Skip to Content

Research Projects

Research is central to CASVA's mission. In addition to the studies carried out by the professors and fellows in residence, each of the three deans undertakes a long-term project that is meant not only to advance scholarship, but also to serve as a resource for the discipline. Research associates, usually recent PhDs on term appointments, provide key support for these projects. The following represent some of the projects inaugurated since 1979.

Current Research Projects

Marcantonio Raimondi, Raphael, The Massacre of the Innocents, c. 1511c. 1511

Marcantonio Raimondi, Raphael, The Massacre of the Innocents, c. 1511, engraving, Print Purchase Fund (Rosenwald Collection), 1975.54.1

The Felsina pittrice (1678) is one of the most important early modern texts on Italian art, yet it lacks a modern critical edition and full English translation. A team of scholars led by Dean Elizabeth Cropper and Professor Lorenzo Pericolo (University of Warwick) is producing a richly illustrated multivolume edition of the Italian text and associated preparatory notes, together with an annotated English translation. Volume One, devoted to the art of late medieval Bologna, appeared in 2012. Volume Thirteen, on the lives of Domenichino and Francesco Gessi, was published in 2013. Published in 2017, Volume Two, Part Two (2 Vols.), features the life of Marcantonio Raimondi but also includes the most detailed catalogue of prints published in Europe before the eighteenth century.


Robert Mills, Picturesque View of the Building, and Grounds in Front, 1841, depicting the Smithsonian Institution, detail. National Archives, Washington, DC

Following the publication of Keywords in American Landscape Design (2010), work continues on a project, directed by Associate Dean Therese O’Malley, to make available in digital form the research material gathered to date, much of it rare and difficult to access. A database of images, people, places, texts, and terms will offer a comprehensive and extensively cross-referenced compendium of information on the social and geographical history of landscape design in early American history. 


Pierfrancesco Alberti, A Painter’s Academy, c. 1625, detail. Research Library, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California (2007.PR.29)

This project, under the direction of Associate Dean Peter Lukehart, aims to provide the first institutional history of the artists’ academy in Rome from its origins through the establishment of its titular church and teaching spaces. The project brings together notarial documents and relevant secondary sources in two complementary resources: a volume of interpretive essays and a publicly accessible research database on the Web. A geotagging feature now under development for the website will allow place names mentioned in the documents to link to locations on interactive, historic maps of Rome. 


Past Research Projects

Andean Studies_Overseer with quipucamayo

Overseer with quipucamayo of an Inca storehouse. From Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala, Nueva corónica y buen gobierno, 1936 (c. 1615), p. 335. Royal Library of Denmark

This project was directed by Joanne Pillsbury, formerly assistant dean of CASVA and now Andrall E. Pearson Curator in the department of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The three-volume reference work, published in 2008, supports research on the pre-Hispanic, viceregal, and early republican periods of the Andean region of South America. The work is intended for scholars in anthropology, history, archaeology, art history, and related disciplines. It includes 29 thematic essays and 186 biographical and bibliographical entries reflecting contributions from 125 scholars in 19 countries. Copublished by the National Gallery of Art and the University of Oklahoma Press, the guide addresses key texts of the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries concerning the region defined by the extent of the Inca Empire (modern Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and parts of Colombia, Argentina, and Chile).

A Spanish translation (Las Fuentes documentales para los estudios andinos, 1530-1900) was copublished with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in 2016.

Architectural Drawings Advisory Group / Foundation for Documents of Architecture

Claude Gillot, Studies of Ornament and Architecture, c. 1710c. 1710

Claude Gillot, Studies of Ornament and Architecture, c. 1710, pen and brown ink over traces of graphite on laid paper, Woodner Collection, Gift of Andrea Woodner, 2006.11.13.b

In 1983 CASVA convened an international group of architectural drawings specialists representing major repositories in North America and Europe to build consensus concerning cataloguing standards for architectural drawings. ADAG explored how a network might be established to apply guidelines for descriptive cataloguing in both electronic and printed form. In 1986 the Foundation for Documents of Architecture (FDA), a nonprofit corporation, was founded by several ADAG members to promote ADAG’s recommendations in an automated cataloguing environment and to translate ADAG’s recommended standards into published guidelines. In 1994 ADAG and the FDA published A Guide to the Description of Architectural Drawings by Vicki Porter and Robin Thornes with G. K. Hall & Company on behalf of the Getty Art History Information Program. Henry A. Millon initiated and led ADAG and also served as president of the FDA (1986–1992).


Attributed to Pietro Righini, scenography. London, The British Museum, © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Italian Architectural Drawings Photograph Collection (IADPC) was assembled under the direction of CASVA’s founding dean, Henry A. Millon, for the photographic archives of the National Gallery of Art Library. The collection of approximately 45,000 photographs and 350 manuscripts on microfilm documents drawings made before 1800 of Italian architecture from repositories around the world. The artists and draftsmen who produced these drawings are not exclusively Italian, but come from throughout Europe. The architectural drawings fall into various categories, such as working, project, and presentation drawings; views, panoramas, travel sketches, treatises, architectural details, and architectural ornament. Also included are drawings from related fields in which the influence of architecture is pronounced and where the designers frequently were architects, for example shipbuilding, carriage and furniture design, and gold and silverware. The IADPC photographs may be consulted by scholars in the National Gallery of Art Library department of image collections.

Telephone: (202) 842-6480
Fax: (202) 842-6733
E-mail: [email protected]

Mailing Address
2000B South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785