Morgan Ng

BArch, Cornell University
PhD, Harvard University

Morgan Ng is a historian of Renaissance architecture, landscape, and visual culture specializing in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy and its global networks. His scholarship explores the interplay between art and technology; the multisensory perception of the built environment; ecological approaches to architecture; theories of form; problems of historical periodization; and the relationship of the graphic arts to building design and practice.

A driving concern of his research is the conceptualization and interpretation of what he terms “cognate technologies”: artifacts often distinct in style and function yet connected by deep formal and structural kinships. This project coalesces in his book Form and Fortification: The Art of Military Architecture in Renaissance Italy (Yale University Press, 2024). The study probes the close morphological links between fortifications and other works of sixteenth-century art and design: palaces, gardens, and urban infrastructure.

Much of Ng’s research strives to bridge the medieval and early modern scholarly divide. This ambition motivates his current book project, which traces the survival and transformation of earlier graphic techniques in the emergent Renaissance practice of architectural drawing on paper. Research toward this project has been supported by Membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Other publications have appeared in edited volumes and journals such as Art History, Word & Image, and the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, covering such topics as early modern architectural glass, sculptural illumination, print culture, cartography, and earthquakes. Before coming to Yale, Ng was a Junior Research Fellow at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, and a postdoctoral scholar at the Getty Research Institute. He has also worked as an architect in New York and Chicago.


Form and Fortification: The Art of Military Architecture in Renaissance Italy (Yale University Press, 2024).

“Drafted Stone: The Drawing as Architectural Monument in Late Renaissance Rome,” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance (forthcoming).

“La cultura dell’architettura militare all’epoca di Leonardo,” in Leonardo e l’architettura, ed. Sabine Frommel and Hermann Schlimme (forthcoming).

“Gunpowder Grottoes: Seismology and the Subterranean Landscape in Renaissance Italy,” in The Three Natures: Gardens and Landscapes of the Italian Renaissance, ed. Anatole Tchikine, (Brepols, 2024).

“I vuoti della città ideale,” in Anish Kapoor. Untrue Unreal, (Marsilio, 2023), 66–73.

“The Renaissance Superstructure,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 81 (2022), 320–341.

“‘Terremoti artificiali’. La sismologia aristotelica nella guerra sotterranea del Rinascimento,” in Material World: The Intersection of Art, Science, and Nature in Ancient Literature and its Renaissance Reception, ed. Guy Hedreen, (Brill, 2021), 133–62.

“‘An impression made on the ground, or dust, or even paste or snow’: Mediums of Architectural Drawing at the Dawn of Paper-Based Design,” in Building with Paper: Rethinking the Materiality of Renaissance Architectural Drawings, ed. Cara Rachele and Dario Donetti, (Brepols, 2021), 15–37.

“Illuminated Sculpture and Visionary Experience at the Cardinal of Portugal Chapel in Florence,” in The Art of Sculpture in Fifteenth-Century Italy, ed. Amy Bloch and Daniel Zolli, (Cambridge University Press, 2020), 239–58.

Photo credit: Andrea Kane, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton