Portal of Holy Name Cathedral, Chicago – playful Gothic Revival

Look at the 3 finials on the 3 gables. You may have to go to flickr and enlarge the photo to see! The two side gables have orthodox floral-derived shapes. The central gable transforms the top into a papal crown. Someone had fun there.

Major Purchase for the Met – 16th C Painting, Gothic Revival Frame

I’m looking forward to seeing this! The Met just bought a double-sided panel painting by Hans Schäufelein. One side is Christ Carrying the Cross, the other The Death of the Virgin (only one shown at the link).
But the big painting is only part of the story for me — A.W.N. Pugin owned it, and probably designed its current frame himself! I’m becoming fonder, in my late middle age, of Gothic Revival furniture and furnishing. Pugin had a nice touch, though he suffered from the usual misapprehension that Gothic woodwork should be dark. Gothic woodwork is dark because it’s old. For American readers, you might have noticed that Upjohn and Renwick had the same problem.
This excerpt from the article explains why this may be the best the Met can ever do in this line of country:

Schäufelein, one of Albrecht Dürer’s most gifted pupils, worked in Dürer’s workshop from 1503 to 1507. While the Met has two paintings by Dürer, both are fairly small, devotional works and neither represents the monumental altarpieces for which he is best known. The problem is that for an American institution, Dürer altarpieces are simply not available. Most are in churches or museums in Europe and should one — or part of one — ever be put up for sale, it would likely never be granted an export license to come to the United States. So this panel, which is in the style of Dürer, is as close as the Met can get. It is large, roughly 4 ½ feet by 4 ¼ feet, and will become the new anchor of the museum’s German Renaissance paintings gallery. “It is also the most important painting by Schäufelein in the United States,” Ms. Ainsworth said.
The main side of the panel shows the death of the Virgin as told in the 13th-century “Golden Legend” of Jacobus de Voragine. Here the Virgin is surrounded by the Apostles in her bedroom just before her death. Scholars attribute the reverse side in part to an anonymous artist known as the Engerda Master and in part to Schäufelein, who is thought to have painted the figures of Christ and two henchmen.
What makes the panel more unusual is that it came in a neo-Gothic frame from the 1840s, when the panel belonged to Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the English architect and major figure in Gothic Revival England. Ms. Ainsworth says it is quite likely he designed the frame himself.

Great reading rooms of the world

Well, actually I’m in the Manuscripts and Archives reading room next door, but it’s a fine place to work, if a tad less aggressive in its grandeur. I’m playing about with Richard Upjohn and the Hobart chapel – and I’m satisfied about 2 points I needed to settle.

And I’ve requested photos of some plans and elevations – interesting to see the stages of his revisions!

Saturday in Upstate NY

Saturday was as beautiful a late summer day as Seneca Lake can produce – and I took the opportunity to go take some photographs I’ve been procrastinating about down on Genesee Street. The crispness of the photo conveys the tower of St. Peter’s Episcopal church vividly – it really is that way. The church is by the Upjohn firm – the tower by Richard M. Upjohn (and probably the rest, too). Richard M.’s work is described by Everard Upjohn as more dry than his father’s, and this may be a nice example. Crisp. Sharp. I see more whimsy – look at those peaks! Go look at this pair on the Colleges’ campus for an immediate contrast of the two styles – RU to the right, RMU to the left.

All in all a fine building.