ARLIS/NA: Avant Garde in the Cornfields

Review of Avant-Garde in the Cornfields edited by Ben Nicholson and Michelangelo Sabatino

A close examination of an iconic small town that gives boundless insights into architecture, landscape, preservation, and philanthropy

The bulk of scholarship published on the agrarian, Indiana town of New Harmony focuses on the development of two utopian colonies, one a separatist, religious colony founded by the German George Rapp that existed between 1814 and 1824 and the second a socialist experiment led by Welshman Robert Owen that began in 1824 and lasted only three years. This second effort formed the basis of a more durable settlement composed of scientists and naturalists, some of whom were Owen’s descendants, that remained after 1900. 


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