Why Edwardian Baroque Architecture Matters: Empire, Identity, and Geo-political Rivalry

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesInvited talk


In this talk Alex Bremner will discuss some of the salient cultural, political, and technological themes from his recent book Building Greater Britain. He will consider in particular those determinants that underpinned and helped shape Edwardian Baroque architecture’s response to late Victorian crises concerning global world order and Britain’s place within it. In this the Edwardian Baroque will be employed as a lens through which wider concerns over the harnessing of technology, imperial anxiety, and British identity and masculinity will be examined in explaining efforts at ‘building’ a more resilient sense of imperial nationhood, across the British world. The fundamental questions explored will be, why should we study an architectural genre such as the so-called Edwardian Baroque? What is it, and how did it emerge? What were its defining features/characteristics? And are there any lessons that a close study of it might reveal to us? In a world that is once again riven by great power rivalry and the politics of identity, an artistic movement such as the Edwardian Baroque offers intriguing if somewhat disturbing echoes from the past.
Period28 Feb 2024
Held atPaul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • architecture
  • imperialism
  • identity
  • empire
  • Britain
  • British world
  • politics