You are here

Weinberg Fellowship in architectural history and preservation

The Academy is pleased to announce the establishment of the Weinberg Fellowships in architectural history and preservation:

Press release

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 1, 2017— Columbia University’s Italian Academy announced a $1.15 million gift from the Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation for a vital project that will bring as many as 20 additional Fellows over the next 5 years to study architectural history and preservation.

“This generous gift from the Weinberg Foundation—one of the largest donations since the founding of the Academy—permits us to pursue the understanding and conservation of architecture of all geographic areas and periods,” said David Freedberg, Director of the Italian Academy.

The first Fellows are expected to be on campus already in September. Two to four Fellowships will be awarded each year and will run concurrently with the Academy’s other residential fellowships.

“I am excited that this whole project has taken shape so quickly, and the Academy has done a lot of hard work to make it happen,” said Sydney Houghton Weinberg ’10GSAS, the donor behind this gift. She is a trustee of the Foundation, which was named for and founded by her father, Sidney; she is also a trustee of the World Monuments Fund. She received a master’s degree from Columbia's Department of Art History and Archaeology with a thesis on the architecture of Francesco di Giorgio. “Casting a wide net, the Fellowship program will support work that is practical as well as theoretical,” she explained. “We’re interested in crisis management and war destruction, and we are focusing on the cutting edge of the preservation field.”

This initiative is developed in conjunction with the Academy’s new International Observatory for Cultural Heritage, which sponsors and encourages research on monuments, artifacts, and traditions.

The Weinberg Fellows will be on site at the Italian Academy, which occupies the “Casa Italiana” building—the neo-Renaissance palazzo built by McKim, Mead & White in 1927 and renovated in the 1990s by Italo Rota and Samuel G. White (great-grandson of Stanford White).

“The Academy is delighted to work with such engaged and thoughtful benefactors in an era of grave threats to our shared global heritage, when monuments and buildings are threatened by war, neglect, natural disaster, and urban development,” said Professor Freedberg, the Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art at Columbia and an expert on iconoclasm (the destruction of artworks and monuments). “We are very grateful to the Weinberg Foundation and to Sydney Houghton Weinberg for her vision.”

The Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation is an independent foundation in New York that supports health, science, the arts, and educational institutions.

The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America is a multidisciplinary Columbia research center that sponsors advanced research in the sciences and the arts via a Fellowship Program with at least 20 residential scholars each year, and with public conferences promoting academic, cultural, and scientific exchange. It was founded at Columbia in 1991 with support from the Republic of Italy.

More details and deadlines are on the Fellowship Program page, along with news on the Academy opportunities in other fields.

Weinberg Fellows


German Historical Institute London

People inside ruins: heritage, photography, and counter-archives

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
Università degli Studi Roma Tre (Italy)

Seismic assessment of cultural heritage: safety and conservation

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte (Munich, Germany)

Majestic shadow of the past: documentation and narrative photography of Hadrian’s Villa and Tivoli (1850–1930)

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
Sveučilište u Zagrebu (Croatia)

Urban heritage of modernism on the Adriatic coast: transformation of the Italian post-industrial Mediterranean landscape

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation


Koya University

Keeping memory: vernacular architecture in Iraqi Kurdistan

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
University of Virginia

Shantytowns and intangible heritage across the Mediterranean preservation in an era of planetary urbanization

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
National University of Singapore

When shrines grow tired: caring for cultural artifacts in the premodern world

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation
Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck Institut; Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design

Struggle for democracy or culture of dominance? The agora in postwar architectural discourse

Weinberg Fellow in Architectural History and Preservation


University College London

Contesting the Byzantine past: four Hagia Sophias as ideological battlegrounds of architectural conservation in Turkey

Weinberg Fellow in architectural history and preservation
Accademia di architettura – Università della Svizzera Italiana

The Karlsruhe albums and their significance for Piranesi studies

Weinberg Fellow in architectural history and preservation
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa

The cultural roots of landscape protection in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the United States (19th–20th centuries)

Weinberg Fellow in architectural history and preservation
Università IUAV di Venezia

“Verona, the second Rome”: defining a local identity in the Renaissance Veneto

Weinberg Fellow in architectural history and preservation