Western Modernism and the Myth of Nature: The Architecture of Almost Nothing

Authors

  • Eleanor Weinel

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34900/lr.v9i1.145

Abstract

This paper examines the development of a modernist aesthetic in the architecture of the western United States of America in the period between 1920 and 1950 in which the European fascination with the universal in both space and culture, is coupled with the nascent American fascination with nature and health. The environment of California, both meteorological and social, presented a consistent and temperate climate as the vision of a new Eden, not only physically benign but also metaphysically innocent and accepting, unfettered by Lapsarian moralism. The resulting Myth of Nature was based less on the Romantic idea of the noble savage than on the personal benefits of the healthy life as promulgated by the likes of Dr Philip Lovell and the two houses designed for him. Rooted in the tradition of hygiene, this revised 'Myth' involved fresh air and sunshine, not as pleasures, but as key ingredients of healthy existence.

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Published

2004-06-01

How to Cite

Weinel, E. (2004). Western Modernism and the Myth of Nature: The Architecture of Almost Nothing . Landscape Review, 9(1), 38. https://doi.org/10.34900/lr.v9i1.145

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Section

Abstracts of papers presented