202 Jaffe Building

PDF icon Curriculum Vitae

David Brownlee is a historian of modern architecture whose interests embrace a wide range of subjects in Europe and America, from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Professor Brownlee has won numerous fellowships, and his work has earned three major publication prizes from the Society of Architectural Historians. He is a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.

After chairing the committees that proposed the reshaping of the University's undergraduate residences in 1997, he directed the implementation of a comprehensive system of College Houses and served as Director of the Office of College Houses and Academic Services for four years.

See Professor Brownlee’s lecture “The Fall and Rise of the World Trade Center,” given at the University Museum on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnLqLDFquUo

His film "Philadelphia: Our Nation's First World Heritage City," produced and directed by Sam Katz, was made in 2016 to explain Philadelphia's new designation, for which he had worked.  It is viewable at https://youtu.be/Jktrd4I681Q

And in 2019 he worked with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute of Architects to create a short film about the PSFS Building, winner of the "Fifty Year Timeless Award" from the AIA.

Selected Publications

His books include Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture (with David G. De Long,1991, translated into four other languages), Making a Modern Classic: The Architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997), Building America's First University: An Historical and Architectural Guide to the University of Pennsylvania (with George Thomas, 2000), Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates: Architecture, Urbanism, Design (with David De Long and Kathryn Hiesinger, 2001), and The Barnes Foundation: Two Buildings, One Mission (2012).

Courses Taught

History of Art 100 Freshman Seminar: Building Philadelphia (Spring 2015)
History of Art 101 Introduction to Western Art, from 1400 to the Present (Spring 2013)
History of Art 270 The Modern City (Fall 2014)
History of Art 271 Modern Architecture I, 1700-1900 (Fall 2016)
History of Art 277 The Rise of Modernity: Arts of the Nineteenth Century, with Andre Dombrowski (Fall 2013)
History of Art 281 Modern Architecture II, 1900-present (Spring 2017)
History of Art 300 History of Art Methods: Architectural History and Theory (Fall 2010)
History of Art 301 Undergraduate Seminar: Frank Lloyd Wright (Spring 2013)
History of Art 303 Undergraduate Seminar: Introduction to Museums, with Ann Blair Brownlee (Spring 2017)
History of Art 571 Modern Architectural Theory (Fall 2016)
History of Art 581 Architects, Historians, and the Invention of Modern Architecture, with Daniel Barber (Spring 2014)
History of Art 771 Seminar in Nineteenth-century Architecture (2010 topic: Gothic Revival)
History of Art 781 Seminar in Twentieth-century Architecture (2013 topic: Paul Philippe Cret)