Professor David Billington defines structural
art as a new art form that arose with the Industrial Revolution and
the introduction of new materials—industrialized iron, then structural
steel, then reinforced concrete, and finally prestressed concrete. He
considers its development to be symbolic of free democratic societies.
The goals of structural art—efficiency, economy, and elegance—correspond
to those of societies based upon conservation of limited resources,
accountability of public funds, and responsibility for encouraging the
creation and preservation of art. The finest structural artists, like
Isler, and Menn,
are able to balance economy and efficiency with a desire to find new
forms of aesthetic expression.
© 2003 The Princeton
University Art Museum