By Douglass Shand-Tucci
The 1st significant biography of Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942), America's maximum church architect, this ebook deals a portrait of America's earliest avant garde, Boston's little identified fin-de-siecle bohemia, during which Cram figured as chief, editor, paintings critic, poet, and clothier. Disclosing for the 1st time the pivotal contribution of Boston's rising homosexual lifestyle to New England's highbrow and cultural historical past, Douglass Shand-Tucci explores the connection among inventive creativity and sexual orientation and among homosexuality and excessive Church Anglicanism. the 1st of 2 volumes, this research specializes in Cram's early architectural and literary paintings.
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Extra resources for Boston Bohemia, 1881-1900: Ralph Adams Cram--Life and Architecture
He was founder of the pioneer prairie settlement of Shandleigh, Alberta, in 1908 (his letters to my grandmother Shand back in Boston are now in the Provincial Archives), but drought and depression drove Jimmy back to Boston in the thirties. Thus when I came along in the next decade, he was able (a cowboy being an instant hero to any youngster then) to serve the vital function of exposing me closely to some- Page xvi one who was by some standards a failure, but who was also a man of such grace and courage that failure, in that sense, meant little.
It was Cram's agitation in 1883-84, when the larger part of Copley Square was purchased and named, that focused efforts under way since 1882 to create the now famous public square. lar, embarrassing as it did not a few of his professional betters. (Where, one respondent to the Transcript wanted to know, were the famous architects, like Richardson, who seemed content to leave it to a young apprentice to defend their proud landmarks in aid of creating what would become the city's foremost square?
So matters went," he called to mind years later, "for the full five years of my professional tutelage, with no appreciable results, either one way or the other, except a steady magnifying of my critical attitude towards the sort of work in which I was permitted to engage ... " 12 What did finally propel Ralph Adams Cram forward, however, was exactly his admiration for Henry Hobson Richardson. One of the reasons Ralph was able to move to Beacon Hill and to Pinckney Street at all (he had at first, in 1881, settled on Dwight Street in the declining South End),13 from the periphery to the center of Boston's artistic and intellectual life, was that by the mid-1880s he had become, amazingly enough for a man of his years, the art critic of the city's most distinguished newspaper, the Boston Evening Transcript.
Boston Bohemia, 1881-1900: Ralph Adams Cram--Life and Architecture by Douglass Shand-Tucci