Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review, he is currently at work on his third book, a biography of the late architect Philip Johnson. Follow: @marklamster.


Mark Lamster is the architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News and a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Architecture. A contributing editor to Architectural Review and Design Observer, his work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many national magazines. He is currently at work on a definitive new biography of the late architect Philip Johnson, to be published by Little Brown.

For more than a decade, Lamster served as an editor at Princeton Architectural Press, in New York. Prior to that, he was an editor at George Braziller, the distinguished publisher of illustrated books.

He is the author of numerous books, including Master of Shadows (2009), a political biography of the painter Peter Paul Rubens, and Spalding’s World Tour (2006), the story of a group of all-star baseball players who circled the globe in the 19th century. His papers related to that project were acquired by  the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in Cooperstown, and are available to the public.

Mark Lamster
The Astrodome and the Challenges of Preservation

The Astrodome and the future of preservation.

Mark Lamster
Squaw Valley: America’s Instant Olympic Village

How the Winter Olympics became Modern.

Mark Lamster
A Tour of City Hall in the Waning Hours of the Bloomberg Administration

A tour of City Hall in the waning hours of the Bloomberg Administration.

Mark Lamster
Lunch with the Critics: Fourth-Annual Year-End Awards

Our intrepid critics, Alexandra Lange and Mark Lamster, celebrate (and castigate) the best and worst architecture and design of 2013.

Mark Lamster
On the Line with God’s Tailor

Mark Lamster
Can the Doomed Astrodome Save Modernism?

The Astrodome and the Future of Modern Preservation

Mark Lamster
Mark Lamster on Complaining

On this episode of Insights Per Minute, Mark Lamster contemplates the importance of complaining.

Mark Lamster
High Net Space: The New International Style

High Net Space: The New International Style

Mark Lamster
Architecture's Proto-Blogger

G.E. Kidder Smith, forgotten master of architectural criticism.

Mark Lamster
A Coda on Party Wall

Thinking about MoMA's PS1 installation, Party Wall.

Mark Lamster
The Lost Architectural Muse of the AIDS Generation

Mark Lamster
Lost Landmarks in New York and Fort Worth

Mark Lamster
The Family Store

Mark Lamster
The Tower that Beer Built

A review of the Kirby (nee Busch) Building in Dallas, now a residential apartment house but originally a spec office tower financed by the St. Louis beer barron Adolphus Busch.

Mark Lamster
The Bush Library

A review of the Bush Library.

Mark Lamster
The Story of Seagram

The story of the Seagram Building, the world's most beautiful washing machine, and the woman who made it happen.

Mark Lamster
How to Design an Iconic NY Fast Food Joint

Design secrets of New York fast food icons.

Mark Lamster
Berlin: Then and Now

Two exhibitions with works that look back on life in Berlin.

Mark Lamster
The Dallas Way

I am pleased to announce that next month I will become the new architecture critic of the Dallas Morning News.

Mark Lamster
Inventing the Modern Library

Mark Lamster
Orange City

Mark Lamster
The Imaginary Worlds of Stephen Talasnik

Mark Lamster
Grand Central Turns 100

Grand Central Terminal celebrates its centennial.

Mark Lamster
Clear the Promenade

Mark Lamster
I Love New York at Night

Mark Lamster
Norman Foster’s NYPL: Not Good Enough

Mark Lamster
Lunch With The Critics: Third-Annual Year-End Awards

Mark Lamster
The Other Ezra Stoller

No achitect is unfamiliar with Ezra Stoller, the pioneering photographer whose clinical eye defined modernism and shaped our vision of the built world for much of the twentieth century.

Mark Lamster
F*ck Elegant

Mark Lamster
Lebbeus Woods + John Johansen: Memories of Architecture’s Lost Visionaries

Mark Lamster
High (Line) Anxiety

Mark Lamster
Nick Tobier Will Make You Smile

Mark Lamster
The Rise and Fall of Polaroid: An Interview with Christopher Bonanos

Mark Lamster
Joy, Illustrated

A new gallery for experimental art and design opens on the fringes of Chinatown.

Mark Lamster
Mr. Wright Comes to Moloch

Frank Lloyd Wright comes to New York

Mark Lamster
Unconventional Imagery

The GOP goes Soviet

Mark Lamster
Literature’s Harshest Criticism

What is the harshest architectural criticism in literature?

Mark Lamster
Celebrating the Undecorated Shed

What an undecorated shed says about signature architecture.

Mark Lamster
The Barnes Foundation and Corporate Space

The Barnes Foundation and the corporatization of public space.

Mark Lamster
The Once & Future Library

Mark Lamster
The Architect & The Critic: An Epistolary Tale

Mark Lamster
Summer Reading Special: An Interview with P.D. Smith

Summer reading on the city.

Mark Lamster
Pennsylvania Modern

A glass box done well.

Mark Lamster
Permanent Way: An Interview with Brian Sholis

Mark Lamster
Underappreciated in Ft. Worth

Mark Lamster
The Occupy Movement’s Accidental Monument

Mark Lamster
The War Against Sixties Architecture

An unbridled assault on architecture of the 1960s continutes.

Mark Lamster
Another Imperiled Paul Rudolph Landmark

Mark Lamster
NYPL: Where’s the Model?

