Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ovason reads too much into some symbols, especially when locating ties to Virgo

Ovason, an astrology teacher, analyzes the symbols in the architecture of Washington, DC, and connects them to the influences of the arcane traditions of Masonry. This ambitious work looks at the Capitol, the Washington Monument, city planning, and the numerous zodiacs located throughout the city. A major theme is the importance of the Virgo sign of the zodiac and how it is reflected in the sculpture, design, and ceremony involved in the construction of the capital. In general, the work contains thorough research and brilliant analysis, but the reader may find that Ovason reads too much into some symbols, especially when locating ties to Virgo. A minor problem is the overuse of substantive endnotes, which displaces some important information that could have been incorporated into the text. Recommended for academic libraries with collections of architectural history, Masonic, or esoteric literature. By contrast, The United States Capitol is a collection of specialists' papers offering numerous points of view on a single building in the nation's capital.
  • The first section, on architecture, traces the design and construction of the building from its beginnings in 1790 through the present Office of the Architect. Much emphasis is placed on the conflicts of personality and philosophy that have burdened the building's development.
  • The second section, on painting and sculpture, focuses more on the objects than the artists, giving considerable attention to techniques and hidden meanings within the works.

Altogether, the book is well researched and appropriately illustrated with photographs and architectural drawings. Recommended for both academic and larger public libraries. DEric Linderman, Ida Rupp P.L., Port Clinton, OH Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. See all Editorial Reviews

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