Dell Upton & Adachiara Zevi – Are Monuments History?


Dell Upton & Adachiara Zevi – Are Monuments History?

Conversations - Are Monuments History?

Charles Keck, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, 1919–24, Charlottesville, Virginia

Are monuments memory? While they are often discussed in those terms, it is better to think of them as pastiches of familiar myths and metaphors created for the needs of a particular moment. In addition, they need to be considered as elements of complex landscapes that also contained buildings and open spaces. The nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were periods of intense monument building in the service of nationalist projects. Confederate American, Risorgimento Italian, and Fascist monuments all used similar visual and mythic elements, but two were failures. This conversation, moderated by John Ochsendorf, considers all three types of monuments from the point of view of their visual imagery and their roles in civic landscapes. It concludes with a consideration of the reason the Confederate monuments need to be removed.

Dell Upton is Distinguished Professor of Architectural History in the Department of Art History at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the 2019 James Marston Fitch Resident in Historic Preservation and Conservation at the American Academy in Rome. Adachiara Zevi is an architect, art historian, and president of Fondazione Bruno Zevi. John Ochsendorf, Class of 1942 Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the American Academy in Rome.

The conversation concludes a two-day conference held at the Bibliotheca Hertziana and American Academy in Rome on “A Difficult Heritage: The Afterlife of Fascist-Era Architecture, Monuments, and Works of Art in Italy.” Please download a PDF of the conference program.

The event will be held in English. Watch it live at

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is the 2018–19 season sponsor of Conversations/Conversazioni: From the American Academy in Rome.

Giorno e ora
martedì 12 marzo 2019
Villa Aurelia
Largo di Porta S. Pancrazio, 1
Roma, Italia