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Claude Bragdon and The Beautiful Necessity

Edited by Eugenia Ellis and Andrea Reithmayr

This book is about the American architect, theatre designer, mystic and theorist Claude Fayette Bragdon (1866-1946). Although Bragdon was active exclusively in the States – initially in upstate New York and later in New York City – by no means is his work of local significance only. An exceptionally early advocate of the ‘spatial’ nature of architecture, influenced by mystical and Theosophical beliefs that had a strong impact on avant-garde art and architecture in Europe too, and personally acquainted with such key figures as Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, Bragdon’s work is deservedly attracting more and more attention. One of the mini-reviews included in the back cover of the catalogue is by Professor David van Zanten, a leading expert on Louis Sullivan.

This publication serves as the catalogue for an exhibition in Rochester, NY (where the Bragdon archive is held), that runs from April to October 2010. Alongside extensive illustrative material, the catalogue also includes essays by eleven scholars that address different aspects of Bragdon’s work.