Foreground + Background in Architectural History

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“Foreground + Background in Architectural History” celebrates the career of Elizabeth Meredith “Betty” Dowling, who recently retired after three decades of distinguished service as professor, architectural historian and campus leader. The symposium is free, and registration is online at http://www.coa.gatech.edu/event/foreground_background.Presenting moments in the history of architecture from multiple standpoints, the symposium will explore the role historians play in the shaping of the discipline and the definition of culture. Speakers include:
  • Dorothy Metzger Habel, professor and director of the School of Art at the University of Tennessee;
  • Carol Flores, professor emerita of the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University;
  • Michelle Moody, project manager at Norman Davenport Askins Architects;
  • Pauline Morin, senior lecturer and director of exchange programs in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University; and
  • Julia M. Smyth-Pinney, associate professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Kentucky.
Attendees are invited to a remembrance luncheon in Dowling’s honor immediately following the program.A 1971 alumna of Georgia Tech’s undergraduate program in architecture, Dowling has been a lifelong trailblazer for women students and academicians. She has been a careful scholar and dedicated teacher of architectural history and classical design since 1973 when she joined the faculty at Georgia Tech. With her retirement, she became the College of Architecture’s first professor emerita.She led many enduring initiatives, including co-founding of the Southeast Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians in 1982 and starting a study abroad program in 1993 that has exposed hundreds of students from all levels and majors at Georgia Tech to art and architecture in Italy, Greece and Turkey. In 2009, Dowling led the campaign to document and celebrate the history of architecture at Georgia Tech, curating a multi-part exhibition and editing One-hundred Years of Architectural Education at Georgia Tech, 1908-2008.Her many honors include receiving an International Book Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a Bronze Medal from AIA Georgia for her book American Classicist: the Architecture of Philip Trammell Shutze (1989, 2001). In 2006 she co-curated a traveling exhibit of new classical work based on her book New Classicsm (2004). In 2006, she was invited to serve as a juror for the Richard Driehaus Prize for Life Achievement in Classical Architecture and continues in this position today. In 2009, she was awarded the first ever College of Architecture NSF ADVANCE Woman of Excellence Award.Dowling received the Master of Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1972; and the PhD in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. She remained a registered architect until 2005.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Teri Nagel
  • Created: 08/17/2010
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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