OLD BRIDGES OF FRANCE A Series of Historical Examples from Roman Times to the End of the XVIIIth Century with an Explanatory and Descriptive Text
by Emerson, William ; Georges Gromort
New York: Press of the American Institute of Architects. Very Good+. 1925. Hardcover. [iv], 124,  pages; Contents clean and tight, binding worn at base of spine with a few chips and scrapes to red leather spine labels. Cream buckram lightly dust soiled. This is #263 of a Limited, Numbered Edition only 1000 copies. Preface, in French and English, by M. Victor Laloux, Membre de l'Institute. Remainder of text is in English. Illustrated with 24 Reproductions in Color from the Original Watercolors by Pierre Vignal which are mounted on heavy stock, 35 Black and White Drawings by Louis C. Rosenberg & Samuel Chamberlain, 44 Measured Drawings, Photographs, Diagrams and Maps. This work was originally issued as a portfolio containing the loose pages of text and prints. The original owner Arthur W. Rice (1869-1938), of the firm Parker, Thomas & Rice, had the text and plates carefully bound in tan buckram spine over blue cloth boards with gilt lettering at front cover and black leather spine label with gilt lettering. The binding was well engineered in that each leaf is mounted on hinged guards which were then stitched to secure the binding. This method allows the book to be opened and laid flat without damage to the plates and other pages - a valuable quality for use by working architects and others. All illustrations are present, including the watercolor reproductions tipped-in on heavy stock with printed captions as originally produced. This monumental work was the collaboration of three excellent architects. William Emerson (1873-1957) after graduating from Harvard studied at Columbia University under William Robert Ware, then proceeded to Paris for three years of study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. On his return to New York City, Emerson opened his own architecture office and spent several years designed private homes, bank buildings and model tenements. In 1919 Emerson became head of the Department of Architecture ast M.I.T. where he remained until 1939. Emerson greatly expanded the curriculum to include color theory, architectural humanities, architectural administration and town planning. While retaining the central focus on design, he acknowledged that "the techniques of its application must continually adapt themselves to the evolution of the technical and social environment." Emerson's co-author Georges Gromort trained in the workshop of Louis-Jules Andre at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then established a workshop with Louis Arreteche -- Arreteche-Gromort, including Xavier Arsene-Henry, Pierre Riboulet, Thurnauer Gerard, Jean-Louis Veret, et al. Samuel Chamberlain (1895-1975) studied architecture at M.I.T. under Emerson until World War I intervened and he left to serve in the ambulance corps of the American Field Service in France. After the War, Chamberlain and his new wife travelled extensively in France, Spain, Italy and North Africa, eventually producing portfolios including his "Sketches of Northern Spanish Architecture," "Domestic Architecture of Rural France," "Tudor Homes of England," "The Use Brick in French Architecture" with Emerson and Gromart and this work "Old Bridges of France" also with Emerson and Gromort. . (Inventory #: 39464)
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