The Architecture and Designs Of John Gaw Meem

      “Anne Taylor offers a direct and knowledgeable analytical survey of one of New Mexico's most renowned architects. Black-and-white photographs drawn from the archives of the Meem Room in Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico help present John Meem's bold and visionary ideas to offer inspiration in their own right. A very highly recommended addition to professional and academic Architectural Studies collections.”
      —The Midwest Book Review
            “Meem had a passion for historic southwestern architecture. He not only advocated its preservation, he drew much of his inspiration from it. This book, using Meem’s own photographs and drawings from the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, is documentation of that fact, relative to detail and ornamentation. An excellent reference on one of New Mexico’s most renowned architects.”
      —Dolores M. Dux, Books of the Southwest
            “John Gaw Meem is well known as a prime shaper of Southwestern architecture, but he also set the style in Southwestern building ornamentation and fixture design. Meem is best known for designing many University of New Mexico buildings and the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, but little attention has been paid to the fixtures, metal grillwork, windows, doors and fireplaces he also designed.
            “Anne Taylor’s book remedies the oversight by presenting numerous photos and sketches of Meem’s wonderful designs, which are now thought of as classic New Mexican. Most of his designs are based on traditional Pueblo and Spanish architecture with an apparent Art Deco influence—in fact, his work has been called ‘Indian Art Deco,’ although he vigorously denied any connection with that popular style. Like his architecture, his doorways and portals are firmly rooted in traditional designs although they are more interesting and less massive.”
      —Tori Adams, Farmington Daily Times
            “Anne Taylor’s subject is the architecture of John Gaw Meem whose collection of papers is housed in the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Her book provides a wide selection of Meem’s drawings as well as photographs of buildings designed by him. With the current demand for Southwest or Santa Fe style architecture, the book should prove to be interesting to a large number of readers. I suggested it to a friend whose interest was in building the style of fireplace found in the southwest.”
      —Ray E. Jenkins, P.M., Denver Westerner’s ROUNDUP
            “Imitation is widely conceded to be the sincerest form of flattery. By that measure, John Gaw Meem is by far the most sincerely flattered figure in Southwestern architecture today. Important to his style was his attention to details of design and ornamentation. Taylor’s text explores the background and development of these details very creditably. Most of the illustrations are from Meem’s own drawings and sketches and from his photographs. Altogether they constitute a record that will prove invaluable to architects, artists and do-it-yourselfers for generations to come.”
      —Fern Lyon, New Mexico Magazine
            “John Gaw Meem was one of the outstanding architects of the Southwest and responsible for many of the public buildings and private homes throughout the area. He is also known as the architect of the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque. The author, a professor at the University, points out, Meem’s greatest contribution was in the use and adaptation of indigenous designs to modern building practices. Taylor concentrates on Meem’s use of ornamentation in his work, thus there are chapters on doors, windows, gates, corbels and other facets of his designs. There is an interesting and provocative chapter on symbolism in his designs. The illustrations are from the sketches and photographs in the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico. The purpose of the book according to the author is not only to call attention to Meem’s work but to serve as an inspiration and guidebook to present-day architects and builders. There are several added features, index, bibliography and glossary.”
      —Marcia Muth, “Book Chat,” Enchantment
            “This book is the perfect companion to John Gaw Meem, by Bunting. This book pays great attention to the detailing that went into Meem’s work (doors, gates, corbels, light fixtures, spindles, etc.), while the Bunting book pays more attention to floor plans and entire structures. And it goes without saying that those interested in adobe construction must have this book about the father of the modern adobe structure, both commercial and residential.”
      —Book Talk
            “It is rare indeed when one person can affect the appearance and image of an entire region, both carrying on and starting traditions that endure for generations. Architect John Gaw Meem was such an individual. His early appreciation of traditional Native American and Hispanic building forms led him both to preserve some of New Mexico’s architectural treasures and to continue the use of these forms in a modern context. John Gaw Meem’s vision is deeply etched on the built environment of New Mexico.
            “Although other books have focused on Meem’s career, Southwestern Ornamentation & Design features the details—designs for doors, corbels, window grilles, light fixtures, wrought iron stair rails—that distinguished his southwestern style of architecture. Illustrated with sketches and photographs from the Meem collection in the Zimmerman Library at the University of New Mexico, along with new photographs by Lila DeWitt, the book will prove a good visual reference for craftspeople and builders who continue to work in the Meem tradition. In Meem’s extensive resource collection at Zimmerman Library, the author and assistants have been able in some cases to identify the original image or object that Meem copies or abstracted in creating a particular detail.”
      —Susan Berry, Silver City Museum, New Mexico Historical Review