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Back issues - Introduction

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Back Issues In the first of his fortnightly columns on architecture magazines, Steve Parnell reveals the secret mandate of the AR

In January 1947, the editors of the AR celebrated the magazine’s half-century by devoting virtually the whole issue to exposing its previously secret editorial policy: Its prime purpose, they claimed, was to ‘record with varying degrees of efficiency the more interesting buildings of the age’, thereby ‘providing the raw material of history’.

Their secret mandate didn’t stop there. The editors went on to admit that the AR had a more active role to play in the shaping of architecture – that of ‘visual re-education’. In fact, the AR had been playing this role over the previous 20 years, ever since Hubert de Cronin Hastings took control and, along with J M Richards as editor, essentially introduced Modernism to Britain. The AR remained highly influential into the ’60s.

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