Niall Atkinson

Neubauer Family Assistant Professor
Department of Art History and the College

Niall Atkinson is an architectural and urban historian in the Italian late medieval and Early Renaissance context. Italian Renaissance historiography has traditionally focused on the design and production of buildings. Atkinson has studied the reception of buildings and spaces by contemporaries to determine what they thought about their city. Atkinson challenged his traditional disciplinary training to focus on what he heard versus what he saw. As a result, the historical urban soundscape became central to his investigation and led to an even more complex project on the phenomenology of architecture through the entire sensorial apparatus of the body, where taste, touch, and smell, as well as hearing and sight, also have an architectural history.

Atkinson was recently awarded a Neubauer Family Fellowship from the University of Chicago (2010–14), and he was a Research Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz (KHI)–Max-Planck-Institut (2007–09). Prior to that he was a recipient of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation Institutional Fellowship in the History of European Art, held at the KHI.

Atkinson received his PhD from the History of Architecture and Urbanism Program at Cornell University in 2009.

Atkinson joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2010.

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