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Grant number like: FB-53988-08

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Catesby Morris Leigh
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar (Washington, DC 20007-3054)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
3/1/2008 – 2/28/2009

Monumental America: The Rise and Fall of Beauty and Grandeur in Our Monuments and Public Buildings

Monumental America will examine the decline of monumentality, since World War II, in the nation's memorials and institutional architecture. It will also survey America's monumental achievements in civic design (i.e., monuments, public buildings, and urban planning) prior to modernism's triumph. It will explore the classical wellsprings of monumentality in the human figure, analyze the disastrous consequences, both formal and symbolic, of modernism's rejection of the figure as the basis of design, and discuss the problems and prospects of a newly-emerging counter-culture of traditional artists and architects. Monumental America will argue for a classically oriented monumentality as an affirmation of essential continuities in the human condition, including the heroic dimension in human experience and the ideal life informing our earthly sojourns. It will be concise, national in scope, and extensively illustrated with author's photographs.