Institute of Classical Architecture & Art



Thank you to our seasonal sponsor Balmer Architectural Mouldings, Inc.

Our additional thanks to our co-seasonal sponsor Interior Management, LLC.

Lectures, Tours, Events

Peter Harrison Talk with John Fitzhugh MillarRegister Now!

Thursday, May 26, 2016; 6:30 PM Reception, 7:00 PM Lecture

Peter Harrison (1716-1775), born in Yorkshire, UK, but for many years a resident of New England, is arguably the greatest architect who ever worked in America, but his papers were mostly destroyed by war right after his death, so he remains little known on both sides of the Atlantic.

A prodigy like Mozart, his first design at age 17 (family friend Prime Minister Lord Rockingham’s mansion Wentworth-Woodhouse) is still the largest private house in Europe. After he managed (cloak & dagger style) to save the British Empire from certain conquest by the French in the 1740s, he was asked to design important buildings in the UK and British colonies on all six continents. His total of about 450 buildings includes some of America’s most iconic buildings. He designed in the classical neo-Palladian style, and invented wooden rustication in the 1740s (a way of making a wooden structure look as if it were stone). He invented the world’s first practical flush toilet for the Liverpool Infirmary in 1747. He also designed some of America’s most valuable furniture, including inventing the coveted block-front in 1738, and introducing the bombe motif.

The late Wendell Garrett asked John Millar (a freshman at Harvard in 1962) to begin research on Harrison. The research has eventually resulted in two books: The Buildings of Peter Harrison: Cataloguing the Work of the First Global Architect 1716-1775, published 2014 by McFarland & Company, Inc. and Peter Harrison (1716-1775) Drawings, published 2015 by Thirteen Colonies Press.

Material-culture historian John Fitzhugh Millar (b. 1945) has written many published books on historic architecture, ships, dance, and general history. A book now in preparation concerns the work of Elizabeth Lady Wilbraham (1632-1705), the world’s first woman architect and Christopher Wren’s teacher. Millar is responsible for the construction of three full-sized, operational copies of Revolutionary War ships for the Bicentennial (the largest being the 24-gun frigate Rose, now in San Diego after having starred with Russell Crowe in Master & Commander). He lives in a Peter Harrison-designed house in Williamsburg, Virginia, which he runs as an historic bed & breakfast called Newport House.

Location: The lecture and reception will take place at the Library of the General Society of Mechanics & Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street, New York, NY.

Cost/Reservations: Free for ICAA Members; $30 General Public. Reservations are suggested.

Rome Drawing Tour

June 04-11, 2016

Examining the Classical Tradition in Rome through Drawing and Watercolor

Student scholarship opportunities are available! Email to learn more.

Alexander Creswell, acclaimed watercolorist; Ben Bolgar, Senior Director at the Prince’s Foundation – London; and Selena Anders, Notre Dame Professor, will lead the tour.

The ICAA Rome drawing tour provides participants practical knowledge of the classical tradition as manifested in the architecture, urbanism and landscapes of Rome. The means for studying Rome’s wealth of architectural and urban precedent is through observational drawing and watercolor.

Course Description

Drawing is a tool for understanding the world around you. It provides one
with a way of thinking about the things they see. During the course of this
drawing tour participants will undertake the challenge of developing
their skills in representing complex three-dimensional forms. Participants will examine the works of artists and architects while seeing what they saw in-situ throughout the city of Rome. Participants will use their works as benchmarks to emulate and surpass. In this manner participants will actively engage the tradition as a means for not only to developing individual drawing techniques for documenting the world around us but also to provide participants with tools for seeing. The class will make use of a variety of media and techniques in the undertaking of drawings that will entail a variety of scales from the human figure, building detail, building, piazza and city. The course will explore a number of techniques and subject matter. The subjects will include the figure, architecture including architectural details, plan section and elevation, and landscape. Particular attention will be placed on perspective, especially two point views, lighting, shades and shadow. There are no prerequisites for the program.

Tuition for the Rome Drawing Tour is $2,650 ($2,550 for ICAA members). Travel to and from Rome and accommodation for the duration of the course is not included in the cost. Student scholarship opportunities are available.

For more information please contact Ada Goldfeld, Education Programs Assistant, at or 212-730-9646 ext 111.

For an application form for the Rome Drawing tour, please click here.

To view a preliminary itinerary for the Rome Drawing Tour, please click here (schedule subject to change).