WE INTERPRET, PRESERVE + CURATE THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Through internship opportunities, both our undergraduate and graduate students enrich their academic education with hands-on experiences. A sample of recent internships that our students have completed include:
+ Newport Restoration Foundation
+ The Central Park Conservancy
+ The York (UK) Glaziers Trust
+ The National Building Museum
+ The University Architect's Office
Undergraduate and graduate students in Architectural History have access to a wide range of global study options. The School of Architecture leads a number of global programs, both during the semester and over the summer, including programs to Vicenza, Venice, and China. The Department of Architectural History also regularly teaches a January term in Italy. Graduate students in Architectural History can choose to take a fall semester at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. UVA School of Architecture promotes and creates ongoing research and travel opportunities for our students. Learn more about these international study opportunities through the link below.
In a rapidly transforming world, our most treasured heritage of the built environment is under constant threat, with that, our ability to think across space and time in guiding actions. World Heritage Lab is a multidisciplinary research and teaching cluster that responds to this threat by engaging critically with heritage theories and practices locally, nationally, and internationally. We examine World Heritage by addressing a range of sites, from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the University of Virginia and Monticello where we are based, through teaching and research sites in China, India, Barcelona, the Veneto, and beyond. More crucially, we put our understandings of heritage practice – its aims, meanings, and methods – into conversation with theories and practices well beyond those of the United States.
Engaging with heritage sites is both a technological challenge and an intellectual one. University of Virginia’s World Heritage Lab aims to engage in scientific research on digital heritage, advanced visualization tools, methods of analyses, and material science to build and expand our understanding of historical buildings and landscapes. It also aims to expand the horizon of understanding of the roles of the narratives of cultural heritage in the larger social and political construct of societies.
Many Master of Architectural History students go on to apply for one of the two PhD programs: PhD in Constructed Environment at the School of Architecture, and PhD in Art and Architectural History jointly taught by Department of Architectural History and McIntire Department of Art.
Graduates of Architectural History play enormously important roles in public institutions and professional organizations. They bring unique abilities through knowledge and understanding of architectural history to all future visions both global and local. The following is a small selection from our large network of dedicated alumni:
Among alumni of Architectural History, many are public architectural historians who render an indispensable public service to the world: Martin Perschler, Director of International Heritage Preservation Program of the U.S. Department of State, takes a leading role in the preservation and protection of cultural heritage around the world. Jaime Van Mourik, Vice President of Education Solutions at U.S. Green Building Council, works with higher education institutions to protect the environment through changes in higher education concerning building practices. Amanda Davis, Project Manager of New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project, oversees survey and research efforts, manages its interactive website (which she helped conceive), gives educational talks, and engages with various stakeholders to broaden the public's knowledge of LGBT history. Jen Masengarb, Senior Project Manager at the Danish Architectural Center, winner of A-School Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015, bridges the gap between architecture and the public. Emily Gee, Heritage Protection Team Leader at English Heritage in London, works to list and protect post-war cultural landmarks, including the famed Abby Road zebra crossing featured on the cover of the 1969 Beetles album. Calder Loth, winner of 2017 Architecture Medal for Virginia Service presented by AIA Virginia, is recognized for his tireless effort to preserve Virginia’s architectural legacy. Travis McDonald, Director of Architectural Restoration at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, oversees one of the most authentic architectural restorations that won the Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Niya Bates, Public Historian of Slavery and African American Life at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, tells the stories of enslaved and free people work lived and worked on the 5,000-care plantation of Thomas Jefferson. Elizabeth Hughes, Director of State Historic Preservation, Maryland Department of Planning, presides over the immensely important process of ensuring sustainable cultural heritage as development takes place.
