For a work of historical scholarship, Itohan Osayimwese's Colonialism and Modern Architecture in Germany has a surprisingly compelling opening. In the first sentences, the author stages a meeting in Berlin during the summer of 1913, where, gathered around a massive oak table, are “some of the men now considered to be the doyens of modern architecture in Germany”: Henry van de Velde, Hermann Muthesius, Bruno Taut, Walter Gropius, Hans Poelzig, Paul Schultze-Naumburg, and Dominikus Böhm, as well as some “lesser-known colleagues and protégés,” including Carl Rehorst, Adolf von Oechelhäuser, Konrad Wachsmann, and—the lone woman in the group—Margarete Knüppelholz-Roeser (3). On the agenda is a discussion of “the status...

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