Marcel Breuer's Saint John's Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota, is one of the few churches in the United States to have merited a previous monograph—Whitney Stoddard's Adventure in Architecture: Building the New St. John's, written several years before the church's dedication in 1961.1 That Stoddard, a medievalist, was so fascinated with this decidedly modernist landmark suggests much about the building's positioning at the time. Victoria M. Young's study of the church's history and its design now helps us to understand fully why it was so important to its contemporaries. Her own long relationship with the abbey (Young is a professor of architectural history at the nearby University of St. Thomas) shows in her sensitive descriptions of Breuer's clients, the monks, and her stress on the dynamic relationship between the two, which, she argues, produced a masterpiece neither could have been responsible for alone. She deftly balances architectural history...
Review: Saint John's Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space, by Victoria M. Young
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Catherine R. Osborne; Review: Saint John's Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space, by Victoria M. Young. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2017; 76 (3): 400–401. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2017.76.3.400
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