SAH Archipedia uses terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) to categorize and classify metadata for the entries in the database. For more information on the Getty AAT, click here

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Abstract Expressionist
Refers to the movement in American painting, centered mainly in New York, that flourished in the 1940s and 1950s. Incorporating theories of Surrealism, Synthetic Cubism, and Neo-Plasticism, styles ranged from spontaneous, gestural compositions that paid attention to the qualities of the painting materials and stood as records of the painting process, to contemplative, near monochromatic works featuring large areas of color.

Refers to the culture and style of the Acoma, a Native American people living in western New Mexico.

Adam Style
Refers to the style identified with Scottish-born architect Robert Adam (1728-1792), prevalent in Great Britain from 1760-1790. Inspired by archaeological discoveries in Herculaneum and Pompeii, the Adam style is characterized by austere but refined Classical forms, symmetry, detail, and geometric precision.

adaptive reuse
The conversion of outmoded or unused structures, such as buildings of historic value, and objects, such as software, to new uses or application in new contexts.

No description available for this term.

Aesthetic Movement
Refers to a British and American movement influencing fine and decorative art and architecture in the 1870s and 1880s. Following the philosophy of "art for art's sake", the Aesthetic Movement stressed beauty and the autonomous value of art over didactic purpose, narrative content, or significant subject matter.

African American
Designates the styles, culture, and heritage of Americans of African descent in North America. The styles capture the essence of the African American experience and how personal and political rebellion and triumphs over prejudice and social adversity have enriched and contributed to the music, art, and literature of American culture as a whole.

No description available for this term.

Alaska Native
No description available for this term.

Aleut (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

American (North American)
Refers to the context of or associated specifically with the modern political entity of the United States of America.

Ancestral Puebloan
Refers to the style and culture of a North American civilization that existed in the "Four Corners" area, where the boundaries of the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah intersect. The culture flourished from the first century CE to around 1300 CE, and descendants of this cultural group probably include the modern Pueblo Indians now living in New Mexico and Arizona. The style is noted for fine baskets, pottery, cloth, ornaments, tools, and great architectural achievements, including cliff dwellings and apartment-house-like villages, or pueblos. In some classification schemes, the modern Pueblo cultures are considered later phases of this people, though most schemes end this culture with the abandonment of the cliff dwellings around 1300 CE.

Generally, a period before a war. Specifically refers to a period or activity before the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Apache (culture or style)
Style and culture of the descendents of the Athabascan family who migrated to the Southwest in the 10th century. Over time, many bands of Apache were relocated to reservations from their traditional homelands, which once extended through Arizona and New Mexico.

Arapaho (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

Arbutus menziesii (species)
Species of Arbutus found on the west coast of North America, from British Columbia, chiefly Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, to California. It is a broadleaf evergreen tree with rich orange-red bark that peels away on the mature wood, leaving a greenish, silvery, smooth appearance.

Archaic (North American)
Culture in North America from around 8000 BCE to 2000 BCE, ending with the adoption of sedentary farming, which varies from place to place in the Americas.

Arikara (culture or style)
Refers to the culture of the Arikara, an American Plains Indian people who lived along the Missouri River between the Cheyenne River in South Dakota and Fort Berthold in North Dakota. The Arikara, a Caddoan-speaking people, were culturally related to the Pawnee, from whom they broke away and moved gradually northward, becoming the northernmost Caddoan tribe. Wars and smallpox epidemics severely reduced their numbers by the 19th century.

Art Deco
Refers to the style predominently of architecture and the decorative arts, widely disseminated in Europe and the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, which became popular after the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Modernes in Paris in 1925. The style is characterized by a synthesis of industrial and fine arts materials used to create a wide variety of both man-made and mass-produced objects, often with an emphasis on rectilinear motifs, vibrant colors, and elegant, abstracted, simplified forms.

Art Moderne
No description available for this term.

Art Nouveau
Refers generally to the style of painting, architecture, decorative arts, and applied arts that flourished in Europe and the United States from about 1890 to 1910. The style is characterized by an emphasis on fluid, undulating, or serpentine lines or contours based on organic forms and the use of modern materials such as iron and glass. The style developed as regional variations under various names.

Artisan Mannerist
Refers to the English architectural and decorative style in the mid-17th century. Developed by artisans through the use of pattern books, it is characterized by a rough Classicism that reflects regional differences and the work of individual workshops. Architectural elements include hipped roofs, broken pediments, and lugged architraves.

