James S. Ackerman: Origins, Invention, Revision

October 11, 2016
James S. Ackerman:  Origins, Invention, Revision


An illuminating collection of essays from the preeminent scholar of architectural history and theory

One of the most distinguished scholars in the fields of architectural history and theory today, James Sloss Ackerman is best known for his work on Italian masters such as Palladio and Michelangelo. In this collection of essays, Ackerman offers insight into his formation and development as a scholar, as well as reflections on a range of topics. Concise, lucid, and original, this book presents deep syntheses alongside innovative approaches and a broadening geographical and chronological reach. Ackerman’s enduring fascination with architecture was one unforeseen consequence of his military service in World War II, and the collection includes a revealing account of his part in the liberation of Milan as a soldier in the Fifth American Regiment. These essays represent a unique, personal journey—from the Italian Renaissance to the classical architecture of India and the work of Frank Gehry at the new museum of the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
James S. Ackerman is the Harvard University Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts Emeritus. 


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Prof. Sarah Lewis interviewed by the Harvard Gazette

September 30, 2016
Prof. Sarah Lewis interviewed by the Harvard Gazette


This fall, Sarah Lewis ’97 began teaching the course “Vision & Justice: The Art of Citizenship” as the newest member of the History of Art and Architecture faculty. The topic has long been one of interest to Lewis, whose experience includes early acclaim as a painter — top honors in the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics for a still life — and work as a curator at both MoMA in New York and the Tate Modern in London. Now an author and scholar, she chatted with the Gazette about her time as an undergrad and the powerful, sometimes devastating moments along her journey back to Harvard...  an additional article

Prof. Alina Payne and Director of I Tatti Lectures at the Louvre: Conferences and Seminars The Living Architecture

September 30, 2016
Prof. Alina Payne and Director of I Tatti Lectures at the Louvre:  Conferences and Seminars The Living Architecture

The role of the human figure as an area shared by all the arts will be at the heart of the first conference, where the architecture will be considered in its deep ties with the body. This is also an opportunity to examine how, in the Renaissance, we define both the artistic territories and their boundaries (as cited in discussions of paragone the sixteenth century), at a time when the work the artist becomes a place of reflection on art as a standalone category and where the nature of the artistic work is defined with some urgency.

Professor of art history and architecture at Harvard University, Alina Payne is currently director of the Villa I Tatti - The Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. His first architectural training (BArch, McGill University) has led it to consider an approach to architectural history from the perspective of its material and artistic work. She was a visiting professor at various institutions: Harvard University, Villa I Tatti (Florence) Kunsthistorisches / Max Planck Institute (Florence), Practical School of Higher Studies (Paris), Hertziana / Max Planck Institute (Rome), University of Palermo University of Rome "Tor Vergata". She is a member of the editorial board of several international journals (Res Journal of Aesthetics and Anthropology;. I Tatti Studies, Journal of Art Historiography;. Lexicon Storie e architettura in Sicilia e nel Mediterraneo and Architectural Histories) and the series Renovatio Atrium ( Harvey Miller / Brepols). She was rewarded in 2006 by the price of the Human Sciences Research Max Planck and Alexander von Humboldt.

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2016 Cabot Fellows: Congratulations to Prof. Suzanne P. Blier, Prof. Jeffrey Hamburger, and Prof. Robin Kelsey

June 1, 2016

Eleven faculty members have been awarded 2016 Walter Channing Cabot Fellowships for their outstanding publications. The 2016 honorees are:

Suzanne Preston Blier, Allen Whitehill Clowes Professor of Fine Arts and of African and African American Studies, “Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity c. 1300” (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Khaled El-Rouayheb, James Richard Jewett Professor of Arabic and of Islamic Intellectual History, “Islamic Intellectual History in the Seventeenth-Century: Scholarly Currents in the Ottoman Empire and the Maghreb” (Cambridge University Press, 2015)

Marla Frederick, Professor of African and African American Studies and of Religion, “Colored Television: American Religion Gone Global” (Stanford University Press, 2015)

Susan Greenhalgh, John King and Wilma Cannon Fairbank Professor of Chinese Society, “Fat-talk Nation: The Human Costs of America’s War on Fat” (Cornell University Press, 2015)

Jeffrey Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture, “The Prayer Book of Ursula Begerin” co–authored with Nigel Palmer, 2 vols. (Urs Graf Verlag, 2015) and “Unter Druck: Mitteleuropäische Buchmalerei im Zeitalter Gutenbergs” co–authored with Robert Suckale and Gude Suckale–Redlefsen (Quaternio Verlag, 2015). [‘Under Pressure’: Central European Manuscript Illumination in the Age of Gutenberg]

Tamar Herzog, Monroe Gutman Professor of Latin American Affairs and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor, “Frontiers of Possession: Spain and Portugal in Europe and the Americas” (Harvard University Press, 2015)

Robin Kelsey, Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography, “Photography and the Art of Chance” (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2015)

Deidre Shauna Lynch, Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Literature, “Loving Literature: A Cultural History” (University of Chicago Press, 2015)

John M. Mugane, Professor of the Practice of African Languages and Cultures and Director of the African Language Program, “The Story of Swahili” (Ohio University Press, 2015)

Kate van Orden, Dwight P. Robinson Jr. Professor of Music, “Materialities: Books, Readers, and the Chanson in 16th-Century Europe” (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Nicholas Watson, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature, “John of Morigny’s Liber florum celestis doctrine: An Edition and Commentary” with Claire Fanger (Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2015)

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Congratulations to our Graduates!

May 19, 2016

Erdmann, Mark, “Azuchi Castle: Architectural Innovation and Political Legitimacy in Sixteenth-Century Japan”

Jasienski, Adam Michal, “In the Guise of Holiness: Sanctity and Portraiture in the Early Modern Hispanic World”

Marx, Nadia Lares, “Images of Adam and the Lure of Antiquity in Medieval Sculpture”

Pullins, David Edward, “Cut and Paste:  the mobile image from Watteau to Robert”

Stark, Trevor, “Total Expansion of the Letter: Cubism, Dada, Mallarmé”

Taner, Melis, “Painting in Baghdad in te Late Sixteenth-Early Seventeenth Centuries”

Yoon, Hye Won, “Exile at Work:  The Portrait Photography of Gisèle Freund, Lisette Model, and Lotte Jacobi, 1930-1955”

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Congratulations to Heeyoung Angie Jo, this year's winner of a Bowdoin Prize in the English Language for her essay "How a Civic Building Means: The Languages of Boston City Hall."

April 29, 2016
Congratulations to Heeyoung Angie Jo, this year's winner of a Bowdoin Prize in the English Language for her essay "How a Civic Building Means: The Languages of Boston City Hall."

Boston City Hall—like many Brutalist buildings—has aroused intensely polarized receptions.​  Architectural professionals ​have ​champion​ed​ the building as a stronghold of “dignity, humanism, and power,” while the public ​has condemned it as “the ugliest building in America.”​  ​​This essay is an act of translation and empathy for both the ​architectural ​​languages​ through which the building has been understood.  How and what does Boston City Hall mean?  What discrepancies existed between these languages that produced such violent breakages in meaning?  These questions confront an important and unresolved problem in architecture—how to create civic buildings that resonate with both those who design and those who use them​.​

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