Modern Historicism


Developing in the first decades of the 20th century and continuing into the 21st century, Modern Historicism emphasizes the importance of history by using attributes and/or elements from past styles or periods within a modern framework. Modern Historicism looks to and uses the past in a variety of ways to express a diversity of themes in the context of contemporary life and requirements.

1. The Historic Preservation Movement recognizes the importance of the past and seeks to save it by protecting and maintaining historic structures and sites.
2. Reinterpret the Past: Designers and architects may focus on a particular style or aspect of the past, especially as individual styles come in and out of favor. Uses the past in a variety of ways to express a theme, symbolism, or monumentality.
3. Saving the Past: 4 types: Preservation, Rehabilitation, Restoration, and Reconstruction.
4. Historic Preservation Approach – Preservation planning identifies significant structure or areas to be preserved, rehabilitated, or restored.
5. Suburban Modern – due to the war a housing shortage of housing becomes a problem, therefore, many countries respond by building public housing and suburbs.
6. New Urbanism – Designers begin to create small towns with place identity, greater density, and an emphasis upon pedestrians instead of automobiles.
7. New Formalism – takes the International Style in another direction by turning to the past for inspiration.
8. Regionalism – Designers begin to consider the surroundings or locales of their work.
9. New Classicism – Some architects deliberately return to classicism to better understand Modernism.

Now I know that was a little confusing but look at the photos below:

Furniture in Modern Historical rooms in public and private buildings may be antiques or period styles of modern manufacture arranged for modern use. In contrast are period rooms in museums, which strive to replicate historic furnishings and arrangements. A piece of furniture may be a loose interpretation, adaptation, reproduction, or new invention of a new period style.

1. Period Styles: Period styles may define pieces unknown in the precursor period, such as computer desks, file cabinets, television cabinets, coffee tables, and tea carts.
2. Reproductions: Reproductions, a term that was imprecisely defined in the first half of the 20th century, now are considered furniture, textiles, finishes, and decorative arts that copy a historical object or document as exactly as possible in scale, form, an details using modern production methods.

Symbols and Motifs:
Modern Historicism features period elements, details, and motifs derived from past styles, such as pediments, columns, pointed arches, flowers, ogee arches, pagodas, birds, leaves, medallions, arabesques, and shells.

Decorative Arts:
Modern Historical interiors display numerous decorative period accessories including paintings and prints, clocks, screens, mirrors, shelves and brackets, ceramics, glass, and metalware. Accessories may be antiques, reproductions, or modern pieces in traditional or modern styles. Plants and flowers are in integral part of many rooms. Decorations, designers, and homeowners use accessories to support the room’s concept, make a statement about the clients, owners, or themselves, or personalize a space.

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