Published  26/07/2001

Niklaus Pevsner Celebrated

The English sensibility over architecture today has been shaped more by Sir Niklaus Pevsner than anyone it seems. He wrote, or jointly authored, some 42 volumes of The Buildings of England, county by county, before dying in l983. This magnificent achievement was continued afterwards by his assistant Bridget Cherry. She began in l968 as Pevsner’s research assistant and continued after his death. She defends Pevsner today against later charges of dryness and a lack of emotion for the English landscape. His ‘style-by-style’ view of English architecture, as continued by her, takes the conventional, pre-war German art historical view that architecture consists of period styles in a strict sequence of ‘artworks’, rather than inhabited by people. Fifty years of the Guides has just been celebrated.

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