Arts and Crafts (movement)
An aesthetic and social movement of the late 19th century that originated in England and spread to the United States, Germany, and Northen Europe. A reaction against industrialization and the quality of manufactured goods, the movement is marked by a desire to revive the craftsmanship associated with traditional arts, a form follows function philiosphy, and an idealized view of the medieval craft guilds.

No description available for this term.

Athapaskan (culture or style)
Refers to a language group of North American Indians that encompasses many linguistic sub-groups and cultural groups. It is an arbitrary term derived from Lake Athabaska by Albert Gallatin in 1836 to refer to a culture that he believed were centered around this area. People belonging to the Athapaskan language group occupy vast areas of the subarctic region as well as areas in New Mexico and Arizona. Spelling of the term varies widely, and often appears in multiple forms in a single source. 'Athapaskan' has been in general use since 1930. 'Dene' or 'Na-Dené' is the self-determined descriptive term used by this group, and is sometimes used synonymously with Athapaska, though is also used to describe a larger category that includes Tlingit and Haida language groups.

Austrian Art Nouveau)
No description available for this term.

Aztec (culture or style)
The style and culture of the Nahuatl-speaking peoples of the Aztec Empire or Triple Alliance, of late Pre-Columbian central Mexico; flourished ca.1400-1520 CE.

No description available for this term.

Refers to the style and period of architecture, visual art, decorative art, music, and literature of western Europe and the Americas from about 1590 to 1750. The style is characterized by balance and wholeness, often with an emphasis on spectacle and emotional content, and a tendency toward contrasts of light against dark, mass against void, and the use of strong diagonals and curves.

Baroque Revival
Refers mainly to the architectural style in Europe especially in large public buildings, from the end of the 19th century until approximately World War I characterized by impressive classical façades, elaborate decoration and sculpture, and spacious interiors.

Basketmaker (culture or style)
Refers to an ancient North American culture and style that existed in the area of the current southwest United States from before 1000 BCE to around 750 CE, overlapping with the Ancestral Puebloan culture. It is distinct from earlier cultures in the area by the introduction of basket-weaving technology.

Basque (culture or style)
Refers to the culture of the Basque region in the western Pyrenees, spanning the borders of modern France and Spain, which is inhabited by a people of unknown origin who spaek a non-Aryan language.

Refers to the German School of art, design, and architecture active in Weimar from 1919 to 1925, in Dessau from 1925 to 1932, and in Berlin from 1932 to 1933. Training students in both fine art and craftsmanship, it produced objects and building designs intended for mass production using simple, geometric forms.

Bavarian (culture or style)
The nationality, style, and culture of Bavaria in what is today southeast Germany; either the historical duchy or kingdom, or the modern state.

Beaux-Arts (style)
Refers to the style of architecture and city planning originally taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at other schools in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. The style is characterized by an emphasis on the harmonious composition of elements that form a Classical whole, the revival of Baroque and Neoclassical styles, and cities laid out geometrically with wide, grand streets.

belle époque
Refers generally to any period of high artistic or cultural development. It refers specifically to the period known for luxury and high artistic development in fin de siècle Europe, most notably in France.

bench dogs
Pegs or pins partially inserted into a hole at an edge or end of a workbench to help secure a piece of work or prevent it from sliding off the bench.

Blackfeet (Teton)
Not to be confused with the Algonkin-speaking Blackfoot, another Plains Indian tribe.

board and batten
Siding in which joints between vertically placed boards are covered by narrow strips of wood.

British Colonial
Culture, period, and styles in the British colonies, typically featuring a combination of British and native characteristics. For works produced in the British colonies of what is now the United States, "American Colonial" is generally used.

British Isles Medieval architecture styles
Architecture styles belonging to British Isles Medieval cultures.

Refers to a style of architecture dependent on exposed rough concrete as structural form, particularly dating to the 1960s and 1970s, but which is allied to the late works of Le Corbusier, which itself was characterized by raw concrete and undisguised functional features. The term originated from the French béton brut, or 'raw concrete.'

Byzantine (culture and style)
Culture, style, and period of the Christian states of the eastern Mediterranean during the rule of the Byzantine Empire (330 - 1453 CE). Byzantine art and culture was carried throughout much of the Christian world, and lasted into the 16th century in eastern Europe. The style is characterized by imperial and religious subject matter, and a movement away from the original Greek naturalistic forms to favor ritualistic stylization, intended to suggest the spiritual. For the culture and style of the Italian and western Mediterranean Christian world roughly from the third to the mid-ninth century CE, use "Early Christian."

