Bragdon, Claude Fayette

Bragdon, Claude Fayette

(1866–1946)
An American architect, writer, and stage designer, Bragdon enjoyed a national reputation as an architect working in the progressive tradition associated with Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. He soon became a leading participant in the Arts and Crafts movement, working with Harvey Ellis, Gustav Stickley, and other Arts and Crafts artists. Accordingly, he promoted regular geometry and musical proportion as ways for architects to harmonize buildings with one another and with their urban context. Bragdon was well regarded for his ink-rendering talent. In 1915 he created a new ornamental vocabulary he called “projective ornament,” a system for generating geometric patterns. In his books on architectural theory, The Beautiful Necessity (1910), Architecture and Democracy (1918), and The Frozen Fountain (1932), he advocated a theosophical approach to building design, urging an “organic” Gothic style over the “arranged” Beaux-Arts architecture of the classical revival.