Art and Architecture of Southeast Asia before 1200 CE

An ancient wall painting depicting the awakening of the Buddha Taṇhaṅkara in Upali Thein temple, Bagan, Myanmar / Photo by Jacklee, Wikimedia Commons The art and architecture of Southeast Asia was heavily influenced by Indian religions and artistic styles. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Sculpture in Southeast Asia Overview: Influences[…]

Native South American Art and Architecture before 1300 CE

Machu Picchu Exploring the work of South American indigenous people’s before colonization. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.12.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Ceramics in Early South America The ceramic objects of the Paracas, Nazca, and Moche communities of Peru vary in artistic forms and were important cultural artifacts. Like the Tiwanaku and Waki people of[…]

A Very Brief Introduction to Gothic Architecture

View from north-east of Reims Cathedral (High Gothic) / Photo by G.Garitan, Wikimedia Commons By Valerie Spanswick / 08.08.2015 Freelance Writer, History of Art and Architecture Forget the association of the word “Gothic” to dark, haunted houses, Wuthering Heights, or ghostly pale people wearing black nail polish and ripped fishnets. The original Gothic style was actually developed[…]

Ornament in Contemporary Iranian Architecture

The Āmeri House is a historic house in Kashan, in Isfahan Province, in Iran / Photo by Mastafameraji, Wikimedia Commons Examining the status of ornamental practices in contemporary Iranian architecture.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Fatemeh Ahani, Dr. Iraj Etessam, and Dr. Seyed Gholamreza Islami / 12.28.2017 Ahani: Department of Art and Architecture, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University Etessam: Department[…]

The Sacred and the Sensual: Experiencing the Medieval Eroticain Temples of Khajuraho, India

Various statues carved on the temple walls depicting the Indian Gods in various moods. / Photo by Ankit Saha, Wikimedia Commons While most temples in India are considered to be sacred sites for pilgrimage and worship, a group of twenty-two temples at Khajuraho are known for the thousands of erotic carvings that saturate its exterior[…]

Public Spaces of Xi’an: Balancing Past and Future

Wikimedia Commons The emerging field of public history in Xi’an is essential to the city’s identity. By Luke Stanek / 09.26.2016 Council on East Asian Studies Yale University In cities like Xi’an, with such rich historical traditions, the People’s Republic of China faces the task of reckoning with history. In order to establish where China is going,[…]

Urban Theory and Performative Streetscapes

dwell.com Looking at the urban social history of Accra through the singular Oxford Street, part of the city’s most vibrant and globalized commercial district. By Dr. Ato Quayson / 09.03.2014 Professor of Literature University of Toronto The news caused ripples on ghanaweb.com, the Ghanaian website that carries information and news on the country for both locals and those[…]

Caryatid Columns of Ancient Greece

A detail of the south porch of the Erechtheion temple on the Athenian acropolis. The building was constructed between 421 to 406 BCE to house the ancient wooden cult statue of Athena and as a shrine to various local deities including Erechtheus. / Photo by Dennis Jarvis, Flickr, Creative Commons The term Caryatid first appears in the 4th century BCE and[…]

Bronze Age Mycenaean Art and Architecture

The Lion Gate at Mycenae / Photo by Andreas Trepte, Wikimedia Commons The art and architecture of Mycenaean citadel sites reflects the society’s war-like culture and its constant need for protection and fortification. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Mycenaean Architecture Introduction Mycenaean culture can be summarized by its architecture, whose remains[…]

Bronze Age Minoan Art and Architecture

The North Portico in Knossos, Crete, Greece / Photo by Bernard Gagnon, Wikimedia Commons The Protopalatial period of Minoan civilization (1900 to 1700 BCE) and the Neopalatial Period (1700 to 1450 BCE) saw the establishment of administrative centers on Crete and the apex of Minoan civilization, respectively. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 07.14.2018 Historian[…]

The Late Medieval Art of Domenico Ghirlandaio at the Church of Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella (Leon Battista Alberti was responsible for the façade, completed in 1470) By Dr. Sally Hickson / 08.09.2015 Associate Professor of Art History University of Guelph A treasure house of Renaissance art The Church of Santa Maria Novella, adjacent to the train station of the same name, is a treasure-house of Florentine art of[…]

The Construction Phases of the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China, built 221 BCE-1664 CE. / Photo by Emily Mark, Creative Commons Mark of national pride, failure as originally intended. By Emily Mark / 08.22.2015 Historian The Great Wall of China is a barrier fortification in northern China running west-to-east 13,171 miles (21,196 km) from the Jiayuguan Pass (in the west) to the Hushan Mountains in[…]

Leon Battista Alberti and the Basilica of Sant’Andrea in Mantua

Leon Battista Alberti, Basilica of Sant’Andrea, 1472-90, Mantua (Italy) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC: BY-NC-SA 3.0) By Dr. Heather H. Horton / 08.09.2015 Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Art and Design Pratt Institute Mantua’s relic In the Fifteenth Century, pilgrims flocked to the Basilica of Sant’Andrea to venerate the most famous relic in the[…]

Leon Battista Alberti and the Palazzo Rucellai of Renaissance Florence

Leon Battista Alberti, Palazzo Rucellai, c. 1446-51, Florence (Italy) By Christine Zappella / 08.09.2015 PhD Student in Medieval and Early Modern Art University of Chicago Humanist architecture for a private home Leon Battista Alberti, Palazzo Rucellai, c. 1446-5, Florence (Italy) By 1450, the skyline of Florence was dominated by Brunelleschi’s dome. Although Brunelleschi had created[…]

