This special collection of Architectural Histories, the online journal of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN), explores the rising coexistence of the graphic and the verbal in the public dissemination of architecture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The study of word-image relationships is one of the most innovative and cross-disciplinary fields to have emerged in the humanities over the last decades and by collecting these papers together we are hoping to open up this exciting area to our discipline. Originating from a conference session at the Third International Meeting of the EAHN in Turin, June 2014, this selection of articles also presents the foundation for an EAHN Interest Group on Word & Image, which will help to define this new arena.
Even if word-image relationships are, so far, rarely identified as a specific topic within our discipline, as architectural historians we already investigate them across periods, territories and subjects. The purpose of this collection is to make this a subject per se by examining descriptions and illustrations of buildings in printed and publicly disseminated media such as newspapers, journals, pamphlets, books, manuscripts or catalogues. We hope that the following papers, and further ones to come, will encourage architectural historians of all fields to question the interplay between buildings, words and images afresh, thus building a new understanding of the verbal and visual presence of architecture.
Ranging from papers of Goethe’s use of prints, the early photo book, architectural text books in Belgium, the representation of skyscrapers in the French illustrated press to the transatlantic distribution of plaster casts and modern exhibition catalogues, the collection provides an extremely rich overview of the verbal and visual activity in the architectural world in between 1800 and 1950. Several OCCAS members have contributed to the collection: Mari Lending on ‘Promenade Among Words and Things: The Gallery as Catalogue, the Catalogue as Gallery’; Victor Plahte Tschudi on ‘Goethe in the Hall and His Journeys in Printed Rome’; and Wallis Miller on ‘Points of View: Herbert Bayer’s Exhibition Catalogue for the 1930 Section Allemande’. Anne Hultzsch has co-edited the collection together with Catalina Mejía Moreno (Brighton University).