The NYPL should make its architectural plans public.

Mark Lamster
A Century at the Ballpark

Baseball's greatest ballpark celebrates its centennial.

Mark Lamster
The Whitney Museum’s Other New Building

Lot-ek puts a pop-up studio in the Whitney moat.

Mark Lamster
A Letter to a Critic, Departed

Herbert Muschamp is informed of developments in his absence.

Mark Lamster
Johnson and the Void

On the architectural vocubulary of Philip Johnson

Mark Lamster
The Most Beautiful Hostel in the World

A rare minimalist gem for the other 99 percent.

Mark Lamster
Beauty from Junk: The Floating Genius of Harvest Dome

Mark Lamster
At Home at the Edge of the World

Mark Lamster
An (Overdue) Memorial for New York

Finally, an AIDS memorial for NYC.

Mark Lamster
Project Project Japan

A review of Project Japan, Rem Koolhaas's history of Metabolism

Mark Lamster
Rethinking Roosevelt Island

Thoughts on the new plan for a tech campus on Roosevelt Island.

Mark Lamster
Life Support: Can Architecture Make Us Healthy?

Thoughts on 'Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture,' and the CCA.

Mark Lamster
Beware of the Man in the Glass House

Mark Lamster
Andrew Geller: 1924–2011

Remembering Andrew Geller, Long Island modernist of wit and charm.

Mark Lamster
Remembering Gene Summers, 1928–2011

Remembering Gene Summers, and a lesson from Mies.

Mark Lamster
Lunch With The Critics: Second-Annual Year-End Awards

From Twitter to Apollo, Barbie to Occupy Everywhere: The best and worst moments in design for 2011.

Mark Lamster
It’s Not (Just) About the Bikes

The plight of public transit.

Mark Lamster
Tower Heists

Mark Lamster
Majority Report

Review of Design with the Other 90%: Cities

Mark Lamster
Where New York’s Medicis Store their Junk

Mark Lamster
Watching Movies about Architecture (and Design)

Mark Lamster
Art, Architecture & the Museum

It's time for a new avant-garde that isn't purely driven by formal experiment.

Mark Lamster
Juliaan Lampens: An Architecture with Jaws

The idiosyncratic genius of a chapel inspired by a crocodile's jaws, and other works by a wonderful modern architect you don't know, but should.

Mark Lamster
Up from Zero

Mark Lamster
Rubens as Architect

An excerpt from Master of Shadows on the Rubens House, on the occasion of an exhibition celebrating Rubens as architect.

Mark Lamster
The Steampunk Para-Architecture of Second Avenue

Mark Lamster
Andrés Duany’s Asian Problem

Mark Lamster
Renovations at the Museum

Mark Lamster
An Interview with Laurence King

Mark Lamster interviews Laurence King, the publisher.

Mark Lamster

Mark Lamster
Are You Ready for Some Football?

Mark Lamster
Shigeru Ban in New York

Shigeru Ban's recently completed Shutter House condo in New York City.

Mark Lamster
Bjarke Ingels Has Something to Sell

Mark Lamster
The Technicolor Dream of Make-Do Urbanism

Can supergraphics be an answer to urban problems?

Mark Lamster
Big Red: Antwerp’s New MAS Museum

Antwerp's dramatic new MAS museum, an extruded Chinese puzzle in red standstone.

Mark Lamster
This City Is Driving Me Nuts

A new study correlates city living and craziness.

Mark Lamster
Philip Johnson’s Synagogue Problem

Is there a remedy for Philip Johnson's troubled synagogue?

Mark Lamster
World War II and the Challenge of the Rational

Mark Lamster
The Unsung Genius of Flemish Architecture

The New Flemish Architecture should not be underestimated, though it usually is.

Mark Lamster
Aimez-Vous Braem? Antwerp’s Little-Known Master

Mark Lamster
Juiced in Lyon: Jakob & MacFarlane’s Orange Cube

Lyon's most unusual, and orange, office building.

Mark Lamster
The Architecture of the Secret Lair

On lairs, evil and presidential.

Mark Lamster
Towers in NY

Two New York Towers, considered.

Mark Lamster
Justice for the City

Some justice for the city.

Mark Lamster
Forgotten New York: The Lenox Library

Mark Lamster
Yesterday’s Future, Today

Yesterday's future, today. (aka, a trip to the Biosphere, in Montreal)

Mark Lamster
Postmodernism Returns (Or Maybe It Never Left)

Mark Lamster
What Baseball’s Hall of Fame and a Communist Museum Have in Common

History, Propaganda, and Baseball's Hall of Fame Museum

Mark Lamster
The Plight of the Political Artist

Mark Lamster
Paul Rudolph’s Knock-Up Masterpiece

Mark Lamster
The Changing Face of American Architecture

Mark Lamster
Jugaad Urbanism and the New Architectural Modesty

Mark Lamster
The Baseball Card as Design Inspiration

Baseball cards: the gateway drug to graphic design.

Mark Lamster
What Makes a Moral Practice?

How do we choose our clients?

Mark Lamster
A Special Kind of Pleasure: Toccata for Toy Trains

Mark Lamster
An Empire State of Mind

Join in a running commentary on Andy Warhol's film "Empire," at MoMA.

