Talk:Nikolaus Pevsner

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I seem to recall some story about the Germans bombing Pevsner-listed places in WWII (An Outline of European Architecture was published in 1943) as revenge for British bombing of the German cultural heritage: true or canard? -- Anon.

Maybe thinking of Baedeker raids? Barnabypage 17:14, 10 August 2005 (UTC)


The list of buildings of... books is too big for this page, its not like thats all teh at Pevsner ever did. And, since Pevsner didnt write any of the Scottish, Welsh or Irish guide books, and the series now has a life of its own, can I suggest that the books are moved to their own article? I suggest Pevsner Architectural Guides, as this is the name used on the website Buildings of England, etc, can still function as redirects. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 13:56, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Very good idea. Barnabypage (talk) 10:26, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Done then. Jonathan Oldenbuck (talk) 12:37, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I remember a time ago the BBC had a series where well known people took one of his books as a guide to a county they where linked too to revisit the places he described it contained voice overs of text from the books would it be appropriate to include something on this somewhere? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:25, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Best Known For...[edit]

I entirely disagree about what Pevsner is best known for - I would say that he's best known in the history of modern architecture for: 1. Pioneers of Modern Design 2. Editing the Architectural Review during the '40s & '50s when he promoted the Townscape movement68.173.55.22 (talk) 20:22, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

This is an interesting point. I think it's indisputable that within the UK he is best known for BoE. But perhaps that is not the case in other countries... Barnabypage (talk) 11:35, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Pevsner and Nazism[edit]

The current article states 'According to Games, he was an admirer of some of the economic policies of the early Hitler regime, but was caught up in the ban, etc.'. But the talk cited as the source (Games, 2002) makes no specific mention of 'economic policies'. It quotes an interview in the Manchester Guardian in which Pevsner speaks only in general terms of the 'idealism' in the movement. The two Pevsner articles it refers to are actually concerned with the Nazis' view of relationship between the artist and the state. The thrust of the Games talk is that Pevsner's admiration for National Socialism was broad, but no further sources are given. It might be less contentious to write 'Pevsner had some sympathy with Nazi theories of the relationship between artists and the state, and admired what he saw as the idealism of the movement in its early years. Nevertheless, he was caught up.....'

Any views? Lostwithiel (talk) 21:31, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Games, in the introduction to Pevsner on Art and Architecture, says:
"Pevsner, it must now be said, was a keen supporter of the Nazis."
"During the 1920s and 1930s, Pevsner was as excited by the Nazis as his fellow countrymen, and for the same reasons."
"Pevsner's only point of conflict with Hitler, apart from Mein Kampf which he dismissed as mere propaganda, was on [the] point of modernism."
He also quotes an article in the Birmingham Post, which quotes Pevsner as saying:
There are things worse than Hitlerism; I think your Press in England does not realise that...There are many things in it which I greet with enthusiasm and which I myself have preached in my writings. I consider the compulsory labour which is to start next January an excellent thing...Hitler is planning public works on a vast scale to cure the unemployment problem, and I believe that he has the courage and will to do what he says. Then there is much that is Puritan and moral in the movement..."
It is true, then, that Games does not actually use the word economic. But it is quite clear from what he writes that he is asserting Pevsner's admiration for National Socialism was broad and extended way beyond issues of art and architecture. Barnabypage (talk) 11:32, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough - would one answer be to give the Games introduction as a source for this statement, as it contains more detail than the Cambridge talk? PS Your point on what Pevsner is best known for is interesting - in Italy he would seem to be best known for his writings on modernism, and modern design in particular - understandable, really, as the BoE are aimed primarily at a British audience: they probably aren't the first guide that visitors would buy? I suppose it depends on who he is best known to. To architects, town planners and students of history of art it might well be Pioneers or the Architectural Review, but to the general public it would surely be the BoE.Lostwithiel (talk) 12:34, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

That seems fine to me - I don't have the time to do a detailed edit right now but here is the bibliographical detail for the Games intro.:
Barnabypage (talk) 12:41, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

OK, thanks - I'll put in the reference. (New user of Wikipedia, so not quite sure of the form!) Lostwithiel (talk) 12:45, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Have deleted the quotation from Christopher Bray's review of Susie Harries's book. In the Bray review, this sentence refers not to Pioneers, as implied here, but to an early Pevsner letter to his wife, and has no particular relevance to Pevsner's writing on modernism, which is the subject under discussion. The material contained in the sentence is opinion rather than fact, and cannot be considered encyclopedic. The insertion of this sentence is simply a means of flagging up the single really awful review of Harries's book. The review is also (uniquely) highly critical of Pevsner, and thus a citation of it, when no other reviews are cited, can be challenged on the grounds of lack of neutrality. Lostwithiel (talk) 13:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Forgive my intrusion. I just spotted "The review is also (uniquely) highly critical of Pevsner, ..." in your response above and I challenge your exclusion of this highly critical material on the grounds of relevance and balance. This material should be included and I urge you to reconsider its inclusion. See also my comments below --Senra (Talk) 01:22, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
My objection to the inclusion of this particular review of the Harries biography (by Christopher Bray) is that it offers an interpretation of Pevsner's character and behaviour which is far more unfavourable than any of the other reviews of the book. If this review is to be cited, then, in the interests of balance, the many others (which all interpret his character and behaviour more positively) should also be cited -but the point of an encyclopedic entry on Pevsner is surely to give the facts of his life, not a survey of critical opinion about him ?
In this context, could you give more detailed reasons why you feel this highly critical material should be included ?
I would agree with your suggestion that the article be submitted for impartial peer review.
Thanks.Lostwithiel (talk) 11:41, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I had issue with your apparent one-sided non-neutral reasoning—"(uniquely) highly critical", "relevance" and "balance"—for removing this from the article. We should include material in an encyclopaedia, even when we do not personally agree with it. Otherwise there is bias. In addition, having now briefly read Chris Bray's review of Susie Harries Nikolaus Pevsner: The Life, I see no reason to exclude parts of the review in the Pevsner article. Bray says at one point "John Betjeman thought the man he called 'Herr Doktor Professor' duller still—less a writer than a scholarly accumulator of lifeless, recondite details" though Bray himself later admits "Nobody who spends a goodly part of their leisure-time walking the English landscape—as I do—is ever far from a copy of the relevant Pevsner". I urge you once again to reconsider the careful and balanced inclusion of even "(uniquely) highly critical" material. I did feel Bray's review gave me a picture of Pevsner as I imagined him—driven, boring and unfeeling—and my view is that Bray was not at all as highly critical as you seem to believe. I will now be reading Harries book, which frankly, is one urpose of a review :) --Senra (Talk) 00:03, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Brief review[edit]

An informal review of this article was made and some changes to its format (not its content) have occurred as follows

  • Moved the <gallery>image</gallery> from the top of the article to the infoxbox. Image license not checked
  • Re-formatted references using relevant {{citation}} templates
  • Converted some external links within the body of the article to wikilinks - see also MoS#External links
  • Converted the rest of the external links to references

There are still some external links in the article e.g. in Publications. These should be converted to references. Unable to fully determine if some of the further reading material was also referenced in the body of the article. If so, such further reading entries should be removed. See Further reading for more information.

Consider reviewing the following to further help the development of this article

Contact me on my talk page if you require any assistance with the above --Senra (Talk) 00:53, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

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Article about Pevsner[edit]

This might be of interest:

Emilie Oléron Evans. Transposing the Zeitgeist? Nikolaus Pevsner between Kunstgeschichte and Art History. Journal of Art Historiography Number 11 December 2014.

peter_english (talk) 23:48, 29 January 2015 (UTC)