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Nationalism, Internationalism and the ‘Naturalisation' of Modern Architecture in the United States, 1925–1940

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Americans during the interwar years were deeply concerned with the question of modernism's national origins, seeing it as both an unwelcome European import and a product of their own native genius. This article examines some expressions of American architectural discourse during this period, when architects and writers negotiated modernism, embracing, rejecting and continually redefining it. Three overlapping frameworks are outlined: nationalism, internationalism and naturalisation, the latter being a term that implies both a return to nature and a politicised shift in identity. Ultimately, the focus is on naturalisation, and on the role played by a now-obscure figure named John McAndrew, one-time curator of architecture at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Keywords: American Architecture; Internationalism; John McAndrew; Museum of Modern Art New York; Nationalism; Regionalism

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2006

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