Trachtenberg, Marvin (Lawrence) 1939-

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TRACHTENBERG, Marvin (Lawrence) 1939-

PERSONAL: Born June 6, 1939, in Tulsa, OK; son of William (a businessman) and Leona (Fox) Trachtenberg; married Heidi Feldmeier (a medical technologist), November 10, 1961 (divorced, 1992); children: Malcolm Blake, Gordon Charles. Education: Yale University, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1961; New York University, M.A., 1963, Ph.D., 1967.

ADDRESSES: Home—New York, NY. Office—Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1 East 78th St., New York, NY 10021.

CAREER: New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, New York, NY, assistant professor, 1967-69, associate professor, 1967-76, professor of fine arts, 1976-90, Edith Kitzmiller Professor of the History of Fine Arts, 1990—; writer.

MEMBER: Society of Architectural Historians, College Art Association, Renaissance Society of America, Phi Beta Kappa.

AWARDS, HONORS: Woodrow Wilson fellowship, 1961-62; Fulbright fellowship in Florence, Italy, 1964-66; Bernard Berenson fellowship, New York University, 1966-67, for study in Florence; grant, Kress Foundation-National Gallery 1970, for travel in France, Italy, and Germany; Alice Davis Hitchcock Prize for outstanding book on architectural subject by North American scholar, Society of Architectural Historians, 1972-74; senior fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1974-75, for study in Italy; fellowship, Harvard University, 1974-76.


The Campanile of Florence Cathedral: 'Giotto's Tower,' New York University Press (New York, NY), 1971.

The Statue of Liberty, Viking (New York, NY), 1976.

(With Isabelle Hyman) Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity, Abrams (New York, NY), 1986, 2nd edition, 2002.

Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art, and Power in Early Modern Florence, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Contributor to Propylaeen Kunstgeschichte (title means "Propylaeen History of Art"), Volume VI, edited by Otto von Simson, Propylaeen Verlag (Berlin, Germany), 1972; and Dictionary of Architecture and Constructions.

Contributor to periodicals, including Gesta and Renaissance Quarterly.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A New History of Architecture.

SIDELIGHTS: Marvin Trachtenberg is a fine arts professor who has distinguished himself with publications on various subjects within the field of architecture. His earliest books include The Campanile of Florence Cathedral: 'Giotto's Tower,' which appeared in 1971, and The Statue of Liberty, which followed five years later.

Ten years elapsed before Trachtenberg produced his next book, Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity, which he completed in collaboration with Isabelle Hyman. In this volume, Trachtenberg and Hyman discuss constructions ranging from Neolithic homes to twentieth-century buildings such as Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum. A second edition of Architecture, which appeared in 2002, impressed Library Journal reviewer David Conn, who lauded it as an "authoritative historical survey." A Forbes critic, likewise appraising the 2002 edition, hailed the study as a "monumental reference book" and a "rich, authoritative" work. In addition, the Forbes reviewer praised Architecture for its "absorbing prose."

In 1997 Trachtenberg published Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art, and Power in Early Modern Florence, wherein he analyzes two city squares, Piazza della Siguoria and Piazza Duomo. "The two trecento squares … complement each other in institutional and theoretical terms," affirmed Paolo Berdini in an Art Bulletin appraisal. In his review, Berdini noted Trachtenberg's "remarkable powers of observation," which he acknowledged for their "pertinence and effectiveness." Another reviewer, Charles Burroughs, declared in Renaissance Quarterly that Dominion of the Eye constitutes "a compelling and often polemical book," and he added that "both the argumentation in the book and its argument … have undergone a rigorous process of unification and abstraction that is exciting to follow."



Art Bulletin, March, 2002, Paolo Berdini, review of Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art, and Power in Early Modern Florence.

Forbes, May 13, 2002, review of Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity, p. 84.

Library Journal, April 15, 2002, David R. Conn, review of Architecture, p. 80.

Renaissance Quarterly, summer, 1999, Charles Burroughs, review of Dominion of the Eye.*