About: Meredith L. Clausen

I’m professor of architectural history at the University of Washington and the organizer of a recent session on Ada Louise Huxtable at the Society of Architectural Historians’ annual conference. My research spans 19th- and 20th-century architecture, particularly in postwar U.S. and fin-de-siècle Paris, and is currently focused on Le Corbusier's early years in Paris. My past books and articles have focused on the Pan Am Building, Art Nouveau theory, and women in architecture, among other topics; an article on Michael Graves's Portland Building, power plays, and postmodernism will be out in June 2014 in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.

Posts by Meredith

Posted in Architecture and Design, Getty Research Institute, Research

The Fiery Career of Architecture Critic Ada Louise Huxtable

Ada Louise Huxtable with Richard Meier in 1996
Photo: Vladimir Lange

“I wanted her attention, but I was scared of it…She was tough, but her words were beautiful.” More»

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      ROSE

      This milky pink boomed into popularity because of a marketing ploy, a mistress, and its ambiguous origins.

      In an effort to compete with the renowned Meissen porcelain factory, the French Sèvres manufactory recruited the glamorous Madame de Pompadour (mistress to King Louis XV). Like a smart sponsorship deal, Sèvres gave her all the porcelain she requested. 

      Introduced in 1757, this rich pink exploded on the scene thanks to favoritism by Madame Pompadour herself. 

      The glaze itself had a weird history. To the Europeans it looked Chinese, and to the Chinese it was European. It was made based on a secret 17th-century glassmaker’s technique, involving mixing glass with flecks of gold.

      For more on colors and their often surprising histories, check out The Brilliant History of Color in Art.

      12/19/14

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