William Craft Brumfield, recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2000) and Fellow at the National Humanities Center in 1992-93, is Professor of Slavic studies at Tulane University, where he also lectures at the School of Architecture. In 2002, he was elected to the State Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences. He is an Honorary Member, Russian Academy of the Arts.
In 1973 he earned his Ph.D. fin Slavic Languages (specializing in 19th-century Russian literature and history) at the University of California, Berkeley. He was assistant professor at Harvard University (1974-80), and has held visiting appointments at the Universities of Wisconsin (1973-74) and Virginia (1985-86). In 1997, he received the annual Faculty Research Award from the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Tulane.
He is the author and photographer of a number of works on Russian architecture: Gold in Azure: One Thousand Years of Russian Architecture (Boston: David Godine, Publisher, 1983); The Origins of Modernism in Russian Architecture (Univ. of California Press, 1991); A History of Russian Architecture (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), which The New York Times Book Review included in its “Notable Books of the Year 1993”; Lost Russia: Photographing the Ruins of Russian Architecture (Duke Univ. Press, 1995); and Landmarks of Russian Architecture: A Photographic Survey (Gordon and Breach Publishers, 1997). He edited and contributed chapters to: Reshaping Russian Architecture: Western Technology, Utopian Dreams (Cambridge Univ. Press/Woodrow Wilson Center, 1990), Christianity and the Arts in Russia (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991), and Russian Housing in the Modern Age: Design and Social History (Cambridge Univ. Press/Woodrow Wilson Center, 1993). In addition, he compiled An Architectural Survey of St. Petersburg, 1840-1916: Building Inventory (Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson Center, 1994).
He has numerous other publications on Russian architecture, photography, and literature, and has lectured frequently on these topics at museums and universities in North America and in Europe. His photographs of Russian architecture, which have been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums, are part of the collection of the Photographic Archives at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
His recent shows include “The Russian Art of Building in Wood” (a traveling exhibit sponsored by the National Humanities Center), and “Lost Russia: Photographs by William Brumfield,” which opened at the Duke University Museum of Art in January 1996, and has since appeared at the New Orleans Museum of Art (Nov. 1996-Feb. 1997), the University of Michigan Museum of Art, and other museums.
He has lived in Russia for a total of four years, and has done graduate and post-doctoral research at Moscow and Leningrad Universities (on IREX fellowships), as well as at the Russian Institute of Art History in Moscow. He co-directed the NEH Summer Institute for College and University Faculty “Moscow: Architecture and Art in Historical Perspective,” held in Moscow during the summer of 1994, and has since conducted faculty summer seminars in various parts of Russia under the auspices of the Russian Institute of Art History.
Below are links to sites containing his photography and text:
Vologda Regional Culture Department: This rapidly expanding site is becoming an Internet library for Professor William Brumfield’s Russian publications as well as photos.
Library of Congress Archive: Meeting of Frontiers: The William C. Brumfield Collection
Pomor State University Collection devoted to architecture of the Russian North.
University of Washington: The William C. Brumfield Russian Architecture Collection