University of Massachusetts Amherst | Sep 07, 2021
David Karmon's new book, Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance: The Varieties of Architectural Experience, is the first study of Renaissance architecture as an immersive, multisensory experience that combines historical analysis with the evidence of first-hand accounts. Questioning the universalizing claims of contemporary architectural phenomenologists, the book emphasizes the infinite variety of meanings produced through human interactions with the built environment, and draws upon the close study of literary and visual sources to prove that early modern audiences paid sustained attention to the multisensory experience of the buildings and cities in which they lived. Through reconstructing the Renaissance understanding of the senses, we can better gauge how constant interaction with the built environment shaped daily practices and contributed to new forms of understanding. Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance offers a stimulating new approach to the study of Renaissance architecture and urbanism as a kind of 'experiential trigger' that shaped ways of both thinking and being in the world.
David Karmon is Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Head of the Architectural Studies program at Holy Cross. The author of Architecture and the Senses in the Italian Renaissance: The Varieties of Architectural Experience (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and The Ruin of the Eternal City: Antiquity and Preservation in Renaissance Rome (Oxford University Press, 2011), his writings on architecture, urbanism, and the history of archaeology have appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and exhibition catalogues. He has received numerous accolades for his work, including the Lily Auchincloss / Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies at the American Academy in Rome, as well as fellowships from the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Newberry Library, the Clark Art Institute, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Bogliasco Foundation. As the current chief editor at the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, his expertise extends across many areas of the global built environment. He is currently working on a new book on Renaissance architecture and natural history.
David Karmon has been an SAH member since 2005. He currently serves as JSAH Editor (2021–2023) and an ex officio member of the SAH Board. He previously served as a session chair at the 2016 Annual International Conference and is a previous JSAH Book Review Editor.
To join the virtual launch party on Friday, September 10 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EDT), please click here for the zoom link: Karmon Book Launch