developed and architects, builders, masons, and sculptors sought out these salvages. By 1820 there was a growing profession of brokers and dealers in London, and a century later antique shops were commonplace throughout England. This fascinating book documents the break-up, sale, and re-use of salvages in Britain and America, where the fashion for so-called "Period Rooms" became a mainstay of the transatlantic trade. Much appreciated by museum visitors, period rooms have become something of a scholarly embarrassment, as research reveals that many were assembled from a variety of sources. One American embraced the trade as no other--the larger-than-life William Randolph Hearst--who purchased tens of thousands of architectural salvages between 1900 and 1935.

Read more about John Harris, architectural historian and author.

'He (Harris) remains the master recorder of the tragedy of the English house over the past century...He has watched great buildings fall, great families decline, and has communed with their ghosts in the ruins' - Simon Jenkins,The Guardian

'...a sustainable piece of detective work that has been half a century in the making.' - Marcus Binney, The Times

'an intriguing one ... Harris points out in this magisterial work... comprehensive coverage of numerous known and even more numerous long-forgotten examples of architectural musical chairs.' - Philip Venning, The Times 'This fascinating book documents the break-up, sale, and re-use of salvages in Britain and America, where the fashion for so-called "Period Rooms" became a mainstay of the transatlantic mode.' -Listed Heritage

'Mr. Harris's exhaustive -- and enjoyable -- study is a major work of scholarship, driven by a personal passion to trace elements of great country houses that were either demolished or denuded of important interiors...Anyone with an interest in country-house architecture and decoration or in the history of American taste and museum presentation should read this impressive book.' - Jeremy Musson, Country Life

'Ceaseless ferreting among archives, drawings, objects and buildings for at least fifty years has made John Harris a dazzling discoverer of facts about British architects, interior designers and garden designers. Moving Rooms, about architectural salvages in Britain and America, is the latest of over fifteen books, and a triumph.' -David Watkin, Literary Review

'Moving Rooms is a fascinating, passionate book, thickly packed with information.' - Tim Knox, Art Newspaper

'Until now, therefore, there has been no authoritative book that documented the process of recycling historic interiors. With the publication of architectural historian John Harris's latest book, Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages, the break-up, sale, and re-use of salvages in Britain and America is set out in detail.' - Stephen Price, Worcestershire Recorder

'an intriguing one ... Harris points out in this magisterial work ... comprehensive coverage of numerous known and even more numerous long-forgotten examples of architectural musical chairs.' - Philip Venning, Cornerstone