Friday 4 March, 2016, 6pm, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD, Keynes Library

We are delighted to inaugurate our New Books series with a talk by the author of a new book on Hawksmoor and his myths.

New Books is a series of events engaging with important new books in the history, theory and cultural contexts of architecture.

From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor

Owen Hopkins introduces his new book, From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion, 2015) – a lively and detailed history of Hawksmoor’s work and, pivotally, the ways it has been seen by a variety of observers over the nearly three centuries since his death. 

Charting Hawksmoor’s career and the decline of his reputation, the book offers fresh interpretations of many of his famous works – notably his three East End churches – and shows how over their history Hawksmoor’s buildings have been ignored, abused, altered, recovered and celebrated. The second half focuses on, as Hawksmoor returned to prominence during the twentieth century, his work caught the eye of observers as diverse as T. S. Eliot, James Stirling, Robert Venturi and, most famously, Peter Ackroyd, whose novel Hawksmoor (1985) popularized the mythical association of his work with the occult.

Owen’s talk will be followed by a response from Professor Barry Curtis, Royal College of Art.

Owen Hopkins is a writer, historian and curator of architecture. He is Architecture Programme Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts where he mounts regular series of events, lectures, discussions and exhibitions on architecture and related subjects. Among the events seasons he has curated are ‘Future Memory, ‘The Future of Housing’ and ‘Architecture and Freedom’. Exhibitions he has curated or co-curated include Re-creating Tatlin’s Tower (2011), Nicholas Hawksmoor: Architect of the Imagination (2012), 100 Buildings 100 Years: Views of British Architecture since 1914 (2014) and Four Visions for the Future of Housing (2015).

He has written widely on architecture for publications such as the Burlington Magazine, The Architectural Review, Apollo, Dezeen, RA Magazine, C20 Magazine, Spitalfields Life, the Oxonian Review, the Architects’ Journal and Building Design. His academic research is principally concerned with aspects of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century British architecture, on which he has published scholarly articles. He is author of Reading Architecture: A Visual Lexicon (Laurence King, 2012), Architectural Styles: A Visual Guide (Laurence King, 2014), From the Shadows: The Architecture and Afterlife of Nicholas Hawksmoor (Reaktion, 2015) and Mavericks: Breaking the Mould of British Architecture (Royal Academy Publications, 2016). He regularly leads a variety of walking tours of London architecture.

This event is free and open to all but registration here is required.