Mark Lamster
Cities from the Sky

Mark Lamster
MoCA Loco

A weekend visit to MoCA, and barren downtown LA.

Mark Lamster
“I’m Staying at the Eero”

Mark Lamster
Gerd Arntz: Design Icon

Gerd Arntz: A design icon who designed icons.

Mark Lamster
The Greatest Building in New York

Mark Lamster
Lunch With The Critics: Year-End Awards

Mark Lamster and Alexandra Lange pick the best and worse moments in design for 2010.

Mark Lamster
The Once & Future Whitney Museum

The Whitney: An Architectural Tour.

Mark Lamster
Holiday Books Redux

Mark Lamster
British Incursion

Stirling, Foster, and a new association with the Architectural Review.

Mark Lamster
Beauty on the Border

Mark Lamster
The Ugliest Object I Have Ever Owned

What's the ugliest object you've ever owned (and loved)?

Mark Lamster
Chaos & Classicism in NY

Mark Lamster
Road Trips: Louwman Museum and Powers Field

Thinking about new(ish) projects by Michael Graves and Rafael Vinoly

Mark Lamster
Design Writing: Vital Field or Museum Piece?

Is traditional architectural criticism dead?

Mark Lamster
Boom Goes Pop

Mark Lamster reviews Irma Boom's book, Irma Boom — Biography in Books.

Mark Lamster
Glass Houses

Mark Lamster
LOMEX: Paul Rudolph’s Plan for Lower Manhattan

Mark Lamster

Mark Lamster

Mark Lamster
Modern Views, Home and Abroad

What would Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson have thought of sharing the billing in Modern Views, the new book celebrating the Farnsworth House and the Glass House?

Mark Lamster
Wavefield: Maya Lin at Storm King

I went out with the family to see Maya Lin’s Wavefield up at Storm King Art Center over the weekend.

Mark Lamster
Stirling’s Gold

Mark Lamster
Center of Controversy

Mark Lamster
Upside Dome

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s “Upside Dome” installation at St. Michiel’s in Leuven is so beautiful I can’t help but post a picture of it here

Mark Lamster
Dishing on Design Research

Mark Lamster
Sukkah City

The sukkah, a (green!) temporary structure erected to celebrate the Jewish harvest festival, is an ideal form for an experimental architectural competition.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: The Paperback

The paperback of Master of Shadows hits the stands on October 6, but advances are in, and if I do say so myself, it looks fantastic.

Mark Lamster
The Old Ballpark in the Bronx

The new Yankee Stadium is heading toward the close of its second season, and though I can't say I love it, I think I've come to terms with its existence.

Mark Lamster
Highboy Hullabaloo

Lately I've been thinking a lot about the Sony (nee AT&T) Building, as I research my Philip Johnson bio.

Mark Lamster
At Home with Bob & Denise

Over the weekend I had the very good fortune to spend an afternoon with Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown at their home in suburban Philadelphia.

Mark Lamster
Eero Saarinen at 100

Eero Saarinen, who died prematurely in 1961, would have been 100 years old today.

Mark Lamster
The End of the Worldport as We Know It

A couple of weeks ago we learned that I.M. Pei's JFK Terminal 6 was slated for replacement. Today comes news that the Delta (originally Pan Am) Worldport, aka Terminal 3, is to meet the wrecking ball.

Mark Lamster
Philip Johnson’s “Lost” Archive

Yes, there's an archive of Johnson material for sale. Was it unknown? The Times seems to think so, and just about anyone who knows anything about Johnson was aware of it.

Mark Lamster
Lou Kahn’s Trenton Bath Houses: The Best Buildings in New Jersey?

Lou Kahn's Bath Houses in Trenton, NJ, the best buildings in the state?

Mark Lamster
Do-Gooder Architecture: Then & Now

I don't think Philip Johnson would much care for Croon Hall, the new and very green building for Yale's school of forestry and environmental sciences.

Mark Lamster
Lunch with the Critics: Lincoln Center

Over on DO, Alexandra Lange and I launch our new feature, Lunch with the Critics.

Mark Lamster
The Complexity of Simple Design: A Note on the Shakers

When I think of the Shakers I think of a kind of homespun simplicity: ladderback chairs, straw hats, an unfettered (if somewhat loopy) relationship with the almighty.

Mark Lamster
The Constructed Landscapes of Chris Berg

With digital imaging technology so advanced and widely accessible, the photo-collage has reached a level of almost baroque absurdity.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: Paperback

Behold the very dashing cover for the forthcoming paperback edition of Master of Shadows, design by the great John Gall.

Mark Lamster
Spain vs. Holland: The Eighty Years War in 90 Minutes

Spain and Holland will re-enact the Eighty Years War in tomorrow's World Cup final.

Mark Lamster
Philip Johnson’s Plan for America

We Americans are a can-do, optimistic lot.

Mark Lamster
Coming to America: The Extraordinary Journey of Morris Moel

From Poland to New York, the story of Morris Moel.

Mark Lamster
Terminal City: I.M. Pei & Philip Johnson at JFK

Back in the day, when the airport was a destination in and of itself.