Byzantine Revival
Refers mainly to the style in architecture and decorative arts in Europe and the United States during the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Influenced by publications on Byzantine architecture, it is characterized by the round arches, barrel vaults, densely carved foilage, and mosaic decoration typical of that architecture.

Refers to the culture of the confederacy of tribes of North American Indians that composed the Caddoan linguistic family.

California Modernism
Used to describe the modernist movement in architecture as it evolved in California, specifically Los Angeles and the area surrounding it, from the 1930s through the 1960s. Hallmarks of this style are attention to indoor-outdoor living, open plans, rectilinear structures often constructed with steel frames, and extensive use of glass. The term is most often used to refer to the Case Study House Program initiated by John Entenza in 1945, and to modernist residential structures in general. Architects associated with the style are Richard Neutra, Rudolf Schindler, Charles and Ray Eames, Gordon Drake, Albert Frey, John Lautner, Pierre Koenig, and Rafael Soriano. Public perception of this movement is commonly attributed to the photographs of Julius Shulman, as published in architectural and interior design magazines during the 1950s.

camp (cultural movement)
Designation applied to a taste for cultural materials that provide a knowing amusement by virtue of their being artlessly mannered and self-conscious, artificial or ostentatious. For the related concept applied to artistic or literary material, use "kitsch."

The culture and nationality of the people in the current nation of Canada.

Carpenter Gothic
Refers to the movement in the Gothic Revival period in architecture characterized by the use of Gothic forms in domestic buildings primarily in the United States Northeast and Midwest during the mid-19th century and by the use of the scroll saw in construction. The style reveals an awkward attempt at imitation and implementation of original Gothic proportions and ornamentation such as turrets, spires, and pointed arches, with no sense of logical spatial relationship to the house.

Catawba (Native American)
Refers to the culture of the Catawba, a North American Indian tribe of Siouan language stock who inhabited the territory around the Catawba River in the Carolinas. Their main village was on the west side of the river in what is now York county, South Carolina.

Château Style
No description available for this term.

Cherokee (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

Cheyenne (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

Chicago School
In general terms, refers to the movement among architects and engineers, principally Daniel Burnham, William Le Baron Jenney, John Root, and the firm of Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan,during the late 19th century that ultimately led to the development of the skyscraper and a distinct modern style of architectural design featuring steel and iron skeletons clad with masonry, simple exterior decoration often in red brick or terracotta, the rejection of historical forms, and the use of blocky geometric volumes.

Chickasaw (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

Style and culture of a subdivision of the Tlingit Indian people in Alaska, on the coast between Cape Fox and Yakutat Bay, known for blankets and other cultural works.

Chinese architecture styles
Architecture styles belonging to Chinese cultures.

Chinese Chippendale
Refers to English Chinoiserie furniture following the types of design published by cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale in "The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director" in 1754. Applied mostly to small cabinets and chairs, the style is characterized by lattice-work and square and angular forms.

The culture or style of Americans of Chinese descent.

European and American decorative arts and architectural style that reflects fanciful and poetic notions of China influenced by travelers' tales and exports of Asian ceramics, textiles, and art objects.

Refers to English furniture produced in 1750s and 1760s based on the designs of cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), characterized by openwork and ornamental carving in a mainly Rococo Style.

Refers to the style of art and architectural ornament seen primarily in the late 17th through late 18th centuries, principally in Spain and its American colonies. The style is named after the family of Madrid architects, particularly Jose de Churriguera, though other architects also contributed to the development and popularization of the style. The style is characterized by an abundance of ornament and detail, combining various elements from earlier Mannerist and Baroque art.

City Beautiful Movement
Refers to the movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries governed by the desire of American architects and landscape architects to boost the national standards and prestige of American urban planning and city development through municipal reform and beautification rather than through social reform. With the driving force of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893), the movement secured the active development of metropolitan park systems and the establishment of reform-motivated art societies in major cities.

civil rights
Personal liberties that belong to each individual due to his or her status as a citizen of a particular country or community.

Classic (Mesoamerican culture or period)
A period in Mesoamerica, from around 250 BCE to 900 CE, marked by widespread development of numerous cities and ceremonial centers, and by the rise of large-scale states in three regions: the Basin of Mexico in the Central Highlands, the Valley of Oaxaca in the Southern Highlands and the Maya lowlands. Each region developed unique patterns and styles.

