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Long, Christopher

Long, Christopher

PERSONAL:

Education: University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1993.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, 1 University Station B7500, Austin, TX 78712. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Educator and writer. University of Texas at Austin, associate professor and chair of architectural history and theory.

WRITINGS:

(With Robert Fraser) The World Financial System, Longman Current Affairs (Harlow, Essex, England), 1992.

Josef Frank: Life and Work, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.

Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2007.

Contributor to books, including Western European Economic Organizations: A Comprehensive Guide, edited by Robert Fraser, Longman (Harlow, Essex, England), 1992; and Josef Frank: Architect and Designer, Yale University Press, (New Haven, CT), 1996.

SIDELIGHTS:

Christopher Long is a professor of architectural history whose primary interest is in modern architecture with an emphasis on Central Europe from 1800 to modern times. Trained as a historian, Long applies his knowledge of cultural, intellectual, political, and economic history to his studies of such areas as cultural representation in architecture and the development of architectural education. He is also the author of biographies of noted architects and designers.

Long's book Josef Frank: Life and Work provides a comprehensive look at one of the influential personages in the Modern Movement of architecture in Vienna in the early twentieth century. Known for both his buildings and his furniture design, Frank, who was Jewish, eventually had to flee Vienna when Adolf Hitler and Germany threatened to invade. For the most part, Frank remained largely unknown outside of Vienna and Switzerland, where he lived after leaving Vienna. A contributor to the Architectural Science Review wrote that Frank "developed misgivings about a unified modernism meant to reflect the new realities of the machine age, and sought instead to create a more humane style that responded to people's everyday needs and to historical influences. As a result Frank's work was ignored when the books about the work of the Great Masters of the Modern Movement were written in the years following WWII."

Long rectifies the lack of attention paid to Frank's work by providing an in-depth analysis of his work and his intellectual contributions to design. Eve Blau, writing in the Austrian History Yearbook, noted that the author's "carefully researched and richly detailed portrait of the life and work of a major designer fills a significant lacuna in the history of twentieth-century architecture." Blau went on to write in the same review that the biography is "an important and eagerly awaited addition and corrective to the history of modern architecture. It makes one of the most humane and eloquent critical voices of twentieth-century architecture finally accessible to an English-speaking readership."

In his 2007 book Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design the author draws on unpublished documents and family papers and photographs to provide a history of the life and ideas of Frankl, an architect and designer known primarily as an art deco furniture designer and maker. "He used many approaches to his fundamental interest in modernism, though," wrote Milo M. Naeve in a review of Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design on the Sack Heritage Group Web site. Naeve went on to note in the same review: "Long devotes a chapter to Frankl's ‘Skyscraper Style,’ which echoed the attenuated and irregular rectangular shapes of its namesake." Naeve added: "The Style expressed Frankl's search for a distinctively American design, and the popularity of it made him the leader of the American modernist movement."

Frankl is largely credited with being the driving force behind the American modernist movement between World War I and World War II. The author writes of how Frankl was dedicated to both experimentation and innovation in his work while maintaining a close association with the aesthetics of the past. In his biography of Frankl, who came to the United States in 1914 from Austria, the author also explores the history of modern American design.

"With excellent illustrations … and an extensive bibliography …, [this book is] highly recommended for any collection of 20th-century art and design," wrote Paula Frosch in the Library Journal. A contributor to Magazine Antiques noted: "Until now, the facts of his life (including the year of his birth and the place and date of his death) have been sketchy or incorrectly published. Thankfully, Christopher Long has set the record straight in his very readable and comprehensive book."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Architects' Journal, May 8, 2003, "Free Expression," review of Josef Frank: Life and Work, p. 53.

Architectural Science Review, June, 2003, "A Forgotten Pioneer of Modern Architecture," review of Josef Frank, p. 220.

Austrian History Yearbook, annual, 2005, Eve Blau, review of Josef Frank, p. 229.

Choice, July-August, 2003, J.A. Amundson, "A Forgotten Pioneer of Modern Architecture," review of Josef Frank, p. 1897.

Library Journal, May 15, 2007, Paula Frosch, review of Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, p. 87.

Magazine Antiques, May 2007, "An Early Modernist," review of Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design, p. 56.

ONLINE

Sack Heritage Group,http://www.sackheritagegroup.com/ (February 4, 2008), "Milo M. Naeve, review of Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design.

University of Texas—School of Agriculture Web site,http://soa.utexas.edu/ (February 4, 2008), faculty profile of author.

Yale University Press,http://yalepress.yale.edu/ (February 4, 2008), brief profile of author.

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