Dottie Metzger Habel
“My recent book, “When All of Rome Was Under Construction,” focuses on the processes involved in building the city of Rome during the baroque period. My interest is in what I understand as “the incubation of architecture.” This research was fueled by the discovery of some remarkable archival materials—thick narratives that describe the tensions and conflicts, trials and challenges of building in 17th-century Rome. These sources reveal how building was financed, the challenges of hiring a labor force and of acquiring building materials as well as the role of the public and its sense of urban ownership, and their authors reveal just how difficult it was to build, in the words of one foreman, ‘when all of Rome was under construction.’ Reviewers have hailed this as a ‘richly documented and closely argued book’ that ‘makes the study of Roman Baroque urbanism more engaging and pertinent than ever before … benchmark scholarship.’”
Dorothy Metzger Habel is professor of art history and a Distinguished Professor in the Humanities. She also serves as the Director of the School of Art. A scholar of seventeenth-century Italian art, her research focuses on the architecture and city planning of papal Rome. She has authored two books, “When all of Rome was under construction”: The Building Process in Baroque Rome (Penn State Press, 2013) and The Urban Development of Rome in the Age of Alexander VII (Cambridge University Press, 2002). She has also published a number of articles, essays, and book reviews and engaged in curatorial work. Her research has attracted funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. She received a PhD in the history of art from the University of Michigan and joined the UT faculty in 1980.
PhD, University of Michigan