In the beginning was Vasari and in the beginning was Palladio. In his Vite Vasari described the lives of painters, sculptors and architects—the context of architectural creation, one may be tempted to say in our modern idiom. In the fourth book of his I quattro libri Palladio presented extensive comprehensive surveys of Roman temples—his was the first systematic publication of architectural works themselves. Since the Renaissance, the discipline of architectural history has been a combination of both approaches. Some architectural historians have been originally trained as art historians, other as architects, and this dual background has decisive for the development of architectural historiography.
It is the history of the discipline of architectural history and its perspectives that interest us in our colloquium: the history of scholarly approaches, their implications and developments through history—but also historical perspectives on where it is going, including, for instance, the changes in scholarship effected by digital technologies or the positioning of the discipline in the rapidly changing academic world. Compared to the histories of painting or sculpture, architectural history is more institutionalized, with a wide range of established societies and specialist publications—but what is the history of that institutionalzsation and how did its goals change through history? Many historians of painting or sculpture work in museums, while architectural museums are rare; many architectural historians are directly involved in the preservation of architectural heritage, while few historians of painting or sculpture work in the conservation of their objects of study. What is then the history of architectural historians’ involvement with architectural heritage and how did their approaches change through history? And more specifically, pertaining to architectural history itself, how did the interest in our discipline develop and how did it develop discipline-specific methodological tools and devices?
For more information see: http://arthistoriography.wordpress.com/colloquia