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Emma Letizia Jones on Plaster Monuments
2 April, 2021
Another book about architecture and memory, a very recent one, this time examining its preservation through cast copies. This book is very close to my own research interests, and deals with the topic of ornament and its reproduction in a very novel way. Lending is really concerned with cast fragments not as isolated educational or academic set pieces, but as elements that were ideologically instrumentalised in architectural interiors, not least in the modernist spaces of the twentieth century. This book helps us to understand that there is indeed a parallel history of twentieth century modernism, in which the classical ornament was never banished, but continued to thrive, even as it was repurposed for different cultural agendas. This is a more direct architectural history book than my previous examples, but its stories are no less exciting. It relieves me to read something that is firmly about the twentieth century, but not about modernist housing projects or property development.