By Douglass Shand-Tucci
The 1st significant biography of Ralph Adams Cram (1863-1942), America's maximum church architect, this booklet deals a portrait of America's earliest avant garde, Boston's little recognized fin-de-siecle bohemia, within which Cram figured as chief, editor, artwork critic, poet, and fashion designer. Disclosing for the 1st time the pivotal contribution of Boston's rising homosexual way of life to New England's highbrow and cultural heritage, Douglass Shand-Tucci explores the connection among inventive creativity and sexual orientation and among homosexuality and excessive Church Anglicanism. the 1st of 2 volumes, this learn makes a speciality of Cram's early architectural and literary paintings.
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Extra info for Boston Bohemia, 1881-1900: Ralph Adams Cram--Life and Architecture
It seems Grieg Taber, the rector of St. ) of all those images of Christ as true knight, best friend, tremendous lover, while still keeping the sense of a knowing intimacy with Jesus that these images expressin this book, as elsewherewhether in Francis Thompson's word picture of the Hound of Heaven invoked in Chapter 2 or Ralph Adams Cram's Ashmont rood Christus explicated in Chapter 11. When these and other such images arise here, the reader should remember this story of Tallulah Bankhead (and that it happened on Christmas Eve, an important time for Cram).
Second, and following naturally upon the Greek theme, was the gay subtext. '' 24 Both subtexts, Greek and gay (not unrelated), will be more important in the long run here than the aesthetic movement itself, whose pedigree we must not, however, for that reason lose sight of: for it was the Pre-Raphaelite who was reconstituted (at Oxford in the late 1870s; in America in the early 1880s) into what in Ralph Adams Cram's youth was increasingly called the aesthete, and the aesthete, in turn, who in the 1890s would be reconstituted into the decadent.
Witness Richard Ellmann's description of how Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, editor of the Youth's Companion, a highly respected bore, [with] much to answer for in literary terms, since he had judged unworthy of publication [Emily Dickinson's] poems, ... berated Wilde for writing prurient poems ... [and] was especially agitated because ... Julia Ward Howe, whom he all but named, had entertained this pornographic poet.... Higginson was made to taste the grapes of Mrs. Howe's wrath ... [in] the Boston Page 14 7.