Architectural and built environment discourses in an educational context: the Gottscho and Schleisner Collection

Sheila Fram, Eric Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This essay examines architectural photographs of schools produced for consumer magazines like House Beautiful, which helped create aspirations for the rising American middle class during the period 1935-1959.It reveals the way that schools for the upper-middle classes were promulgated as 'role models' for the boom in school construction that accompanied the post-war baby boom.We examined images of exterior and interior school architecture and built environments in the Gottscho and Schleisner photography collection at the Library of Congress.Through Allan Sekula's process of archivisation and the use of constant comparative analysis, we re-organised the images in this collection and identified the prominent middle-class, architectural discourse inscribed on, in and surrounding the schools.We further discuss the maintenance of middle-class ideology through the guiding force of 'conspicuous consumption' patterns - the power behind the prominence of the archive and its accumulation process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-243
Number of pages15
JournalVisual Studies
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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