Architecture and Art in the Pages of the NZIA Journal to 1918
Keywords:Art and craft debate, Architectural criticism, Architectural writing (New Zealand), Aotearoa, New Zealand, Architecture, History, 20th Century
While Adolf Loos had declared in 1910 that architecture and art were two different things, the architectural profession in New Zealand continued to think of architecture as one of the arts for decades after that date. This paper will examine this issue for the period from 1912 to 1920 as revealed in the pages of the Journal of Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. John Ruskin, always recognised as a major influence upon the Arts and Crafts Movement, is shown to have been a forceful influence behind the wider thinking of the architectural profession in New Zealand throughout this period. This influence concerns matters of style and decoration, materials and, above all, the integrity and commitment of the architect. Several lectures delivered to regional institutes and recorded in the journal are examined to reveal on the one hand a confidence that architecture was even perhaps the greatest of the arts but also that recent developments in materials and construction desperately called for the profession to find a new approach.