Since 1991, the Drawing and Study course has been a cornerstone of the ICAA’s annual education program. The program follows in the footsteps of architects journeying abroad, and at home, to study and document precedents for the purpose of informing the design of new buildings and places.Each iteration of the program explores the continuity and vitality of the classical tradition in a paradigmatic city or region that has been instrumental to its development. An expanding rotation of destinations offers a multitude of opportunities to build a profound and comprehensive understanding of the roots of American architecture at all scales of design - from the city and its contiguous landscape as a comprehensive work of civic art, to the composition of the architecture and interiors of individual buildings, to the fine grain of detail, materiality, building craft and artisanship.The study of precedents and adaptations to modern circumstances is paramount to the understanding of the classical vocabulary as a living language of architecture and city building. The course aims to enhance the practitioner’s knowledge and skills in creative and informed applications of the classical tradition.
This four-day course is part of an expansion of the ICAA’s Drawing Tours in Rome and Paris to travel to important American destinations, and follows on the 2019 Christopher H. Browne Williamsburg Drawing Tour and 2020 Christopher H. Browne Charleston Drawing Tour.
This year’s program provides an opportunity to study, through field drawing, the architecturally rich environs of Savannah, Georgia - a laboratory of American classical and traditional design, building, and planning from the 18th century to the present day. Each day is structured around the study of representative examples of building types that form the fabric of Savannah, with a focus on their composition, detail, and contribution to the urbanism and landscape of the city.Information on the 2021 Christopher H. Browne Savannah Drawing Tour is available here.
At the centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Edinburgh was remodelled as ‘the Athens of the North’. Grand new public buildings were inspired by the antiquities of Greece and Rome, and the city was expanded by the building of the New Town, later praised by Henry-Russell Hitchcock as ‘the most extensive example of a Romantic Classical city in the world’. A graceful sequence of streets, squares, crescents and circuses were laid out, all built in the local warm-grey sandstone and brought to life by the distinctive Scottish light.The tour will focus on Edinburgh’s classical heritage and its relationship with the picturesque and romantic traditions. Among particular buildings of interest will be works by William Chambers (1723-1796), Robert Adam (1728-1792), Thomas Hamilton (1784-1858) and William Playfair (1790-1857).Information on the 2022 Christopher H. Browne Edinburgh Drawing Tour is available here.
The course is structured around the tradition of observational, analytical and measured drawing in a sketchbook, methods that have been utilized by architects since the Renaissance. Then, as now, the goal is to expand one’s compendium of examples as a resource for reference in future design endeavors.Each program includes an introduction to field drawing techniques that are then deployed throughout the course to study exemplars of classical and traditional design.A typical session begins with an introduction to the subjects of study, extended drawing time, and concludes with shared discoveries and observations.Complementing the core program is additional activity unique to the opportunities available in each location including visits to see newly built work, artisan workshops, and important collections and talks and demonstrations by guest lecturers.
Previous Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours have been held in locations such as:
Sketch of Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève by Leslie-jon Vickory
Instructor Kahlil Hamady with a Christopher H. Browne Paris Drawing Tour participant at Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève
Interior of the Bibliothèque Mazarine
Christopher H. Browne Paris Drawing Tour participants at the Bibliothèque Mazarine
Participants in the Louvre’s French sculpture court
Bibliothèque nationale de France
Student Connor Moran's watercolor rendering of the Petit Trianon
A watercolor study of the Institut de France by participant Elaine Rose
Elevations of Petit Trianon by participant Cindy Black
The Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours honor the generosity, leadership, and legacy of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s late Trustee, Mr. Christopher H. Browne. The ICAA is pleased to award four scholarships to drawing tour students or emerging professionals annually in the name of Mr. Browne, a long-time supporter and champion of classicism. Scholarship recipients will receive the moniker “Christopher H. Browne Scholars.”Additional scholarships for the Christopher H. Browne Savannah Drawing Tour are available thanks to the Southeast Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.To find out more about the Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours, email [email protected] or call 212-730-9646 ext. 112.