“Roman” Houses and Their Gardens
The term “hyperreal” is generally associated with sites that take anachronistic decorative styles and eclectically recombine them into environments that claim to surpass mimicry by creating a fully immersive experience. At Franklin Smith’s Pompeia in Saratoga Springs, New York (1892); the Roman ruin garden of Louise du Pont Crowninshield at Hagley, Delaware (1924); and John Paul Getty’s recreation of Herculaneum’s Villa of the Papyri in Malibu, California (1974) hyperreality is a lens through which to examine the reintegration of Classical tropes into the domestic architecture of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America. In each of these sites hyperreality extended beyond the boundaries of the built artifact into the garden environment where the dialogue between built space and greenspace expresses an ongoing, living relationship between Classical past and contemporary present. The role of hyperreality in creating Neo-Antique made places and imaginative portals is considered in terms of enchaînement, the socially anchored process of deliberate breakage and reuse that recombines fragments to generate new forms of cultural self-perception.
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