Classical Revival (European revival style)
Refers to late 18th- to early 20th-century architecture and ornament based relatively closely on ancient classical forms. For other architecture and art of the late 18th and the 19th centuries that follow principles of classicism, use "Neoclassical."

Includes any manifestation of the material culture of classical Greece and Rome. With reference to the period of late 18th- and 19th-century art and architecture which featured a return to classical principles, use "Neoclassical." With reference to the period of architecture and ornament of the late 18th- to early 20th-century based relatively closely on ancient classical forms, use "Classical Revival."

No description available for this term.

Coast Salish
Refers to the culture of Salish-speaking Indians of the Northwest Pacific Coast of North America, living around the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound, southern Vancouver Island, much of the Olympic Peninsula, and most of western Washington state.

Coeur d'Alène (Native American style)
No description available for this term.

Coles Creek
No description available for this term.

Collegiate Gothic
Secular version of the Gothic style, derived from the college buildings at Oxford and Cambridge; popular in North America from the 1880s to the 1920s for academic buildings and other institutional structures.

Colonial American (pan-American style)
Styles, cultures, periods, and movements of Colonial America.

Colonial North American
Styles, periods, and culture belonging to Colonial North America. Refers to the culture and style of architecture, furniture, and domestic articles created in the area of the current United States during the period when it was colonized by Europeans, primarily during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It may be also be used to refer to the culture and styles that persisted into the early nineteenth century, after the colonies gained independence. The term generally refers specifically to the culture and styles of the British colonies on the East Coast of the United States, generally not including the French or Spanish colonies. The meaning of the term overlaps with "British Colonial," which is typically used to refer to the cultures and styles in British colonies other than those that existed in the area that is now the United States.

Colonial Revival
Refers to the movement in architecture and interior design prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in countries formerly colonized by Great Britain. The style, mostly seen in domestic architecture and promoted as a picturesque 'national' style, is a direct resurrection of building styles of the early colonial periods and of the Neo-Georgian period. In United States west coast, the movement features a revival of Spanish colonial styles.

Colonial Spanish American
Spanish colonial style and period as specifically limited to the Americas.

Comanche (culture or style)
No description available for this term.

computer-aided design (process)
Refers to the process by which a computer is used as a tool in designing architecture, landscape design, cities, transportation infrastructure, engineering projects, automobiles, computer chips, or other objects of any size. The process uses a computer program to provide an interactive drawing tool, with an interface to allow simulation and analysis. In architectural design, the computer typically allows the user to virtually walk through three-dimensional spaces, to view the architecture in position on the proposed site, and to test aspects of stress and support. It is also used to reconstruct ruined buildings and cities, and to depict archaeological sites at different periods of time.

Concho (style)
No description available for this term.

Concrete Art
No description available for this term.

Concrete art
Term coined in 1930 by Theo van Doesburg to characterize a form of non-figurative painting in which the pictorial elements, planes and colors, have no significance other than themselves. He meant to distinguish between other forms of abstraction, indebted to illusionism mimicing the visible or natural world, and paintings that are products of the human mind. The definition was elaborated upon by Max Bill in 1936 in a catalog for the exhibition Zeitprobleme in der Schweizer Malerei und Plastik. In 1960 Bill organized an exhibition of work that fit his definition, and that established Concrete art as an international movement.

Refers especially to certain work in Britain in the 1950s; can also refer to certain American and European works of the 1930s and 1940s.

Refers to the art and architectural movement influenced by Cubism and Futurism and centered in Russia around 1913. The movement was announced in the publication of the Realist Manifesto in 1920, the name coming from one of its proclamations "to construct" art. The style is characterized by simple, precise abstract compositions typically of modern materials, such as steel, glass, and iron.

contemporary (generic time frame)
Belonging to the same time, age, or period as something or someone else, as when the lives of two people occurred during the same time period. Also used in reference to a thing, person, or event that lives or exists in the present time.

contemporary (generic time frame)
Belonging to the same time, age, or period as something or someone else, as when the lives of two people occurred during the same time period. Also used in reference to a thing, person, or event that lives or exists in the present time.

