Henry-Russell Hitchcock
Henry-Russell Hitchcock was the leading American architectural historian
Architectural History
Architectural History is the main journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain .The journal is published each autumn. The architecture of the British Isles is a major theme of the journal, although it includes more general papers on the history of architecture. Member of...

 of his generation. A long-time professor at Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 and New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

, he is best known for writings that helped to define Modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...



Henry-Russell Hitchcock was born in Boston and educated at the Middlesex School
Middlesex School
Middlesex School is an independent secondary school for grades 9 - 12 located in Concord, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1901 by a Roxbury Latin School alumnus, Frederick Winsor, who headed the school until 1937. Winsor set up a National Scholarship Program for the school, the first of its kind...

 and Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, receiving his A.B. in 1924 and his M.A. in 1927.

In the early 1930s, at the request of Alfred Barr
Alfred Barr
Alfred Hamilton Barr, Jr. , known as Alfred H. Barr, Jr., was an American art historian and the first director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City...

, Hitchcock collaborated with Philip Johnson
Philip Johnson
Philip Cortelyou Johnson was an influential American architect.In 1930, he founded the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and later , as a trustee, he was awarded an American Institute of Architects Gold Medal and the first Pritzker Architecture...

 (and Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford
Lewis Mumford was an American historian, philosopher of technology, and influential literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer...

) on "Modern Architecture: International Exhibition" at the Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

 (1932), the exhibition that presented the new "International Style
International style (architecture)
The International style is a major architectural style that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, the formative decades of Modern architecture. The term originated from the name of a book by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson, The International Style...

" architecture of Europe to an American audience. Hitchcock and Johnson's co-authored book The International Style: Architecture Since 1922 was published simultaneously with the MOMA exhibit.

Four years later Hitchcock's book, The Architecture of H. H. Richardson and His Times (1936) brought the career of American architect Henry Hobson Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson
Henry Hobson Richardson was a prominent American architect who designed buildings in Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and other cities. The style he popularized is named for him: Richardsonian Romanesque...

 out of obscurity while also arguing that the distant roots of European Modernism were actually to be found in the United States. Hitchcock's In the Nature of Materials (1942) continued to emphasize the American roots of Modern architecture, in this case by focusing on the career of Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was an American architect, interior designer, writer and educator, who designed more than 1,000 structures and completed 500 works. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture...


Hitchcock taught at a number of colleges and universities, but primarily at Smith College
Smith College
Smith College is a private, independent women's liberal arts college located in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is the largest member of the Seven Sisters...

 (where he was also Director of the Smith College Museum of Art from 1949 to 1955). In 1968 he moved to New York City and thereafter taught at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

. He also taught at Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University
Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college founded in 1831 and located in Middletown, Connecticut. According to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Wesleyan is the only Baccalaureate College in the nation that emphasizes undergraduate instruction in the arts and...

, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private research university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. MIT has five schools and one college, containing a total of 32 academic departments, with a strong emphasis on scientific and technological education and research.Founded in 1861 in...

, Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, Harvard University, and Cambridge University.

Over the course of Hitchock's career, he produced more than a dozen books on architecture. His Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1958) is an exhaustive study of more than 150 years of architecture that was widely used as a textbook in architectural history courses from the 1960s to the 1980s, and is still a useful reference today.

He was also a founding member of The Victorian Society
The Victorian Society
The Victorian Society is the national charity responsible for the study and protection of Victorian and Edwardian architecture and other arts in Britain....

 in Great Britain and an early president of the Victorian Society in America. One of that Society's book awards is the "Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award." The "Alice Davis Hitchcock Award
Alice Davis Hitchcock Award
The Alice Davis Hitchcock Award, established in 1949, by the Society of Architectural Historians, annually recognizes "the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar." The oldest of the six different publication awards given...

" of the Society of Architectural Historians
Society of Architectural Historians
The Society of Architectural Historians is an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the study and preservation of the built environment worldwide....

 is named after Hitchcock's mother.

Hitchcock was gay, one of several gay men in the arts and humanities to emerge from Harvard.
Hitchcock died of cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 at age 83.

Hitchcock focused primarily on the formal aspects of design and he regarded the individual architect as the chief determinant in architectural history. Hitchcock's work tended to diminish the role of broader social forces. He has sometimes been criticised for this "great man" or "genealogical" approach.


  • Hitchcock, Henry Russell, American Architectural Books: A List of Books, Portfolios, and Pamphlets on Architecture and Related Subjects published in America before 1895, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1962

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Penguin Books, Baltimore 1958; second ed. 1963; fourth ed. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth England, and New York 1977, ISBN 0140561153

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, The Architecture of H. H. Richardson and His Times, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1936; second ed. Archon Books, Hampden CT 1961; MIT Press, Cambridge MA 1966 [paperback]

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, Boston Architecture, 1637-1954; including Other Communities within Easy Driving Distance, Reinhold Pub. Corp., New York 1954.

  • Hitchcock, Henry Russell, and Drexler, Arthur, editors, Built in USA: Post-war Architecture, Museum of Modern Art (Simon & Schuster), New York 1952.

  • Hitchcock, Henry Russell, Early Victorian architecture in Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven 1954

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, German Renaissance Architecture, Princeton University Press, Princeton NJ 1981, ISBN 0691039593

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, In the Nature of Materials, 1887-1941: The Buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, New York 1942; Da Capo Press, New York 1975 (paperback), ISBN 0306800195

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, and Hitchcock, Philip C., The International Style: Architecture since 1922, W. W. Norton & Company, New York 1932, second edition 1966; reprint of 1932 edition 1996, ISBN 0393036510

  • Hitchcock, Henry Russell, Latin American Architecture since 1945, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1955

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, Modern Architecture in England, Museum of Modern Art, New York 1937

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, Modern Architecture: Romanticism and Reintegration, Payson & Clarke Ltd., New York 1929

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, and others, The Rise of an American Architecture, Praeger in association with the Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

    , New York 1970.

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, Rococo Architecture in Southern Germany, Phaidon, London 1968, ISBN 0714813397

  • Hitchcock, Henry-Russell, and Seale, William, Temples of Democracy: The State Capitols of the U.S.A., Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, New York 1976, ISBN 0151885362

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.