Twombly, Robert C(harles) 1940-

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TWOMBLY, Robert C(harles) 1940-

PERSONAL: Born November 16, 1940, in Boston, MA; son of L. Stewart (a chemical technician) and Ruth (a secretary; maiden name, Richardson) Twombly; children: Jonathan, David. Education: Harvard University, B.A., 1962; University of Wisconsin—Madison, M.A., 1964, Ph.D., 1968. Politics: Socialist.

ADDRESSES: Home—17 Old Mill Rd., West Nyack, NY 10994. Office—Department of History, City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY 10031.

CAREER: University of Wisconsin—Madison, instructor in history, 1968-69; City College of the City University of New York, New York, NY, assistant professor, 1969-74, associate professor of history, beginning 1974.

MEMBER: Society of American Historians, Institute of Early American History and Culture, Mid-Atlantic Radical Historians Organization.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from American Philosophical Society, 1976-77, and National Endowment for the Humanities, 1977.


Blacks in White America since 1965, David McKay (New York, NY), 1971.

Frank Lloyd Wright: An Interpretive Biography, Harper (New York, NY), 1973.

Frank Lloyd Wright: His Life and His Architecture, Wiley (New York, NY), 1978.

Louis Sullivan: His Work and His Life, Viking (New York, NY), 1986.

Power and Style: A Critique of Twentieth-CenturyArchitecture in the United States, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Narciso G. Menocal) Louis Sullivan: The Poetry of Architecture, Norton (New York, NY), 2000.

Contributor of articles and reviews to architecture and history journals and to newspapers. Member of editorial board, Marxist Perspectives.

SIDELIGHTS: Robert C. Twombly once told CA: "It becomes more important for me to explore the ways in which corporate and state policies affect architectural design. My scholarship is more and more influenced by my politics, so my new work on architecture will actually be an analysis of American political culture. Since architecture is created and purchased by individuals and groups from the dominant classes, it embodies class experiences—ideology, objectives, perspectives. Design history is least of all the history of style or technology, most of all the history of ideas. Although architectural space is consciously composed by clients and designers, most people—including intellectuals—think nothing of it, indeed, take it for granted, even though we all live most of our lives inside buildings. This is but another example of the ways in which people are constantly manipulated by powers over which they have no control. The role of the scholar is to illuminate these phenomena in hopes that people, becoming more aware, will attempt to again more influence over their situations."



Times Literary Supplement, April 4, 2003, Joseph Rykwert, review of Louis Sullivan: The Poetry of Architecture, p. 12.*