Mark Lamster
Oh, Culture: A Koons at the Seagram Building

I imagine Mies would not have been pleased to see Jeff Koons's kitschy pink balloon dog standing guard in the lobby of the Seagram Building, his masterpiece of pristine austerity.

Mark Lamster
Walk the Walk, Take the Design

A few years ago I did an interview with ESPN magazine and was forced to subscribe to read the online version.

Mark Lamster
An Empire State of Mind

Everyone seems to be weighing in with pieces on the new edition of the AIA Guide to NYC, which is as it should be.

Mark Lamster
Lady Di of 117th Street

My first encounter with the work of Manfredi/Weiss came more than a decade ago, at a lecture at the Architectural League of NY attendant with their winning the League's Emerging Voices award.

Mark Lamster
BEA 2010: A Recap

The future of the book was, as per usual these days, on the minds of publishers and retailers.

Mark Lamster
Ballet Schooled

The latest alterations to Lincoln Center were rolled out to the press at the end of last week.

Mark Lamster
Rubens and the Right

A couple of weeks ago I went up to Cambridge for a symposium on Rubens, hoping to catch up on the latest scholarship and check in with friends in the art history game.

Mark Lamster
SOM: They’re #1

What is the top architectural firm in the United States? The friendly staff at Architect magazine established a set of criteria, surveyed the profession and crunched the numbers.

Mark Lamster
The Outlier: Philip Johnson’s Tent of Tomorrow

The latest World's Fair, Expo 2010, opened earlier this month in Shanghai. The US entry is pretty weak (someone and I can't recall whom, recently commented that it looks like a Lexus dealership).

Mark Lamster
Dandies at the Ballpark

What, you ask, did the well-dressed gentleman wear to the ballpark in 1870? The sartorially inclined team outfitter might have turned to the lovely "New York Fashions" lithograph above for inspiration.

Mark Lamster
Gores House

Of the many individuals who found themselves in the orbit of Philip Johnson over his long life, Landis Gores stands as one of the more fascinating.

Mark Lamster
Staggered Profiles

The Whitney has never given up its dreams and now has its eyes on a plot at the foot of the High Line in the Meat Market, with Renzo Piano as designer.

Mark Lamster
The Guru Track

Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, win the Pritzker Prize and Denise Scott Brown’s “Room at the Top? Sexism and the Star System in Architecture,” becomes a topic of discussion.

Mark Lamster
Philip Johnson: A Biography

This seems like an opportune moment to make public the news that I am at work on a new biography of the late architect Philip Johnson, to be published by Little, Brown.

Mark Lamster
A Very Good Book

Anyone who sees fit to pontificate on the status and future of the book should be legally obligated to see the MET's exhibition of the Limbourg brothers' Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry.

Mark Lamster
Terror and Resilience on the Moscow Metro

The last time I was in Moscow, in 2004, there were a number of subway bombings — though outside the stations, not on the trains or platforms — and a couple of airliners were bombed.

Mark Lamster
Quarantines, Physical and Otherwise

I suppose it was ironic, but mainly just unpleasant, that I was kept from the opening party of Storefront's Landscapes of Quarantine exhibition by a case of pneumonia.

Mark Lamster
Artist! Lover! Swordsman!

“No man could outfight him — No woman could resist his charm.” So reads the copy on this pulp cover from 1953.

Mark Lamster
A Matter of Perspective?

The Vancouver Sun has run a long follow-up story, by Jennifer Moss, to my Los Angeles Times pieceon the plagiarism charges leveled by Sze Tsung Leong against David Burden

Mark Lamster
Bruce Graham, 1925-2010

It's been a tough stretch for muscular, brooding architecture. Last week, Raimund Abraham, the uncompromising architect of New York's Austrian Cultural Forum was killed in an automotive accident.

Mark Lamster
Raimund Abraham, 2010

Herbert Muschamp often griped that New York was allergic to "serious architecture," a refrain frequently aped by his successor, Nicolai Ourousoff.

Mark Lamster
Writer's Voice

My interview with Francesca Rheannon of NPR's Writer's Voice is now online.

Mark Lamster
Double Vision: Did David Burdeny Copy Sze Tsung Leong?

When does inspiration cross over the line into plagiarism and copyright infringement?

Mark Lamster
The New Barnes: Triumph or Travesty?

There's been no more contentious subject in the art world over the last decade than the status of the Barnes Foundation and its decision to forsake its suburban home for a new museum on Philly's Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Mark Lamster
Three Days in Vegas

My stab at narrative travel journalism.

Mark Lamster
London Calling

Back in my old life as an editor at Princeton Architectural Press, I had the great pleasure of editing (and designing) the Architecture of Diplomacy, which remains the definitive history of the American embassy building program.

Mark Lamster
What Am I Doing Here? Tall Buildings and High Anxiety in Las Vegas

I spent three days in a new entertainment complex, CityCenter, in Las Vegas. What follows is a diary of my experience in that time.

Mark Lamster
Overkill, Design Publishing Dept.

I have a piece out in the new issue of Dwell, a peek at a modest kitchen reno in Brooklyn. It's not online yet.

Mark Lamster
Observing Design

I'm pleased to announce that I've joined the distinguished slate of contributing editors to Design Observer, what I consider to be the premier site on the web for writing on design in its many disciplines.

