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The Invention of the Country-House Style
The eminent interior designer, John Fowler, was responsible for transforming some of Britain's most important historic interiors. The 'Fowler style' was tacitly accepted as the correct style for the decoration of a period interior, despite the fact that this appearance of understated elegance and comfort was in fact entirely an American invention. This fascinating and controversial review of Fowler's work, containing full colour illustrations, offers an important discussion of the treatment of historic interiors and highlights his concern to create visually successful rooms rather than to merely replicate earlier interiors. The impact Fowler had on his contemporaries was immense and long-lasting, so much so that today the 'Fowler style' has come to be considered by some as the only style for the decoration of a country house.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Throughout the book the emphasis is on historic houses now in public ownership. The result is an insight not simply into Fowler but also into the changing approach to paint and colour over time... His pioneering work helped reinvent the country house at a crucial stage in its history. The Georgian This book will be of interest to anyone seriously concerned with the preservation, restoration or recreation of historic interiors. The authors present an interesting range of different perspectives on Fowler's work, from the personal (Peter Inskip's account of Fowler's methods, derived from watching him working) to the analytical (Christine Sitwell's piece on recent investigations into his schemes). Context Was this really a book about the 'Invention of the English Country-House style', and John Fowler's role in it, or was it a eulogy on this undeniably remarkable man? In fact, it altogether proved more interesting than either of these, although it must be said it does encompass a bit of both too. Journal of Architectural Conservation It is impossible not to admire and be rather in awe of the outstanding contribution that John Fowler and Nancy Lancaster made to our understanding of the British country house. Ian Gow, for Institute of Conservation