Art and Matronage: G. E. Street, the ‘Buffalo Girls’, and the Gothic Revival between London and Rome

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Are the achievements of the Gothic Revival in the Victorian period solely attributable to men? The different and not so obvious ways in which other types of agency exerted influence over the design process should give us pause for thought. In this seminar Alex Bremner will explore the female patronage of religious architecture in the context of the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival. With nearly all professional architects being male during this period, it is usually assumed that building design was attributable to masculine powers of creative genius. But where female patrons were involved, what influence over the design process were they entitled (or even expected) to exercise? How does the engagement between architect and patron in this context affect our understanding of attribution during this period? Looking at the activity of Jane Emily Monk and her sister, Penelope, this paper will consider their involvement as wealthy patrons of the architect George Edmund Street, in particular his designs for St James the Less, Pimlico (1859-61), and All Saints’, Rome (1880-7).
Period5 Oct 2023
Held atBibliotheca Hertziana, Germany
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • architecture
  • church
  • matronage
  • patronage
  • G. E. Street
  • Jane Emily Monk
  • London
  • St James the Less
  • Rome