Art & Architecture

A Personal Canon: Benjamin Anderson on Five Influential Texts

Art history may have or be an archive (even a canon!), but it is also a process of translation, remediation, and remaking. Here are five nodes in a network: Robert Wood’s Palmyra (1753): a transfer from architecture to print. In 1751, funded and accompanied by slave-owner and planter James “Jamaica”

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Mechanics, Choreography, and Gender Roles

Emily Coates and Sarah Demers— The relationship between forces described in Newton’s 3rd Law enables us to perform all of our daily actions—sitting, standing, walking, running, skipping, jumping. Whereas physicists can predict the average forces involved in each of these actions, suggesting a certain consistency in their value and interpretation,

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A Personal Canon: Patricia Mainardi on Five Influential Texts

In thinking about writing that has been important to me, I chose publications that did not simply tell me something previously unknown but rather shaped my conceptual framework by opening new ways of thinking about issues. These stand out: Maurice Merleau-Ponty, “Eye and Mind”, translated by Carleton Dallery, in The

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Resilient Design: Innovation for Future Uncertainty

Jon Coaffee— Recent scientific research has revealed that we have drastically underestimated the threat of climate change, with the impacts of sea level rise and extreme weather abnormalities likely to be felt most dramatically in large urban conurbations. Almost exactly seven years after Hurricane Sandy hit the US Eastern seaboard causing devastation

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Ep. 78 – L.A. graffiti in a whole new light

Susan A. Phillips talks about her deeply researched study of Los Angeles graffiti that includes marks made by hobos, prisoners, pachucos, surfers, punks, grips, taggers, seafarers, and more. Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Spotify | Soundcloud

Silence and Gordon Bunshaft

Nicholas Adams– At times, writing about the architect Gordon Bunshaft (1909–1990), former chief designer for the firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), was like writing about a sulky teenager. Architects, of course, have lots of ways of talking. Philip Johnson was garrulous––people liked to say that he talked a

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A Personal Canon: Eric Mumford on Five Influential Texts

Here is my selection of five books that have defined and redefined urbanism since 1850… Camillo Sitte, City Building according to artistic principles (1889) As an arts and crafts educator in Vienna in the 1880s, concerned about what he saw as the soulless and mechanical extensions of European cities, Sitte

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What Is a Color, Anyway?

David Scott Kastan— Our lives are saturated by color. The sky above us is blue (or gray or pink or purple or nearly black). The grass we walk on is green, though sometimes it is brown. Our skin has color, though not exactly the color we normally ascribe to it.

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A Personal Canon: Christina Weyl on Five Influential Texts

Here are five books that shaped the study of women printmakers active in the twentieth century. James Watrous, A Century of American Printmaking, 1880-1980 (1984) Watrous’s well-researched survey of American printmaking was the first book I accessed on the subject as an undergraduate, when writing my senior thesis at Georgetown.

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A Personal Canon: Stephen Houston on Five Influential Texts

Books can amuse, provoke, and uplift. The best ones are also, just a bit, like CRISPR technology. That breakthrough allows biochemists to edit genomes. Potent, lasting books reedit our minds.   For me, CRISPR works are not the writings that made a difference to Western art historians. Richard Stone and

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