Overview

The History, Theory and Criticism of Architecture and Art program aims to produce leading-edge scholars and intellectuals in the field of art and architectural history. We place a strong emphasis on historiography and analytical methodologies. Course offerings deal with the social and physical context of the built environment, the significant issues in current disciplinary thinking, as well as with the philosophical, political, and material context for works of art and architecture. We are proud of our long-standing relationship to and connection with peer institutions all around the world. Our faculty members explore the development of salient attitudes regarding art and architectural works, and produce interdisciplinary tools for probing the wider significance of such shifts over time. The HTC Forum Lecture Series, the Aga Khan Lecture Series, Thresholds (the departmental journal), and the Research in Progress Symposium are just some of the activities that are organized by us for the enrichment of all.

The program's strengths can be summarized as:

  • History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture, Art and Urban Form
  • Late Medieval through Baroque, 19th and 20th Centuries
  • International

The goal of the HTC program is to prepare students for an intellectual life in universities, in architecture schools, and in architectural practice. Emphasis is placed simultaneously on critical method and historical substance. Students are encouraged to identify research projects that are relevant to their own concerns and allow them to reflect on contemporary issues. At the same time, the program demands rigorous historical scholarship. It is this combination, we believe, that leads to real change in the ways we think about art and architecture and write their history.

HTC is a unique program in American education. Its location within the oldest school of architecture in the U.S. focuses attention on interdisciplinary issues in contemporary practice and distinguishes it from the art history departments of universities. A number of the HTC faculty have professional degrees as well as academic ones and this contributes to the interaction of practice and scholarship that is unique to this environment. Faculty also have strong ties to MIT Resources available to art and architectural historians as well as artists. Alone among the graduate programs in architecture schools, HTC hosts a substantial curriculum in art history. Its theoretical and critical orientation constitutes an important part of the education of all the students in the program.