This lecture is presented in conjunction with the Museum Society’s upcoming trip
Crystal Streams and Azure Skies: Narratives, Architecture, and the Landscape of
Scotland and Ireland with by Professor Puay-peng Ho. All are welcome to attend.
The Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th century was a cultural movement with
enormous influence on all fronts: religion, philosophy, literature, economics,
education, science, art and architecture. The like of Adam Smith, David Hume, Sir Walter Scott, Joseph Black, Adam Ferguson, James Watt, Erasmus Darwin and Robert Adam. Their influences extended beyond the Scottish border and in particular,Robert Adam (1728-92), became the most sought after architect of 18th century England and Scotland. Neo-classical architecture of Adam had an enormous influence on both the private estates and castle home in England and Scotland, but also transmitting the spirit of humanistic enlightenment in the graceful proportion and rhythmic composition of townscape in Edinburgh. The Register House, Old College of University of Edinburgh and Charlotte Square in the New Town are elegant examples of Adamesque architecture. On the other hand, late 19th century saw Scotland as one of the most important centres of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Great Britain, centering on the art and architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Through the patterns seen on wall paintings, carpet, wallpaper, cutlery as well as architecture façade and details, Mackintosh and his wife created exciting naturalistic and uplifting spirit that find parallel in Art Nouveau works in Vienna and Paris. The lecture will conclude with the works of Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936) who followed the examples of the Pre-Raphaelites and decorated walls, altars, furniture as well as paintings and books in Edinburgh that are vibrant and sensuous.
Professor Puay-peng Ho is Professor of Architecture at The University of Chinese
University. He received his First Class Honours degree in Architecture from the
University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Art History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His thesis was focused on Buddhist art and architecture of the Tang dynasty. Dr. Ho is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians. Currently, he serves on Town Planning Board, Antiquities Advisory Board and History Museum Advisory Panel, and is Chairman of the Council of Lord Wilson Heritage Trust. His research interests and publications are in the areas of Chinese art and architectural history, vernacular architecture, and architectural theory. He is also involved in many architecture conservation projects in Hong Kong.