Smelting Pot: The Statue of Liberty and Copper, Promises and Dreams

Consider two terminals of American architecture, one positive, one negative, in an epicenter of global capital flows: a colossus and a void. By Dr. Jennifer Scappettone Department of English The University of Chicago Consider two terminals of American architecture, one positive, one negative, in an epicenter of global capital flows: a colossus and a void.[…]

The Agora in Ancient Greece and Rome

A model of the agora of Athens at its maximum extension during the 2nd century CE. (Agora Museum, Athens) / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons The word Agora was an ‘open place of assembly’ in the ancient Graeco-Roman world. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 09.02.2009 Professor of Philosophy Marist College The word Agora (pronounced ‘Ah-go-RAH’) is Greek for ‘open place of assembly’ and, early[…]

The Architecture of Medieval Synagogues in Toledo, Spain

View of Toledo, Spain with the Samuel Halevi Abulafia synagogue at the center and the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes in the background (photo: Yildori, CC BY-SA 3.0) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 04.06.2018 Associate Professor of Art History, Department Chair Indiana University By the time the first surviving synagogues were built in Spain, Jews had[…]

Pyramids and Sculpture of Old Kingdom Egypt

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.25.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief The Pyramids of the Old Kingdom The Old Kingdom of Egypt existed from the third through the sixth Dynasties (2686 BC–2182 BC). A period of political stability and economic prosperity, it is characterized by revolutionary advancements in royal funerary architecture. Both Egyptian society and the[…]

Siena in the Late Gothic Period

View of the Piazza del Campo, Siena By Dr. Joanna Milk Mac Farland / 12.30.2015 Art Historian Siena: A city overlooked? Siena Cathedral For centuries, Siena’s role in the history of European art was underappreciated. This is partly because its moment of greatest influence occurred just before the Renaissance, a period commonly associated with the[…]

The Ada Louise Huxtable Archive

Portrait of Ada Louise Huxtable, 1970s. Photograph by L. Garth Huxtable. The Getty Research Institute, 2013.M.9 “Buildings have to stand up” said the critic, whose rich archive has been catalogued by the Getty Research Institute. By Laura Schroffel / 05.23.2014 Library Assistant in Special Collections Cataloging Getty Research Institute When reflecting on her lifetime of[…]

The History of Kathmandu Valley, as Told by Its Architecture

Kathmandu’s Darbar Square was one of the worst affected by the earthquake. Jool-yan/shutterstock.com Hundreds of monuments of the Kathmandu Valley’s World Heritage sites were completely destroyed on April 25. Here’s the story of a few of them. By Dr. Michael Hutt / 03.01.2015 Professor of Nepali and Himalayan Studies SOAS, University of London The Kathmandu Valley, which was already called “Nepal” centuries before the emergence of the modern[…]

Athena the Patron: The History of the Parthenon

The Parthenon seen from the hill of the Pnyx to the west / Wikimedia Commons The most recognized remaining architecture of Classical Athens and the culmination of the development of the Doric order. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction The Parthenon (Greek: Παρθενώνας) is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena built in the fifth century B.C.E. on the Acropolis[…]

A Brief History of Immersion, Centuries before VR

milliganpuss, Creative Commons We’ve never needed Oculus Rift to provide immersive experiences – they’ve been around for as long as we have. By Dr. Patrick T. Allen / 05.16.2018 Senior Lecturer in New Media Design University of Bradford Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But[…]

Reinventing Heritage Buildings Isn’t New At All – The Ancients Did It, Too

With the addition of minarets, Hagia Sophia was converted from a Christian basilica to an Islamic mosque. Candace Richards, Author provided Adaptive reuse and recycling of heritage architecture may be all the rage, but are not new. Making new buildings from old has a long history in the ancient world. By Candace Richards / 01.02.2017 Assistant Curator, Nicholson Museum University of Sydney In any debate on new construction[…]

The Unintended Consequences of UNESCO World Heritage Listing

UNESCO-listed heritage site Machu Picchu attracts around 1,000 tourists a day. Rodrigo Argenton/Wikipedia, Creative Commons Is UNESCO’s prestigious lists of tangible and intangible heritage damaging the very existence of the sites on them? By Dr. Chloé Maurel / 01.11.2017 French Historian Chercheuse associée à l’Institut d’histoire moderne et contemporaine (CNRS/Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université Paris 1) et à l’IRIS Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) The principle of world heritage promoted[…]

Ramesses and Nefertiti: The Abu Simbel Temple Complex

Great Temple of Ramesses II (left) and Small Temple of Nefertari (right) / Photo by Holger Weinandt, Wikimedia Commons Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt and located at the second cataract of the Nile River. By Dr. Joshua J. Mark / 08.09.2018 Professor of Philosophy Marist College Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex,[…]

The Art and Architecture of Early Dynastic Egypt, c.3100-2686 BCE

The funerary temple complex of Djoser / Photo by Lansbricae, Wikimedia Commons The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art, architecture and religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic Period. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 06.03.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Art in the Early Dynastic Period The Early Dynastic Period of Egypt immediately followed the[…]

Rome’s Flaminian Obelisk: An Epic Journey from Divine Egyptian Symbol to Tourist Attraction

Piazza del Popolo. Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-ND From the Temple of Heliopolis to the centre of Rome, the massive stone column has boosted the egos of several powerful men. By Dr. Nicky Nielsen / 05.03.2018 Lecturer in Egyptology University of Manchester It’s a great place to sit in the shade and enjoy a gelato. The base of the Flaminian Obelisk[…]