Monumenten, geschiedenis en zorg
This contribution is an adaptation of the theme of Monuments and historic Buildings in the Netherlands and their architectural history, which forms part of the KNOB workshop in Zeist. This series fits in with the tradition of art-topographical works of Dehio and Pevsner.
For a long time architectural-historical research was directly linked up with the national preservation of monuments and historic buildings. It is ironical that a selective survey of the built and still existing stock of historic buildings in the Netherlands has now been published, for recent research at the art-historical institutes, faculties of architecture and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) is moving farther and farther away from the description of the concrete objects.
Under the title of 'style and appearance' the traditional art-historical framework appears to be applied in the series, such as ‘Bouwstijlen in Nederland’. What is new here is the attention paid to 'Material and Construction' in a separate chapter, from which the influence of building historians (among the authors) is evident.
Nevertheless we should also place the series in the tradition of 'art guidebooks'. A great deal has changed between the period of 'elite tourism' and present mass tourism. The new government department RACM (RCE) will not escape the tourist gaze that politics may increasingly impose as core business. Escape from this situation might be found by objects that arouse strong emotions, subject to the position of the viewer. This example is further worked out on the basis of the comparison between two 'monuments' in commemoration of slavery in the state of Georgia in the US.