Contemporary (style of art)
Period and styles of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the recent past and present. It differs from modern art in that the term 'Contemporary art' does not carry the implication of a non-traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created. 'Modern' and 'Contemporary' are inherently fluid terms. The term 'Contemporary' is sometimes more narrowly used to refer to art from ca. 1960 or 1970 up to the present. To refer to the current time period without reference to style of art, use "contemporary (generic time frame)".

Cottage Style (decorative arts style)
Mid-19th-century furniture style, characterized by simplicity of design with natural woods, unpolished or painted in pale colors.

cottages ornés
Certain picturesque, small rustic houses, primarily of the late 18th and early 19th centuries in England, with an asymmetrical plan and wood siding.

Refers to the period of the movement toward internal renewal in the Roman Catholic Church following and in opposition to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and early 17th centuries in Europe, beginning from the pontificate of Paul III (1534-49) and the first Council of Trent (1545). Its style is dictated by an intense authoritarian religiosity, and characterized by a sense of gloom and foreboding.

Style and culture of a Native American people living primarily in the U.S. state of Louisiana and speaking Coushatta language, in the Muskogean family.

Craftsman (style)
Refers to the style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts that prevailed in the United States, ca. 1870 to ca. 1925. As a result of the ever widening influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement in England, the Craftsman style was also based on the rejection of historical styles in favor of a traditional simplicity. Many of the same types of people were involved, such as social reformers, teachers and women's organizations, architects, and designers, as well as the prophets of the movement, John Ruskin and William Morris. In architecture, the style is characterized by modest homes, such as the bungalow, and simple treatment of materials.

Cree (culture or style)
Refers to the culture and style of the Cree, a major Algonquian-speaking North American Indian tribe, whose domain included a large area from east of the Hudson and James bays to as far west as Alberta and the Great Slave Lake in what is now Canada. Originally inhabiting a smaller area, they expanded rapidly in the 17th and 18th centuries acquiring firearms through the fur trade, although wars with the Dakota Sioux and Blackfoot, and a severe smallpox epidemic, greatly reduced their numbers. The name Cree is a truncated form of Kristineaux, a French adaptation of the self-name of the James Bay band.

Creole (North American culture)
In general, the term usually refers to a culture or style produced by people who were born in the Americas or nearby islands, but who were descended from colonists or slaves, as distinguished from people who arrived directly from Europe or Africa, or who were descended from aboriginal populations. It is used to refer to the cultures of different populations in the context of different regions; its usage is often contradictory from region to region. It refers to the culture and styles produced by white people who had Spanish parents and were born in the Spanish territories of North and South America in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries; their culture and social position were distinguished from residents who had been born in Spain. In modern usage in the context of Latin America, it may refer to the culture of people born locally but of pure Spanish extraction or specifically to traditions of old-line families of predominantly Spanish descent. The term may also refer to the culture of early South American blacks born in America, as distinguished from blacks brought directly from Africa. In Louisiana in the United States it refers to the culture of either French-speaking white descendants of early French and Spanish settlers or of mulattos speaking a form of French and Spanish patois. It may also refer to the culture of people in the West Indies who were born and naturalized there, but were of Spanish, French, or African descent; in modern usage in the context of the Caribbean, it is often used to refer to Caribbean culture in general, including elements from European, African, Asian, and Amerindian sources.

critical regionalism
Theory or method that seeks to humanize modern architecture by moving away from global uniformity and unquestioning reliance on technology, favoring instead solutions drawing on regional traditions and materials, while at the same time maintaining awareness of the universal nature of contemporary culture.

Crow (Native American style)
No description available for this term.

No description available for this term.

Refers to the international art movement with origins attributed to Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso ca. 1908. It developed in phases and lasted until the early 1920s. The style is characterized by an emphasis on the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, the rejection of traditional methods of representation, and the dissolution of objects by making several sides visible simultaneously.

Danger Cave
No description available for this term.

De Stijl
Refers to the Dutch artistic movement and periodical of the same name, founded by Theo Van Doesenburg in 1917 and lasting until the early 1930s. The movement advocated the use of pure abstract form to express the universal in art. De Stijl theories formed the basis for the art style known as Neo-Plasticism.

Refers to the philosophical and literary movement associated with the writing of French scholar Jacques Derrida in the 1960s and later applied to the visual arts and architecture in the 1980s. The movement advocates undermining the dominant component in established binary structures, such as nature vs culture, in order to arrive at a new dialectic. In architecture, the style is charcterized by a purposeful displacement of structural elements, resulting in buildings with no specific purpose.