One of the most important areas for our alumni is in critical and curatorial practices. A selection of our notable alumni in this area include: Chrysanthe Broikos, Curator at National Building Museum in Washington DC; Edward Chappell, Director of Architectural Research at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Silvina Fernandez-Duque, Program Coordinator at U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington DC; Jared Goss, Associate Curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Chandler McCoy, Director of Conserving Modern Architecture Initiative at the Getty Center in Los Angeles; Matilda MaQuaid, Curator of Textiles at Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York
Our Alumni continue to work in leading positions in practices in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, including: Stephen Apking, Partner of SOM in New York; Catherine Miliaras, Urban Planner in Historic Preservation, City of Alexandria in Virginia; Richard Nicholson, Senior Planner of City of Albany, New York
Among graduates of Architectural History are prominent scholars and researchers: Amber Wiley, Presidential associate professor of historic preservation at UPenn, researches the ways local and national bodies have made the claim for the dominating narrative and collective memory of cities and examines how preservation and public history contribute to the creation and maintenance of the identity and “sense of place” of a city. Burak Erdim, assistant professor at North Carolina State University, examines the operations of post-World War II planning cultures with a focus on transnational exchanges in housing and planning between multiple zones of reconstruction and development including but not limited to areas in North America, Europe, the Mediterranean, Africa, and the Middle East. Jonathan Farris, assistant professor at Youngstown University Ohio, focuses on the artistic and architectural products of cultural exchange between Asia and the West from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. Lee Gray, professor of architectural history and senior Associate Dean at University of North Carolina, is a prominent scholar in the history of vertical transportation. Thaisa Way, professor at University of Washington in Seattle, teaches and researches in feminist histories of landscape architecture and public space in cities. Victoria Young, professor of modern architectural history and Chair of Art History at University of St. Thomas, focuses her research on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, with special interests in sacred space, contemporary museums and the work of Frank Gehry.
Graduates of Department of Architectural History are well represented on the School of Architecture Young Alumni Council (AYAC), part of our School of Architecture Foundation. The Foundation is organized, among other goals, to provide support to our graduates through our incredibly strong alumni network.
Architectural history faculty conduct research in a wide range of areas: Sheila Crane investigates how urban landscapes in France and Algeria were transformed during the long struggle for independence and its continuing aftermath, as part of a larger development in the history of modern architecture and cities. Andrew Johnston focuses on research in industrial and infrastructure heritage, cultural landscapes, critical heritage studies, and heritage and preservation in China. Shiqiao Li studies Asian architecture and cities to highlight the operations of culturally and intellectually constructed values instrumental to the production of our constructed environment. Louis Nelson engages in research in the spaces of enslavement in West Africa and in the Americas, working to document and interpret the buildings and landscapes that shaped the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Lisa Reilly examines medial visual culture throughout the Romanesque world, and she is a leading early user of digital humanities technology. Richard Wilson has established a well-respected scholarship involving the architecture, design and art of the 18th to the 21st centuries in America and abroad. Ben Hays conducts historic research in building technology and teaches construction classes that learns from historical precedents. Yensheng Huang researches into the productive intersections between architectural traditions of East and West. Gennie Keller engages in public, private and academic practice combining a realistic assessment of political sensibilities with a firm belief in the power of visioning for inclusive, adaptive, and resilient historic places. Jill Lord researches in the history of nineteenth-century American architecture, particularly in relation to the role of architecture in the establishment of the public realm. Jessica Sewell researches into the relationships between gender and architecture, urban space, and material culture.
In Barcelona and Venice, the School of Architecture operates semester-long programs which incorporate the teaching of architectural history. In Barcelona, Juan Jose Lahuerta, Professor of Art History ETSAB and Director of the National Museum of Art in Catalonia, shares with our students the importance of historical and cultural conditions. Celia Marin discusses the intersections of architecture, urbanism, and cultural conservation through the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Josep Parcerisa Bundó, Chair of the Urban Design ETSAB, teaches Barcelona’s urban history. In Venice, Maddalena Scimemi, Resident Director of the School’s Venice Program, and professor at the University of Roma Tre and at the University of the San Marino Republic, researches in early cinquecento Roman architecture in relation to European contemporary debate. Monica Shenouda specializes in Italian Renaissance art and architecture, teaching on location in Italy showing how various media function within the larger architectural space and program.
At the School of Architecture, research in disciplinary histories in architecture, landscape architecture, and urban and environmental planning is a tremendous resource. Robin Dripps, in her recent research, writing, and teaching, deals with the pragmatic and poetic opportunities of a shift in interest from the figure to the intellectual and physical grounds, fields, and other networks that give order to human action. Nana Last works at the intersections between architecture, art, science and culture in modern and contemporary society, taking history as one the key components in the assemblage. Michael Lee focuses on ideological constructions of nature at the intersection of philosophy, literature, and landscape design, with a special interest in European garden history. Beth Meyer established a distinctive framework of history and theory of landscape architecture that has altered how practitioners around the world create new landscape imaginaries. Luis Pancorbo investigates the technical dimension of architecture and its influence on the methodology of architectural design, American industrial architecture, and industrial ruins and derelict productive landscapes, partly through his PhD research on the architecture of Albert Kahn. William Sherman examines dynamic cultural and environmental processes (including historic processes) in architectural design, ranging in scale from human physiology to global energy flows. Peter Waldman integrates historical incidents and frameworks into all creative acts in architectural design, ceaselessly embodying the energizing power of architectural history in architectural imagination.