Items where Subject is "Architecture"

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This paper explores the role of corporations and financial organizations in maintaining a memory of employees who have served during the wars of the twentieth century. Focusing initially on memorial schemes devised by finance houses in the commemorative era after the Great War, the author examines the emergence of a broader approach to organizational memory and the social construction of collective memory. Taking the Lloyds TSB finance group as a case study, the author examines the origins of the company’s war memorial in central London, and the recent attempts to re-locate a number of memorial objects and icons accumulated during the expansion of the group. This case study indicates how the social memory of an organization might be understood through an appraisal of the monumental furniture that lives, often invisibly, within an organization. The paper concludes with a number of questions concerning the nature of organizational memory when confronted with a history of merger and acquisition, and the difficulties of finding a commemorative site able to represent and safeguard these histories.

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In exploring the mnemonic role of gardens, this paper will first focus on the value of gardens as both a palliative for melancholy, as liminal enclaves, and as carefully constructed surrogate memory systems. Their importance as places for reflection and recovery is examined through the lens of post-war Flanders, with a brief examination of the immense task required to recover the land from the trauma of the First World War. The paper then examines the manner in which pilgrims and veterans took their personal narratives to the battle zones. With so little to see, the bereaved had to reclaim lost names from the lost land; this process is explored through the work of the gardeners who had to ‘plant’ memory and to architects who designed vast monuments to enumerate those who had simply vanished without trace. Noting Fabian Ware’s transformational contribution to this process, this paper examines how the sites of battle became named and reclaimed, how shallow ditches and slight mounds were rendered sites of reverence, and how garden cemeteries have become the epicentres of ritual remembering. Two ‘mirror’ sites of national memory are examined – the ‘Anzac’ headland in Turkey, and the Memorial parkland and gardens of Shrine Reserve in central Melbourne, both hallowed places strewn with symbolic trees, designed gardens and abundant rhetorical ‘topoi’. They are also places where the seed and soil of distant battlefields has been mingled with the national landscape, where the front has literally been transplanted to another country. The paper concludes by suggesting that the garden memorial is an essential component in the future of remembering, creating open and inclusive spaces which rely on participation and careful nurturing to ensure that memory stays alert, relevant, and passed on from generation to generation.

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The Holy Box continues Gough’s published research into the work of British painter Sir Stanley Spencer who served as an official war artist in both world wars. Gough was given unique access to the archive held by the National Trust of correspondence between the artist, the architect Lionel G Pearson and the patrons Louise and Mary Behrend who provided the funding and guidance for the Sandham Memorial Chapel in Burghclere, Hampshire, which Spencer painted between 1924 and 1932, and reflected his war experiences in Bristol and the Balkans, now Macedonia.

The archive of material consisted not only of daily and weekly correspondence between the three main protagonists but also the financial papers, construction history, blueprints and designs related to the vexed history of the design, build and interior decoration. In order to tell the full story of the chapel, now regarded as one of the emblematic painted memorials of the Great War and unique in northern Europe, Gough brought together leading biographers, garden historians, national experts in silversmithing and ecclesiastic decoration to undertake detailed analysis of the social and material culture of the chapel. Each chapter relates an aspect of the chapel’s history and reception.

Gough’s work contributes detailed understanding of the importance of Spencer’s commemorative paintings, based on unique material never before analysed, interpreted and published. Gough was invited to present his research at international conferences in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, May 2018, and Ypres, Belgium in August 2018.

The book was launched in Burghclere at the invitation of the National Trust on the 90th anniversary of the consecration of the chapel in March 2017, in the company of both of Spencer’s daughters, Unity and Shirin, and grandson John Spencer, who now manages the Spencer estate in collaboration with the Stanley Spencer Gallery and the Tate.

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Where once geographers could argue that the ideological issues surrounding the quintessential character of English and Empire military cemeteries had drawn little comment, there is now a considerable literature exploring the space and place of remembrance. Increasing attention has been paid during the past decade to the value of “situation” in the discourse of death, grieving and commemoration. In this respect, “situation” should be understood to be a focus on “place”, “space” and the geopolitical (Gillis 1994). The emerging discipline of cultural geography in the late 1990s created the tools necessary to elaborate “space” in the abstract, to regard “place” as a site where an individual might negotiate definitively social relations, and give voice, as Sara Blair argued, to “the effects of dislocation, disembodiment, and localization that constitute contemporary social disorder.” In our post-historical era, further argues Blair, temporality has largely been superseded by spatiality, what has been termed the affective and social experience of space. Almost a century after Freud’s treatise Mourning and Melancholia (1917), our understanding of how memory and mourning function continues to be challenged, revised, and refined. Issues of place have become important to this debate. Once a marginal topic for academic investigation, there is now a body of scholarly work exploring the complex interrelationship between memory, mourning and what might be termed “death-scapes”. Indeed, this fascination with places of death and dying has given rise to myriad academic explorations spawning academic disciplines such as dark- or thana-tourism, which is an extreme form of grief-incited travel to distant prisons, castles, and abandoned battlefields where anthropological enquiry can be conducted. Suspicions of a release of “recreational grief” aroused after the death of Princess Diana in 1997 have also provided sociologists with considerable material for scholarly attention (Walter 1999).

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