Mark Lamster
(Not) Basic Training

The J-E-T-S are out of the playoffs following a valiant effort yesterday afternoon. That's not a shocker, though their appearance in the AFC Championship Game certainly was surprising.

Mark Lamster
Big Book, Small Reward

Among the trends I’d like to see disappear in this new decade is the trend of obscenely fat monographs.

Mark Lamster
Big City, Big Game

As a kid, I was never one for the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. I preferred the darkened precincts of the Hayden Planetarium, specifically the giant mechanical spider that was its Zeiss Mark VI projector, a truly amazing contraption.

Mark Lamster
Ralph Rapson: Forgotten Hero of Design Merch

If you're familiar with Cambridge, or just Harvard Square, you probably know Ben Thompson's wonderful Design Research building, now celebrating its 40th anniversary.

Mark Lamster
Criticizing the Critics

The two men who controlled the architectural conversation in New York (and hence America and the world) for better than two decades have recently published collections of their criticism.

Mark Lamster
Rubens for the Holidays

Snow is falling hard on the Eastern Seaboard. It's cold out there. A good weekend to stay in before a fire with your warm drink of choice and a good book.

Mark Lamster
Good Night Old Friend: ID Magazine Closes After 55 Years

After 55 years, ID Magazine, the grand dame of American design publishing, has shuttered. It's a terrible blow to the design world, and especially to those of us in the extended ID family — I was a contributing editor, and wrote for the the magazine for many years.

Mark Lamster
Talking Rubens with Leonard Lopate

I'll be appearing on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show this afternoon.

Mark Lamster
The City in Pictures

Every great city is unique. Each has its own special character, a certain cosmopolitan energy that is its own, the product of its people, its history, its culture, its physical form.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: A Telegraph Book of the Year

The distinguished British historian Michael Burleigh has named Master of Shadows a Book of the Year in the Telegraph.

Mark Lamster
"Compelling" & "Important": The L.A. Times Praises Master of Shadows

Good book reviews are rarities to be prized in these days of shuttered newspapers and diminished book coverage. By good I don't simply mean positive.

Mark Lamster
Dankuwel Antwerpen!

This is a good week to be thankful and I am especially grateful to everyone who made the launch of De meester van de schaduw in Antwerp such a success.

Mark Lamster
The Big Stage

'll be giving a talk on Rubens and his diplomatic career at the Ringling Museum's extraordinary Asolo Theater.

Mark Lamster
Adoration: Library Journal on Master of Shadows: "An Exceptional Book"

A nice synopsis and very generous assessment of Master of Shadows appears in the forthcoming issue of Library Journal.

Mark Lamster
From Bauhaus to My House

Nearly thirty years ago, Tom Wolfe made quite a splash with his reactionary little attack on modern architecture.

Mark Lamster
A Renaissance Who Dunnit

Tomorrow the Metropolitan Museum will put on display a sculpture of a boy archer that made headlines about a decade ago when a New York art historian claimed it was the work of Michelangelo.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: Highbrow + Brilliant

Master of Shadows appears in the privileged upper-right quadrant — that would be "highbrow" and "brilliant" — of New York Magazine's weekly Approval Matrix

Mark Lamster
The Shadow Master — Live on Halloween Eve

I'll be discussing the original Shadow Master, Peter Paul Rubens, on the John Batchelor Show.

Mark Lamster
Half King Reading

Many thanks to all who came out to my son-et-lumiere extravaganza last night at the Half King in New York.

Mark Lamster
Good Morning Cleveland!

I'll be on drive-time radio tomorrow morning in Cleveland.

Mark Lamster
Rubens & Obama: Birds of a Feather

What can our current Nobel-winning diplomat-president learn from the career of Peter Paul Rubens?

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: Reception

It was a great honor last night to celebrate publication of Master of Shadows with a small gathering at the residence of the Belgian Consul General in New York, Ambassador Herman Portocarero.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows — In Stores Now — New York Event

After so many years of working and waiting, the day has finally arrived: "Master of Shadows" has been released into the world, and is available at a bookstore near you.

Mark Lamster
Peter Paul Rubens: Graphic Designer

In his day, Rubens was also revered as a diplomat, an architect, a classical scholar, and even a graphic designer.

Mark Lamster
The Art of Diplomacy

It's a rather satisfying bit of parallelism that the excerpt of my book on the political career of Peter Paul Rubens appears in the Wall Street Journal on the same day that Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is the paper's lead story.

Mark Lamster
A Bibliophile's Revelation

Domenichino's St. John the Evangelist seems, as much as anything, a celebration of the act of writing and the ecstasy of the written word. 

Mark Lamster
Tiepolo Pink

I'm happy and honored to report that Master of Shadows has been named an Indie Next Notable Book for November by IndieBound.

Mark Lamster
We Regret to Inform You That Love Will Not Save the Day

The big story on East 7th Street these days is the opening of Thom Mayne's new student center for Cooper Union, on Third Avenue.

Mark Lamster
Ron Arad at MoMA

I'm not sold on Arad as an architect, but his material experimentation is certainly admirable

Mark Lamster
People of the Book

I'll be participating in my first event to celebrate the publication of Master of Shadows on October 6th, here in New York City.

