Reference Entry

Van Brunt, Henry

Samuel Berkman Frank

in Oxford Art Online


Published online January 2003 | e-ISBN: 9781884446054 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.T087797

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(b Boston, MA, Sept 5, 1832; d Milton, MA, April 8, 1903).

American architect and writer. Educated at Harvard University (1850–54), Cambridge, MA, and trained in the studio of Hunt family §(2), New York, he formed a partnership in Boston (1863) with fellow trainee Ware family, §1. In 1865 Ware and Van Brunt were awarded their best-known commission, Memorial Hall at Harvard University, in a limited competition. The building incorporated in an ecclesiastical plan two functional components—a dining-hall (nave) and a theatre (chancel)—as well as a Civil War memorial (transept). Influenced by John Ruskin, Viollet-le-Duc, and Hunt’s teaching of Beaux-Arts composition, the design was derived from a number of English precedents, both medieval and contemporary Gothic Revival.

Following the lead of Hunt’s professionalism, Van Brunt served as Secretary (1860) and as President (1899) of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and was a founder of the Boston Society of Architects. Ware and Van Brunt set up a studio to pass on Hunt’s teachings from the lessons delivered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Ware became increasingly engaged in education, and when he left for New York in ...

Reference Entry.  716 words. 

Subjects: Architecture ; Art of the United States ; 19th-Century Art

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