Remembering Vincent Scully

December 4, 2017

Vincent Scully, Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art and Architecture, died at 97 in Lynchburg, VA, on November 30th. A historian, critic, and lecturer of enormous influence, Scully was the author of more than 20 books. Rooted in a tradition of empathetic humanism, his work touched nearly every corner of architectural history, from classical Greece to modernism, from the Renaissance to the nineteenth-century, and from Pueblo architecture to Frank Lloyd Wright, historical preservation, and new urbanism. A professor at Yale from 1947 to 1991, Scully inspired a great many students to devote themselves to architecture as professors, critics, architects, urbanists, and patrons, and his criticism deeply marked the practice of architecture in the United States. One of the most influential lecturers in Yale’s history, for over six decades Scully opened the eyes of generations of students to a vision of architecture founded on the primary human importance of the conversation between buildings, cities, and landscapes. Born in New Haven, he often used examples from his native city to illustrate his lectures. His memorable introductory courses in the History of Art Department were beloved by generations of Yale undergraduates – who in later years had often been told by their parents, and even grandparents, to “take Scully.” A uniquely charismatic figure at the podium, he continued to lecture in the Department until 2008, at eighty-eight.

A memorial for Vincent Scully will take place at 1:00pm on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in Battell Chapel, followed by a reception at the Yale University Art Gallery. The memorial will be livestreamed here.

Further tributes to Mr Scully can be found as follows:

The New York Times: Vincent Scully, 97, influential architecture historian, dies                           

How Vincent Scully Changed Architecture

The Washington Post: Vincent Scully, Yale scholar who explored architecture’s humanizing force, dies at 97