The Art History Newsletter

Architecture Category Archives

Obit: Loretta Lorance

28 February 2011 | Architecture, Modern

Architectural historian Loretta Lorance died Feb. 26, of breast cancer, according to an email sent to the CAA Student Members list-serv. She obtained her PhD from CUNY, taught at various universities, and published the 2009 book Becoming Bucky Fuller with MIT Press. Felicity D. Scott reviewed the book in the September 2010 Journal of the [...]


The Art That Historians Forgot

9 November 2010 | Architecture

Need a dissertation topic? Turkish journalist Kayber Avc? writes on the forgotten and crumbling yet beautiful “cisterns of Mu?la“: Cisterns whose construction was sponsored by Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (Suleiman the Magnificent) to supply water for his army on a military campaign against Rhodes in 1520 are today trying to survive the destructive effects of time. [...]


Glamorous Architecture

23 September 2010 | Architecture, Books

It’s not too often that authors of university-press books are interviewed in The New York Times. I belatedly noticed this Q&A from July with “American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture” author Alice T. Friedman. Apparently it was her use of the word “glamour” in her title that did the trick. But then she [...]


‘architecture does not narrate’

13 August 2010 | Architecture, Books, Renaissance

In, Roy Eriksen considers Christoph Luitpold Frommel’s 2007 book The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance: The publisher of The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance describes it as “a landmark survey and analysis of Italian Renaissance architecture by an internationally renowned expert in the field.” The claims are true … He channels into the volume [...]


Tilting at Towers

28 July 2010 | Architecture

From The Telegraph: Professor John Burland has spent the last two decades striving to save – and understand – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. After defying gravity, Italian bureaucracy and accusations of corruption, it seems he’s finally cracked the case … By a quirk of local geography, Pisa’s water-table rose higher on the tower’s north [...]


Günter Behnisch 1922-2010

27 July 2010 | Architecture

The architect Günter Behnisch, who designed the 1972 Olympic Park in Munich together with engineer Frei Otto, died July 12th in Stuttgart, at the age of 88.


A ‘Colossal’ Text

16 July 2010 | Ancient, Architecture, Books

In, Thomas J. Morton considers a new book by Katherine E. Welch: The Colosseum, more than any other building from ancient Rome, is routinely the subject of both scholarly and popular texts. While it seems that important studies are published on this structure every year, rarely does any attain the status of definitive text. [...]


‘What is Architectural History?’

13 July 2010 | Architecture, Books, Theory

In his new book What is Architectural History? Andrew Leach surveys the history and current state of the discipline. His book is written for students and professionals, and assumes a certain familiarity with architecture. There is considerable new material for him to synthesize — architectural history and historiography have both been expanding. He argues that [...]


Museum of Strife

8 July 2010 | Architecture, Contemporary, Museums

The Winter 2010 issue of Critical Inquiry is gripping, and I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention. Editor W.J.T. Mitchell gives the background in his introduction: In the spring of 2009, Critical Inquiry received an article from [UCLA English and comparative literature professor] Saree Makdisi critiquing the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation’s proposed Museum of Tolerance in [...]


The Ponte Vecchio

28 June 2010 | Architecture, Medieval, Renaissance

In the Wall Street Journal, Jay Pridmore considers Florence’s Ponte Vecchio: When the morning sun reaches across the Arno and hits the varied ochre tones, the whole bridge glows as one in the hazeless Florentine light. Visually, distinct elements weave together like immutable strands— genius, commerce and tyranny, to name three big ones—of the Florentine [...]


‘The Powerhouse of the New’

18 June 2010 | Architecture, Modern, Museums

In the June 24, 2010, New York Review of Books, Martin Filler reviews the “remarkable concatenation of survey exhibitions, monographic retrospectives, and their accompanying publications [that] marked the ninetieth anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus”: [T]he Bauhaus has finally been explained to the museum-going public in terms much closer to its actual intent and [...]


Heavenly Vaults

16 June 2010 | Architecture, Medieval

Designboom posts a blurb and excerpt from David Stephenson, Heavenly Vaults: From Romanesque to Gothic in European Architecture (Princeton Architectural Press, 2009). (See also a review by Marcus Bunyan of the 2009 exhibition at John Buckley Gallery, Richmond, Australia; 2007 show at Julie Saul and Brian Sholis review.) What appeals to me about this project is 1) seriality as a way of [...]


‘Celebrity Houses, Celebrity Politics’

14 June 2010 | Architecture

Historians of contemporary architecture (and television) will find interesting this essay by Daniel Harris, “Celebrity Houses, Celebrity Politics,” in the winter 2010 Antioch Review: Elegance in the eyes of many celebrities is bound up with the concept of hugeness. Size and quantity are the key tenets of their aesthetic. Their houses are not prettier and [...]


How should we look at public art?

19 May 2010 | Americas, Architecture, Awards, Books, Modern, Museums, News

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced that it awarded the annual Eldredge Prize to Kirk Savage for his book Monument Wars.   I should disclose that I am far from impartial on this topic–Savage was my advisor in graduate school.  That said, I think that his book is notable as a model for future scholarship. Rather than framing the official monuments, [...]


Ruskin on Venice

6 May 2010 | Architecture, Theory

Robert Hewison’s Ruskin on Venice has been reviewed by Steve Donoghue, Jonathan Glancey, Jonathan Wright, and Kevin Jackson.  The productive tension between Ruskin’s Protestant moral sense, and his sensual affection for the visual arts, resulted in a distinctive prose variously termed “idiosyncratic,” “incomparable,” “magnificent,” and “gorgeous, insanely overwrought.”


Obit: Anne Prache

6 May 2010 | Architecture, Medieval

A recent Bulletin Monumental (167-4) carries an obituary of Anne Prache (b. 1931), who died May 1, 2009. “A great figure in the history of art,” she was educated at the Ecole du Louvre and the Sorbonne, authored numerous books and articles, and eventually returned to the Sorbonne as professor of medieval art. She completed [...]


Siena, Lotto, Palladio

25 April 2010 | Architecture, Renaissance

Three recent reviews and essays on the Renaissance: Colm Tóibín on the stubbornness of Lorenzo Lotto, Rachel Spence on early Renaissance art in Siena,  and Nicolai Ouroussoff on “Palladio and His Legacy” at the Morgan Library.


JSAH’s New Information Architecture

8 April 2010 | Architecture, Journals

The online edition of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians is going high tech: The new illustrations include zoomable color photographs [and] videos, some of which are clips from historic films or works under review, while others represent three-dimensional models in a convenient way. Music, spoken word, and ambient noise are also part [...]


‘most influential architecture teacher ever’

17 September 2009 | Architecture, Teaching

From the Yale Daily News: After more than 60 years teaching art history and architecture at Yale, Sterling professor emeritus Vincent Scully is stepping away from the lectern and turning his attention to writing and research. At the age of 89, Scully — a New Haven native who over the years has been called Yale’s [...]


Profile: ­Mitchell ­Abdul Karim Crites

14 February 2009 | Architecture, Asia

From The National of Abu Dhabi: “Basically, I am an art historian,” he says by way of ­introduction, but this is a typically modest description. Since the 1970s, he has been one of the world’s leading forces behind the ­renaissance of traditional Islamic and Indian craftsmanship, arguing ­continually for their protection and that of those [...]