Organized to mark the bicentennial of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc’s birth as well as to showcase an important archival donation, Viollet-le-Duc: Les visions d’un architecte challenged received notions of the rationalist practitioner rooted in positivist thought and natural science. An enormous assembly of drawings, objects, personal writings, and ephemera returned Viollet to his romantic roots and centered his oeuvre on a lifelong series of hallucinatory visions. While reflective of a recent romantic turn in Viollet studies, the show failed to represent the full complexity of that scholarship. For instance, Martin Bressani’s Architecture and the Historical Imagination (2014) deploys a psychoanalytic reading of early personal loss to position Viollet within larger historical processes and events.1 Although...

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