Refinement, piety, and permanence : the Upjohn Gothic in Antebellum Alabama

Blackwell, Cartledge Weeden, Architectural History, University of Virginia
Wilson, Richard, Architectural History, University of Virginia
Nelson, Louis, Architectural History, University of Virginia

The mature Gothic Revival movement of the 1850s held multifarious associations that ranged from the picturesque to the sacred for the geographically dispersed and culturally diverse population of the United States. For Episcopalians in the western portion of the Alabama Black Belt, the Gothic Revival provided a means to demonstrate refinement, express piety, and instigate permanence. As revealed by the early histories of four churches derived from Upjohn's Rural Architecture: St. Luke's, Cahaba; St. Andrew's, Prairieville; St. John's-in-the-Prairies; and St. Paul's, Lowndesboro, the elasticity of meaning inherent within the Gothic Revival allowed Alabama's bishop, clergymen, and the populace to perceive the style of the churches and the worship within the churches in one or more these terms. Through a close examination of the four churches, this thesis aims to show how the interrelated agendas of aesthetics, religion, and mobility eventually coalesced into a denomination's identification with and conversion to the Gothic Revival.

MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Upjohn, Richard -- 1802-1878, Church architecture, Gothic Revival
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