In a 1916 essay that was probably his most important written statement, Irving Gill railed against contemporary historicism and argued for a return to origins: "the straight line, the arch, the cube and the circle." His ideal was not the primitive hut but an equally convincing trope that he called "the stone in the meadow." This phrase implied a method by which the rational was to be brought into an intimate relationship with the organic: "We should build our house simple, plain and substantial as a boulder, then leave the ornamentation of it to Nature."



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