Mark Lamster
Underground Architects

The one question people often ask that I don't enjoy answering is, "Who's your favorite architect?"

Mark Lamster
Fire at Rubens's St. Charles Borromeo

An electrical fire has done severe damage to the interior of Antwerp's St. Charles Borromeo.

Mark Lamster
The Lion of Belgium

In the history of strange maps, this image of Belgium as a lion, printed in 1611 by cartographer Jodicus Hondius of Amsterdam, is surely a classic

Mark Lamster
The Om in Home: Kripalu's New Dorm

I'm not a big yoga fan, and always looked at the Kripalu Yoga Center, in Lenox, with a fair degree of skepticism.

Mark Lamster
Auto-Matic Abstraction

With their zippy vertical lines, these pictures I shot out of a car window remind me of Barney Newman.

Mark Lamster
Rough-Cut Redux: Amazon Makes A Change We Can Believe In

Last week, I noted the strange appearance of the all-capped phrase "ROUGH-CUT EDGE" displayed adjacent to the title of my book on

Mark Lamster
On "Master of Shadows"

Peter Paul Rubens gives us a lot to think about in his canvasses of rushing color, action, and puckered flesh, so it’s not surprising that his work as a diplomat and spy has been neglected.

Mark Lamster
Barrington Fair

There's something romantic, eerie, and pathetic all at once about any work of abandoned architecture.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: The Jacket

The design for the Master of Shadows cover is quite handsome.

Mark Lamster
Too Much Stuff

In one of his classic routines, George Carlin wondered that there could be a "whole industry based on keeping an eye on your stuff."

Mark Lamster
Rough Cut

It seems that some bibliophiles prefer a deckle edge to their books — when the pages opposite the spine are rough hewn.

Mark Lamster
The Curious Architecture of Albert Spalding

The house that the Spaldings — of baseball fame — built for themselves was an oriental fantasy.

Mark Lamster
Belgium: A Note on the Type

When you think about national schools of typography, Belgium isn't the first country that comes to mind.

Mark Lamster
Ballparks Redux

Metropolis has posted a slideshow of the outtake photographs by Sean Hemmerle for my story on New York's ballparks.

Mark Lamster
Peace + Joy

Well wishes to two of my old friends.

Mark Lamster
Blriot! The Centennial of a Historic Flight

A century ago today, Louis Blriot took off in an airplane of his own invention.

Mark Lamster
The Photographs of Sze Tsung Leong

A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of touring Antwerp with the photographer Sze Tsung Leong, who was there working on an ongoing project documenting cityscapes.

Mark Lamster
Play Ball: The Last Word on New York's New Ballparks

My comprehensive, last word on New York's ballparks can be found in Metropolis.

Mark Lamster
Advance Praise for Master of Shadows

The first notices for Master of Shadows are beginning to flow in, and I'm happy to report that the initial response has been very positive indeed.

Mark Lamster
Ezra & Julius

Julius Shulman and Ezra Stoller were the alfa and omega of American architectural photography.

Mark Lamster
A Plea for Crazy in Architecture

John Beckmann of the firm Axis Mundi is promoting an alternative to the Jean Nouvel tower that looks like a half-baked amalgam of several MVRDV projects.

Mark Lamster
Live Fast, Die Young

Dash Snow rests in a long line of dangerous, self-destructive artists who've captured the public imagination.

Mark Lamster
Sex or Biking?

A set of Tour de France photographs by Brent Humphreys indicates the short visual distance between agony and ecstasy.

Mark Lamster
A Deal's a Deal: Significant Objects

Do you need any complicated theorizing to convince you to buy a totally awesome JFK bust that comes with its own backstory?

Mark Lamster
Design Your Life

Written in collaboration with her twin sister, Ellen Lupton's Design Your Life is a joyful, thoughtful, rumination on the objects that occupy us, 

Mark Lamster
The Folly of Man

"All the evidence of history suggests that man is indeed a rational animal but with a near infinite capacity for folly."

Mark Lamster
Architecture for Sale (Wright vs. Johnson)

Frank Lloyd Wright's Ennis House and Philip Johnson's Farney House are both on the market.

Mark Lamster

Barack Obama is in Moscow hitting the reset button on Russian-American relations.

Mark Lamster
Antwerp Central

Built at the turn of the twentieth century, Antwerp's central rail station is a resplendent mash of neo-baroque forms and oriental detail.

Mark Lamster
Ovid: On Picking Up Girls (Literally)

Ovid gives some un-politically correct advice on playing hard to get.

Mark Lamster
Delayed Gratification: On Architectural Criticism

Caught up in the formal design aspects of a building, critics like Nicolai Ouroussoff overlook the social context.

Mark Lamster
Really Great Gatsby

As Jeffrey Trachtenberg reports on the WSJ books blog, last week a 1925 edition of the Great Gatsby, with its vintage surrealist jacket, sold at auction for $180,000.

Mark Lamster
No More Neon on the Novy Arbat

In legislation somewhat reminiscent of Mike Bloomberg's restaurant smoking ban, Vladimir Putin isshutting down all casinos in Russia, effective tonight.

