The Parish of All Saints, Ashmont

The Parish of All Saints, Ashmont in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, built 1891-1892 was the first church designed by Ralph Adams Cram, a collaboration with fellow Visionist Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, who was working for Cram’s firm and later became a partner.  The picture above by Consigli is from the parish’s website,which includes information on the church’s history and architecture, as well as more gorgeous pictures of the interior.

Above: Rendering by Goodhue of the planned building.  Below: Photo by Paul Weber of the exterior.  Both courtesy of Cram & Ferguson archives.

Above: Sculpture in the upper part of the reredos (screen behind the altar), reminiscent of Goodhue’s designs for Visionist publications.  From the parish website.

Advertisements

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue

Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869-1924) was an architect and designer originally from Connecticut who spent a formative part of his career in Boston.  His architectural projects included the Los Angeles Central Library, campus buildings at Yale, West Point, and other universities, Saint Thomas Church and the Church of the Intercession in New York, and the Nebraska State Capital.  However his most familiar legacy may be the Cheltenham typeface that he co-designed, now used for headlines by The New York Times.

Goodhue began his architectural career in New York with an apprenticeship at the firm of James Renwick, Jr., who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  In 1890 Goodhue won a competition to design a cathedral in Dallas, Texas.  Looking to complete the project as part of a younger firm, he chose the newly-formed Cram & Ferguson in Boston.

He and Ralph Adams Cram became collaborators and friends.  Cram later wrote “his pen-and-ink renderings were the wonder and the admiration of the whole profession, while he had a creative imagination, exquisite in the beauty of its manifestations, sometimes elflike in its fantasy, that actually left one breathless.  His personality was as baffling to any powers of description as was his artistic facility  Exuberantly enthusiastic, with an abounding and fantastic sense of humour, he flung gaiety and abandon widely around whenever he was in the temper to do so.”

Goodhue and Cram were core members of the Visionists, and Goodhue contributed designs to several of their publications, including the cover art for the Knight Errant journal.  During this period he also worked as a designer for other small presses.  In 1896 he co-designed the Cheltenham font (initially known as “Boston Old Style”) with Ingalls Kimball, director of the Cheltenham Press in New York.  (A native of W. Newton, MA, Kimball also co-founded Stone & Kimball press in Boston.)

Goodhue was a partner in Cram, Wentworth, & Goodhue (later Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson) from 1891 until 1914.  He collaborated on the neo-Gothic churches that made a name for the firm in New England, as well as the project that brought them national recognition– the master plan and key campus buildings for the US Military Academy at West Point.  After moving on to his own firm in 1914, he explored other styes including Spanish Colonial Revival and Romanesque.

Architectural sculptor Lee Lawrie worked with Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue and continued to collaborate with Goodhue through his life.  Lawrie is probably best known for the statue of Atlas in Rockefeller Center opposite St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York.  He also designed a Gothic tomb for Goodhue within the Church of the Intercession.

Sources:

Wikipedia

My Life in Architecture by Ralph Adams Cram

The Architecture of Ralph Adams Cram and His Office by Ethan Anthony

image

Above: Portrait of Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue by fellow Visionist F. Holland Day. 1892.  Platinum print in the Library of Congress.

image

Above Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (left) and Ralph Adams Cram (center) in their architectural office at 1 Park Sq., Boston, with a client (and a dog).  Courtesy of Cram & Ferguson archives.

Below: Sculpture of Goodhue by long-time collaborator Lee Lawrie.  Photo by Wikimedia user Einar Einarsson Kvaran.

image

Against an epoch

Men against an epoch; is it not that after all? One by one in this last night, the beautiful things have disappeared, until at last, in a world grown old and ugly, men, forced to find some excuse for the peculiarity of their environment, have discredited even beauty itself, finding it childish, unworthy, and unscientific: not only beauty in Art, but beauty in thought and motive, beauty in life and death, until the word has become but a memory and a reproach. This is the condition that demands the new chivalry. The fight against Paynims and dragons was the work of a carpet knight compared with this ; yet in this fact is there any cause for discouragement? God forbid! But whatever the issue, the Quest lies clear in sight, and he would be craven knight indeed, who would shrink from this new ‘siege perilous.’

From the editors’ introduction to the first issue of the journal The Knight Errant, published by Elsevir Press, 1892.

According to Ralph Adams Cram’s autobiography, the editors included Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, Francis Watts Lee, F. Holland Day, Herbert Copeland, and Cram.  “Paynims” means “pagans” in the medieval European sense. Text from Archive.org/JSTOR Early Journal Content.

image

Above: “The Knight Errant” by British Pre-Raphelite painter John Everett Millais, 1870.  Oil painting at the Tate Britain.  The Pre-Raphaelites were favorites of the Visionists.

A short life in the saddle, Lord!

Spirits of old that bore me,

And set me, meek of mind,

Between great dreams before me

And deeds as great behind,

Knowing humanity my star

As first abroad 1 ride,

Shall help me wear, with every scar,

Honour at eventide.

Let claws of lightning clutch me,

From summer s groaning cloud,

Or ever malice touch me

And glory make me proud.

O give my faith, my youth, my sword,

Choice of the hearts desire:

A short life in the saddle, Lord!

Not long life by the fire.
Forethought and recollection

Rivet mine armour gay!

The passion of perfection

Redeem my faulty way!

The outer fray in the sun shall be

The inner beneath the moon ;

And may Our Lady lend to me

Sight of the Dragon soon!

“The Knight Errant” by Louise Imogen Guiney, from vol. 1 of The Knight Errant journal published by Elsevir Press 1892.

image

Above: Detail from the cover art by Bertram Goodhue of The Knight Errant journal, published by Elsevir Press beginning 1892.