TITLE: A History of Russian Architecture
SPEAKER: William Brumfield
EVENT DATE: 12/01/2005
RUNNING TIME: 69 minutes
Architectural historian and photographer William Craft Brumfield discussed his book, "A History of Russian Architecture."
The book is the most comprehensive study of Russian architecture in English, of interest to both scholars and general audiences. Illustrated with photographs taken by Brumfield, "The History of Russian Architecture" is divided into four parts: the early medieval period up to the Mongol invasion; the revival of architecture in Novgorod and Muscovy from the 14th to 17th centuries; Peter the Great's cultural revolution; and the advent of modern, avant-garde and monumental Soviet architecture.
Brumfield, professor of Russian studies at Tulane University, New Orleans, was in residence at the Kluge Center while Tulane was closed due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
Speaker Biography: William Craft Brumfield is professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University, where he also lectures at the School of Architecture. He earned his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages (specializing in 19th-century Russian literature and history) at the University of California, Berkeley. He was assistant professor at Harvard University (1974-80) and has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Wisconsin (1973-74) and Virginia (1985-86). He has also received grant support from institutions such as IREX, the Kennan Institute, the American Council of Teachers of Russian, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research and the Kress Foundation. In 1997 he received the annual Faculty Research Award from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Tulane. He is the author and photographer of a number of other works on Russian architecture: "Gold in Azure: One Thousand Years of Russian Architecture" (Boston: David Godine, Publisher, 1983); "The Origins of Modernism in Russian Architecture" (Univ. of California Press, 1991); "Lost Russia: Photographing the Ruins of Russian Architecture" (Duke Univ. Press, 1995); and "Landmarks of Russian Architecture: A Photographic Survey" (Gordon and Breach Publishers, 1997). His "A History of Russian Architecture" (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993) was included in The New York Times Book Review "Notable Books of the Year 1993." His photographs of Russian architecture, which have been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums, are part of the collection of the Photographic Archives at the National Gallery of Art. His recent shows include "The Russian Art of Building in Wood" (a traveling exhibit sponsored by the National Humanities Center) and "Lost Russia: Photographs by William Brumfield," which opened at the Duke University Museum of Art in January 1996 and has since appeared at the New Orleans Museum of Art (November 1996-February 1997), the University of Michigan Museum of Art and other museums. He has lived in Russia for a total of almost five years and has done graduate and post-doctoral research at Moscow and Leningrad Universities, as well as at the Russian Institute of Art History in Moscow. He co-directed the NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty "Moscow: Architecture and Art in Historical Perspective," held in Moscow during the summer of 1994, and has since conducted annual summer seminars for college faculty under the auspices of the Russian Institute of Art History.