William Craft Brumfield

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William Brumfield at an April 18, 2013 event "Memory, Commemoration, Memorialization: Moscow’s Western Battlefields" at the Kennan Institute.

William Craft Brumfield (born June 28, 1944) is a contemporary American historian of Russian architecture, a preservationist and an architectural photographer. Brumfield is currently Professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University.[1]

Brumfield grew up in the deep American South, where he became interested in Russia by reading Russian novels. After receiving a BA from Tulane University in 1966 and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968,[2] he arrived in the former Soviet Union for the first time in 1970 as a graduate student starting work in architectural photography, although he did not seriously study the craft of photography until 1974.[3] Brumfield earned a Ph.D in Slavic studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 1973 and held a position of assistant professor at Harvard University in 1974–1980.[1]

In 1983 Brumfield, formerly a generalist of Slavic studies, established himself in history of architecture with his first book, Gold in azure: one thousand years of Russian architecture. It was followed by The Origins of Modernism in Russian Architecture (1991), Russian housing in the modern age: design and social history (1993), A History of Russian Architecture (1993, Notable Book of that year[4] and a best seller[5] according to The New York Times), Lost Russia: Photographing the Ruins of Russian Architecture (1995), Landmarks of Russian Architecture: A Photographic Survey (1997) and Commerce in Russian urban culture: 1861-1914 (English edition 2001, Russian edition 2000).

Brumfield lived in the former Soviet Union and Russia for a total of eight years,[6] doing postgraduate research with Moscow State University and Saint Petersburg State University,[6] but mostly travelling through the northern country, surveying and photographing the surviving relics of vernacular architecture.[3] In a 2005 interview Brumfield, asked to tell which of those journeys stood out, picked a photo survey of Varzuga, a remote village connected to civilization by 150 kilometers of a sandy clay track.[7] Brumfield donated his collection of around 1,100 photographs of Northern Russian architecture taken in 1999–2003 to the Library of Congress.[8] His archives were digitized with assistance of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Washington Library.[6]

In 2000 Brumfield was elected a Guggenheim Fellow for Humanities - Russian History.[6] He has been a full member of the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences (RAASN) since 2002 and an honorary fellow of the Russian Academy of the Arts since 2006.[6]

Publications[edit]

  • Gold in azure: one thousand years of Russian architecture (1983)
  • The Origins of Modernism in Russian Architecture (1991)
  • Russian housing in the modern age: design and social history (1993)
  • A History of Russian Architecture (1993)
  • Lost Russia: Photographing the Ruins of Russian Architecture (1995)
  • Landmarks of Russian Architecture: A Photographic Survey (1997)
  • Commerce in Russian urban culture: 1861—1914 (2001)

With financial support from the Kennan Institute, the publisher «Три квадрата» (Tri Kvadrata) began in 2005 to release the series Открывая Россию/Discovering Russia by Brumfield:

  • Totma: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (Moscow, 2005)
  • Irkutsk: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2006)
  • Tobolsk: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2006)
  • Solikamsk: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2007)
  • Cherdyn: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2007)
  • Kargopol: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2007)
  • Chita: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2008)
  • Buriatiia: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2008)
  • Solovki: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2008)
  • Kolomna: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2009)
  • Suzdal: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2009)
  • Torzhok: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2010)
  • Usol'e: Architectural Heritage in Photographs (2012)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "William Craft Brumfield (faculty profile)". Tulane University. 
  2. ^ John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Reports of the president and of the treasurer (2000), p. 56.
  3. ^ a b Ian Mitchell (September 2009). "Professor William Craft Brumfield – Architectural Historian Extraordinaire". Passport Moscow magazine. 
  4. ^ "Notable Books of the Year 1993, page 2". The New York Times. December 5, 1993. 
  5. ^ "Best Sellers". The New York Times. November 7, 1993. 
  6. ^ a b c d e "William Craft Brumfield (Guggenheim Fellowship biography)". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 2000. 
  7. ^ Michele A. Berdy (April 2005). "William Craft Brumfield, Campaigner". Passport Moscow magazine. 
  8. ^ "The William C. Brumfield Collection - About the Collection". Library of Congress. 2004. 

External links[edit]