Examining Palladio’s Influence on American Architecture

| March 21, 2012

This plantation home along the James River in Bremo Bluff, Va., is an example of Palladian influence on American architecture.

Architectural historian Calder Loth will present “Palladio’s Architectural Influence in America” at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 in the 1948 Theater at Sweet Briar College.

Loth is senior architectural historian of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and a curator of the exhibition, “Palladio and His Legacy, a Transatlantic Journey.”

The 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio had an immeasurable impact on this county’s architectural image, Loth says. Palladio’s descriptions of the classical orders have served as a textbook for generations of American architects. His designs for villas have influenced the appearance of American houses from the Colonial period to the present.

Thomas Jefferson, Palladio’s premier American champion, declared Palladio’s treatise “I Quattro Libri” to be the “bible” for architecture. In Jefferson’s own works, such as Monticello, the University of Virginia and the Virginia State Capitol, he provided the nation with precedent-setting models based on Palladian principles.

Palladio’s restoration drawings of ancient Roman monuments also became a primary source of inspiration for some of the most ambitious works of the “American Renaissance” of the late 19th and 20th centuries.

“Even five hundred years following his birth, Palladio continues to offer us lessons for a civil and timeless architecture,” Loth says.

Loth will speak on the American architectural image, tracing the hand of Palladio on two and a half centuries of American building.

For more information, contact Lynn Rainville, director of the Tusculum Institute, [email protected] or (434) 381-6432.


Contact: Jennifer McManamay

Category: Art History, History, Uncategorized