158 Slices
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4: Equality ~ Shared Light

Henry Plummer Indiana University Press ePub



Transom over Dining Room Doors Church Family Dwelling House Hancock, Massachusetts


Transom windows, frequently placed by Shakers above inner as well as outer doors, provide a means to increase the light shared between neighboring rooms, and maintain this flow even when doors are fully closed. Interior transoms are typically set over doors connecting dark corridors and well-lit perimeter rooms, and take shapes ranging from multi-paned rectangles to arched or semicircular fanlights.

Fanlight between Kitchen and Dining Room Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Arched Transom over Infirmary Door Center Family Dwelling House Pleasant Hill, Kentucky


The stretching of light, and the open feeling, afforded by an interior window are especially impressive when able to transform an utterly mundane space, such as a back stair or closet. An ingenious device to siphon daylight deeply into a building, this glazed opening serves also to share illumination between rooms demanding acoustic separation, so as to spread light in a peaceful way, free of disrupting noise.

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3. Can the Artist Speak?: Hamid Kachmar's Subversive Redemptive Art of Resistance

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub


I would go to this land of mine and I would say to it: “Embrace me without fear…. And if all I can do is speak, it is for you I shall speak.”



Berber artists are not really concerned about personal styles; nor do they care if they are remembered as individuals. Their goals are to present personal views…expressed through the lexicon of collective memory rooted in the tradition of tying knots, combining motifs and taking care that the grammar is not breeched.


In the fall of 2009 Hamid Kachmar, a young Moroccan artist of Amazigh heritage, was featured in a solo show in the Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum located in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The mission of the Brown Gallery and the Stone Center is “to critically examine all dimensions of African American, African and African Diaspora cultures through its education program and through the formal exhibition of works of art and other items.”1

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3 Architecture Out of Place: The Politics of Style in Zanzibar

Sandy Prita Meier Indiana University Press ePub

The third Busaidi sultan of Zanzibar, Seyyid Barghash (r. 1870–1888), created vistas and monuments of modern vision that radically transformed the way Zanzibar Stone Town’s built environment was experienced. His reign was an era of unprecedented transcontinental competition, when would-be colonizers, financial speculators, adventurers, and merchants from all over the world converged on Zanzibar City. Zanzibar became a key node in the global market, selling cloves (produced by enslaved plantation workers) and ivory to the industrializing North and supplying African consumers with North American, South Asian, and European commodities. The Busaidi family and their business partners amassed huge fortunes as a result, and Barghash spent much of his considerable wealth building both public and private monuments; these defined the cityscape of Zanzibar from afar, eventually becoming the landmarks of the city and island.

While in many ways Barghash sought to present a fashionably “new” city to the world, his structures were a complex synthesis of old and new sign systems. This was especially the case with Beit al Ajaib, the House of Wonders (plate 11), his most ambitious architectural monument, and the focus of much of this chapter. As we shall see, the structure served not only to visualize his ambition to assert his control over the city in the face of European colonizing agendas, but also to subvert local histories and indigenous claims to the city. Further, what will become clear is that the House of Wonders was not only about geopolitical power; it was also an expression of Barghash’s dream to make Zanzibar a center of artistic and technological innovation. The verandahs of the House of Wonders acted as a grand stage for new musical performances, and they framed his vision of Zanzibar as a perfect picture of modernity. The House of Wonders therefore represents a pivotal moment in the architectural history of the coast, when old and new systems of signification converged and overlapped to produce a spectacle of radical modernity.

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5. Urban Boundaries, Religious Experience, and the North West London Eruv

Edited by Arijit Sen and Lisa Silverman Indiana University Press ePub


On the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday, February 23, 2003, a woman carrying her infant child walked out her front door, through her yard, and into the street.1 This seemingly unremarkable occurrence was an unprecedented act among Sabbath-observant Jews in London. After centuries of Jewish life in London, why should such a mundane gesture mark a significant departure in the experience of the Jewish Sabbath? The catalyst for ritual innovation in this case was a spatial device called an eruv (plural, eruvim). An eruv is a space whose disparate areas are regarded as forming a single domain by virtue of the contiguity of its boundaries. An eruv can be built in a single street, uniting several dwellings on that street, or on a much larger scale, uniting many streets, households, and even neighborhoods. All eruvim, however, require real, physical boundaries. These boundaries tend to be minimalistic and are usually well integrated into the urban built environment. It is often difficult, even for eruv users, to detect the boundary by sight.2 Where possible, preexisting features of the urban environment deemed acceptable according to Jewish law, such as fences, row houses, hedges, railway lines, embankments, major roads, and bridges, can be borrowed imaginatively to create a contiguous boundary for the eruv. Where preexisting urban features are not fully contiguous, under certain circumstances Jewish law can allow for the boundary to be “completed” by erecting poles and wires to close gaps. The erection of some eighty poles in this way permitted the creation of an eruv that now encompasses an area of 6.5 square miles in North West London, including large parts of Hendon, Golders Green, Finchley, and the Hampstead Garden Suburb, and encircling the majority of the Jewish population of North West London. This eruv is known as the North West London Eruv.

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9 Where’s the Porch? and Other Intersections between Archaeology and Historic Preservation

Nancy R Hiller Quarry Books ePub

Cheryl Ann Munson

At a historic preservation conference in the 1980s, I was introduced to a noted preservationist and dedicated champion of Indiana’s historic places. Upon learning that I was an archaeologist, he mentioned that he was involved in restoring a house; workers had nearly finished repairing the foundation, but he wondered whether the house would have had porches across its front and back. My specialty within the discipline of archaeology is prehistoric Native American cultures, not nineteenth-century residences, so I did not expect this line of inquiry. (I also wondered why the question wasn’t answered before restoration began.) Still, my questioner was not entirely out of line, considering that archaeologists in the United States have collaborated with historic preservation professionals since the beginning of the preservation movement.

When it comes to preservation, structural and archaeological sites share the same legal foundation, the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, which created the National Register of Historic Places and incorporated the National Historic Landmarks program under the administration of the National Park Service. Congress included Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act as a procedure whereby sponsors of federally funded projects are required to consult with State Historic Preservation Officers to identify, evaluate, and treat historic properties that may be eligible for the National Register. Historic properties include buildings, bridges, and battlefields of the historic era in the United States but also prehistoric Native American villages, mounds, and camp sites. At the state level, laws and procedures generally mirror those of the federal government, so it is no surprise that our State Historic Preservation Office was named the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.

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