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Prince Charles Doesn't Really Get Postmodernism

A recent piece in The Art Newspaper details the 1980s battle between postmodernist American architect Robert Venturi and Charles, Prince of Wales over a false Corinthian column that Venturi wanted to add as a decorative element to his extension of the National Gallery in London. The main thing that emerges during the story is that Princes Charles, a trustee of the Gallery, unsurprisingly, either does not get or isn't really interested in getting what Venturi is going for. And man does he hate that column. "A column as an architectural feature should act as a support," he declared at a board meeting in 1987. Venturi threatened to quit and the column stayed. After the extension was complete in 1991, Prince Charles wrote in the preface to a book that the National Gallery itself published on the new wing, "The debate will now rage, I'm sure, about how good a building Mr Venturi has given us. I will leave that to others to decide—though I will say that I think the interiors are very promising."
· Architects vs Prince Charles: if the column goes, we go [The Art Newspaper, via Archinect]