Mark Lamster
Meet James Ensor

It's been some three decades since James Ensor has had a major museum exhibition in the US, which makes MoMA's new show a rare pleasure.

Mark Lamster
MAS Macho

Behold the Museum aan de stroom (MAS), Antwerp's new municipal history museum. The building, designed by the Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk, is due to open late next year.

Mark Lamster
The Most Beautiful Crapper in the World

In 1772, the Antwerp alderman Adrien van den Bogaert purchased a historic property in the center of the city and then hired architect Engelbert Baets to renovate the place.

Mark Lamster
Kosher in Antwerp

This is the first in what will be a series of posts generated over my recent trip to Belgium. Call it an appetizer, served with pleasure.

Mark Lamster

Master of Shadows will be published in Europe this November, and I'm hoping my distinguished Dutch publisher will undertake a guerilla art project to promote it in Holland.

Mark Lamster
European Holiday

I'm off to the Continent, which is a good excuse to dip into the family photo archive for a few reminders of a time when European travel was a bit more of a novelty.

Mark Lamster
Bottom of the Ninth

My review of Michael Shapiro's new book on the aborted life of the Continental League, a would be addition to the majors, appears in today's Los Angeles Times.

Mark Lamster
Red Star

The New York-Amsterdam connection has been much in the news of late, and rightly so, as this is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's Dutch-sponsored voyage of American discovery.

Mark Lamster
Moscow's Jewish Museum

Earlier this week, plans were released for the new Jewish museum in Moscow.

Mark Lamster
All in the Family

My cousin Barbara Schaefer is having a show of recent work at Shop Art, on Bergen Street in Brooklyn.

Mark Lamster
House in the Hills

We spent this past weekend at the beautiful weekend home of the Woo family, a masterwork of modernist architecture sequestered high in the rolling Vermont hills.

Mark Lamster
Tormented Youth

Next week the MET will put on display Michelangelo's "Torment of Saint Anthony," reputedly the artist's first painting.

Mark Lamster
Bowery on the Beach?

Has Leigh Bowery, said to have died more than a decade ago, been hiding out on the Coney Island boardwalk sporting a mullet all along?

Mark Lamster
BEA Report: 10 Fall Books (+1) for Your Library

It has been a grim year for publishing, which accounts for the unusually restrained mood this past weekend at Book Expo America, the industry's annual trade show.

Mark Lamster
Urban Camouflage

As the Magritte Museum was prepared for its unveiling, the building was cloaked by a brilliant trompe-l'oeil construction wall, very much in the spirit of the artist.

Mark Lamster
Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day in America, so let's talk for a moment about memorials.

Mark Lamster
How We Decide

In the latest episode of CBC's WireTap, "The Deciders," host Jonathan Goldstein walks me through one of those difficult decisions we all are faced with at some point: Should I go to the doctor?

Mark Lamster
On Muses

Lee Siegel has a wonderful piece in today's WSJ on the history and decline of the muse in art.

Mark Lamster
Triumph of the Will (Or, Everything Old Is New Again)

In the New Yorker this week, Jonah Lehrer writes about a psychological study suggesting that self control, or the ability to delay gratification, more strongly correlates with long-term success than intelligence.

Mark Lamster
Back to the Future

Over on the Itinerant Urbanist, Karrie Jacobs recently wrote about her first impression of Daniel Libeskind's addition to the Contemporary Jewish Museum, in San Francisco.

Mark Lamster
Tbilisi's Hotel Iveria: A Defense

There's a piece on Oobject today that lists what that site claims are the fifteen worst “housing projects from hell.”

Mark Lamster
Friendship's Offering

Behold the first known book jacket, for an 1829 literary anthology. It was discovered at Oxford's Bodleian Library, minus the book it once encased.

Mark Lamster
Internally Yours

Is it me, or did the New Yorker just retroactively invent a new architectural movement?

Mark Lamster
Curse of the Bambino Strikes Again!

Good Lord! Is the new house jinxed?

Mark Lamster
Auction Block

I'm not much of a buyer, but I do like to keep an eye on the baseball memorabilia market, a project undertaken with a combination of curiosity, envy, bemusement, and sheer stupefaction.

Mark Lamster
Theirs Go to Twaalf

Meet Lamster (no relation), Belgium's ascendant metal goliath.

Mark Lamster
Bronx Cheer

To say that I've been disappointed by coverage of the new Yankee Stadium by the design press would be an understatement, as noted in this "rant" column for ID magazine.

Mark Lamster
Thomas Jefferson: (Henpecked) Jewish President

That Thomas Jefferson had an African-American lover is by now common knowledge. Few, however, realize he had a Jewish grandmother, a fact too often neglected by chauvinistic historians.

Mark Lamster
Look Both Ways: On the Streets of Philadelphia

Last week I found myself with a couple of hours to kill in Philadelphia and decided to spend them at the art museum.

Mark Lamster

Would you believe it's those shifty Canucks, and not the spooks at the NSA, who have the Lamster phonelines tapped? Outrageous but true.

Mark Lamster

While it's true that the events of 9/11 have begotten a good number of ill-conceived memorials, the latest, set for unveiling today at the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa, might just be the least successful, artistically.

