Avant-Garde in the Cornfields addresses the evolution of the utopian community of New Harmony in agrarian Southern Indiana, viewing it in its twentieth-century form as a reflection of architecture’s relationship to nature, spirituality, and spatial innovation. The book’s content is reminiscent of Vincent Scully’s examination of the relationship between topography and temple, and Anthony Vidler’s account of social reform and architectural experimentation in the Ideal City of Chaux.1 Located along the Wabash River, New Harmony remains linked to the nineteenth-century religious Harmonist Society of George Rapp, who founded the town in 1814, and the socially progressive Owenites who followed in 1825, led by the visionary Welsh industrialist and social reformer Robert Owen. Yet over time, the town has consistently re-created itself. Attentive to the town’s social utopian origins, coeditors Ben Nicholson and Michelangelo Sabatino collected eight essays (and three historical texts) to address New Harmony’s relevance today as a...

You do not currently have access to this content.