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The sinister steeples of Alexander North


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Ratcliff, EVR 2017 , 'The sinister steeples of Alexander North' , Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania, vol. 151 , pp. 65-78 , doi: 10.26749/rstpp.151.65.

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Alexander North (1858–1945), who practised chiefly in Tasmania, was an outstandingly original architect during the stylistic period in Australia now commonly called Federation. His work includes features that represent an extreme expression of established forms, and draws attention to some inadequately explained characteristics of the period. Prominent among these is a series of church spires that North designed in Tasmania between 1893 and 1927, which evoke peculiar associations in the minds of many who notice them. Those associations, which depend mainly on graphic works published during the same era, were unlikely to have been intended by the architect. They provide evidence in support of an associationist theory of aesthetic response that has gone out of fashion, and a salutary reminder that architectural historians must seek to see through the eyes of their period and not the projections of hindsight.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ratcliff, EVR
Keywords: Alexander North, architecture, Federation styles, aesthetics, associationism
Journal or Publication Title: Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
ISSN: 0080-4703
DOI / ID Number: 10.26749/rstpp.151.65
Copyright Information:

Copyright The Royal Society of Tasmania

Collections: Royal Society Collection > Papers & Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania
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