Mark Lamster
De meester van de schaduw

My esteemed Dutch publisher, De Bezige Bij ("the busy bee"), has released its summer catalog and De meester van de schaduw (aka Master of Shadows) is in there, billed as a non-fiction thriller and scheduled for a September release.

Mark Lamster
Fishin' for Glory

The King of Kvetch takes to the airwaves tomorrow; I'll be appearing on the latest episode of Jonathan Goldstein's brilliant radio program Wiretap, on the CBC.

Mark Lamster
Access Denied

In putting together the images for Master of Shadows, my publisher placed a permissions request to use a painting from the collection of the Norton Simon Foundation, in Los Angeles, only to be denied.

Mark Lamster
Splendor on the Grass

What makes a great tennis match great? I started asking myself this question while I was putting together a review of A Terrible Splendor, a new book hooked on a 1937 Davis Cup.

Mark Lamster
Seattle PI: RIP

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer was founded 146 years ago, when that city was an industrial backwater on Elliot Bay, a timber town with more logs than people.

Mark Lamster
The Best of NY: Yours Truly

What I've always known is now established fact, as certified by the weekly record of this great city.

Mark Lamster
Save the Library Redux

Could it be that the sour economy is the best friend of the good old library?

Mark Lamster
After Peter Paul Rubens (Long After)

Perusing the Christie's website a few days ago, I noticed a print attributed to William Pether "after Peter Paul Rubens."

Mark Lamster
Save the Library

These are tough times for those of us who care about books. The publishing industry is in a tailspin; electronic readers and the Internet are challenging the primacy of the printed page.

Mark Lamster
Planet M

My friend Gideon Lewis-Kraus's beautifully written Harper's piece on the last Frankfurt Book Fair is the talk of the publishing world.

Mark Lamster
Defending Alice

The new Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center opens on Sunday — it looks great — and the reviews are starting to flow in. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and fairly dismissive of the original hall, by Pietro Belluschi and Eduardo Catalano.

Mark Lamster
Michael Jackson, Automotive Designer

I know, Michael Jackson has done some terrible things. Tax evasion. Absconding with the Beatles catalog. Child molestation. We Are the World. But this — is design even the word for it?

Mark Lamster
Annals of Branding, Redux

The design elves over at Pepsico have been very busy of late, as noted here last week regarding the (awful) new logo for the corporate flagship and the (much hated) new packaging for Tropicana.

Mark Lamster
Roid Rage

The baseball world is up-in-arms over the revelations that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroid use a few years ago. My suggestion: move along, folks.

Mark Lamster
The Real Thing

Tropicana has been getting a lot of flack over its redesigned juice cartons. Steve Heller called the rebranding "a mistake." Jason Kottke simply dubbed it "sucky." Let me respectfully disagree.

Mark Lamster
Pastrami on Rye

A new project: documenting some favorite New York dining establishments.

Mark Lamster
Complaint Dept. (Redux)

Most complaints in sixty seconds, a new world record. You've read the transcript. Now watch the video.

Mark Lamster
A Letter to the President

A letter to Barack Obama the day after his inauguration.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: The Cover

Behold the cover for Master of Shadows, which releases this coming October.

Mark Lamster
Who Needs Two?

In this brutal economy, the Yankees have enlisted Prudential Douglas Elliman to help them move high-end seats at their new stadium.

Mark Lamster

Billy Crystal is one of those guests talk show producers adore, and if you were watching Letterman last night you know why.

Mark Lamster
If the Wire Cast Was a Football Team

The Baltimore Ravens look pretty formidable going into the AFC Championship game, but I wonder if this squad from Charm City could give them a run for their money.

Mark Lamster
Complaint Dept.

The complaint has always been my great metier, the form in which I am a non-pareil master. Last night I became an honest-to-goodness world record holder in my favored idiom.

Mark Lamster
Malcolm and Alex

Just how much of an outlier is Alex Rodriguez?

Mark Lamster
Yankee Stadium: Remembered

Memories of Yankee Staidum vary for every fan, but the feeling of pure American nostalgia is the same for all.

Mark Lamster
Memories of Yankee Stadium

The opportunity to sit in the Yankee Stadium cheap seats close to the field and to become a part of a community was very special. One of the things I find most troubling about the new ballpark is that this opportunity will be dramatically compromised.

Mark Lamster
Practice Does Not Make Perfect

The J-E-T-S spent $75 million this year on a state-of-the-art new training facility designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, but they may still miss the playoffs.

Mark Lamster
A Horrible Machine

Check out my essay on the classic scout song "Dunderbeck" in the latest issue (no. 6) of the always gnaw-worthy Meatpaper.

Mark Lamster
How the West Was Lost

My reviews of two new photography books.

Mark Lamster
Return of the Prodigal Son

Can Alexander Brodsky reinvent Russian architecture?

Mark Lamster
Seeing Red

Red Bogart blamed technology and changing attitudes for the reason he sold Camp Tomahawk, but Mark Lamster knew there was something more to the story.

Mark Lamster
The Collector

Jefferson R. Burdick transformed the act of baseball card collecting into a culture of commercialism, an achievement that haunted him throughout his career.

Mark Lamster
Notes From the Other Georgia

With a past of urban decay and trauma, the city of Tbilisi faces a precarious future.

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