New Book Remembers Barcelona’s Unknown Architect, August Font
Dr. Judith Urbano’s book La Barcelona Eclèctica (Eclectic Barcelona), published by Barcelona City Council and Dux Editorial, was recently launched in the UIC Barcelona’s Graduate Hall. Urbano is a lecturer at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.
At the book launch, art critic and historian Daniel Giralt-Miracle lauded Urbano’s dedication to the architect August Font. Also present were Josep M. Vall, the book’s publisher, Pere Vall, Director of the School of Architecture, and the author herself.
August Font belonged to the Eclecticism movement was a contemporary of Antoni Gaudí. His most prominent works include the façade and dome of Barcelona Cathedral, Montalegre Church, Las Arenas bullring, the Palau de les Heures, Maison Dorée Restaurant, the Palace of Fine Arts, which was commissioned for the 1888 Universal Exhibition, and several buildings for the financial institution Caixa d’Estalvis i Mont de Pietat.
“Judith Urbano’s book describes the architect’s work to help us understand the set of circumstances that gave rise to Eclecticism. It provides background information that immerses us in each of the 18 works and their context. It also includes blueprints and previously unpublished photographs”, Giralt-Miracle said.
The book studies August Font’s output and recognizes the important role he played in Barcelona’s image today. With the book, the author hopes to fill a void in Catalan architecture studies and do the architect justice.
Barcelona is best known for its Modernist (Art Nouveau) architecture. Nevertheless, as the speakers suggested, the city has yet to properly embrace the turn-of-the-century pieces and architects that subscribed to a different school and experimented with other elements and materials, as in the case of Eclecticism.
Judith Urbano holds a PhD in Art History from the Universitat de Barcelona, where she was also a member of the GRACMON research group. Since 1997, she has been a lecturer at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, where she leads the History, Architecture and Design research group. She also penned the 2013 book Eclecticisme i Arquitectura. August Font i Carreras(Eclecticism and Architecture: August Font i Carreras), curated the exhibition “Gaudí in Paris, 1910” and edited the exhibition catalogue in 2002. She has written several articles and book chapters on 19th-century architecture.