Richard Wittman

Richard Wittman
Associate Professor
Graduate Admissions Advisor

Office Hours

Spring 2023: Sabbatical

Office Location

Arts 2314


Cultural history of European architecture and town planning, 17th - 19th centuries; theory and historiography of architecture.


B.A. Yale University
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D. Columbia University


Richard Wittman specializes in the cultural history of architecture and town planning in seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century Europe. His primary interest lies in the emergence of modern configurations of space, society, and publicness, which he approaches through the history of architectural theory, criticism, and public discourse; the emergence of the modern public; and the evolution of architectural patronage in changing political contexts.

Professor Wittman's first book was Architecture, Print Culture, and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France (Routledge, 2007). Other recent publications include: "Architecture, Space, and Abstraction in the Eighteenth-Century French Public Sphere," (Representations, 2008), "The Hut and the Altar: Architectural Origins and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France" (Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 2007), and "Space, Networks, and the Saint-Simonians" (Grey Room, 2010). He also wrote the entry on Early Modern Paris in the forthcoming Cambridge World History of Religious Architecture, and a survey of recent scholarship on "Print Culture and French Architecture in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries" in the June 2015 edition of Perspective, the online journal of the INHA in Paris. Professor Wittman is currently completing a cultural history of the century-long reconstruction of the Early Christian basilica of San Paolo fuori le mura in Rome (1825-1933). 


Richard Wittman. Architecture, Print Culture and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France. Oxford: Routledge, 2013.Richard Wittman. "A Bourgeois Family Puts Its Cathedral in Order: A Fictive Debate on Notre-Dame in the Journal de Paris in 1780." In Fragments: Architecture and the Unfinished: Essays Presented to Robin Middleton, edited by Barry Bergdoll and Werner Oechslin, 197-208. London: Thames & Hudson, 2006.Richard Wittman. "Local Memory and National Aesthetics: Jean Pagès's Early Eighteenth-Century Description of the "Incomparable" Cathedral of Amiens." In Monuments and Memory, Made and Unmade, edited by Robert S. Nelson and Margaret Olin, 259-79. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.


Undergraduate Courses

6F   Introduction to Architecture and Planning
142A   Architecture and Planning in Seventeenth-Century Europe
142B   Architecture and Planning in Rome: Napoleon to Mussolini
142C   Paris and Rome in the Nineteenth Century
142D   Gardens, Land, and Landscape in the West: Renaissance to 1900
142E   Architecture, Planning, and Culture in Eighteenth-Century Paris
142AA   Architecture, Theory, and Town Planning in 19th-Century France
186S   Nineteenth-Century French Architecture - Theory and Practice
186S   Wren, Vanbrugh, and Hawksmoor
186SR   Architecture, Townplanning & Theory in Germany/Austria (1770-1871)
186SR   Architecture, Planning & Politics in Rome: from Napoleon to Mussolini (1798-1945)
French Gothic Architecture in the 12th and 13th Centuries

Graduate Seminars

2017   Architectural Theory (1800-1939)
2012   European Architectural Theory from the Renaissance to the Dawn of Modernism
2012   Nations and Nationalism in 19th-century European Architecture
2008   Theories and Methods in Architectural History
2006   Architecture and Print Culture (c.1530-c.1930)