Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours
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.
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.
Charleston, South Carolina
March 12 - 15, 2020
This 3-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 Colonial Williamsburg Drawing Tour. This year’s program provides an opportunity to study, through field drawing, the architecturally rich environs of Charleston, South Carolina - 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 Charleston, with a focus on their composition, detail, and contribution to the urbanism and landscape of the city. Throughout the course, the role of the building arts in the fields of plaster, metal, wood, and masonry as factors that give form to the city’s distinctive architectural character will be highlighted.
You can learn more about the Charleston Drawing Tour 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).
You can learn more about the Edinburgh Drawing Tour here. Please note that this event has been postponed from its original start date of May 30, 2020. Please check back for further announcements.
New locations will be rotated in over the course of three years, providing practitioners with a wide range of options for advanced study. Upcoming tours are as follows:
Additional locations to be confirmed
Images from Previous Drawing Tours
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.”
Scholarships for the Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours are available thanks to the Southern California Chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.
A 2019 Suzanne Kasler ICAA Southeast Scholarship for the Christopher H. Browne Paris Drawing Tour is available thanks to the generosity of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Southeast Chapter Board Member Suzanne Kasler, President, Suzanne Kasler Interiors. Learn more here.
The ICAA has been given a scholarship from John LaPolla and LaPolla Designs for the Christopher H. Browne Paris Drawing Tour. This scholarship is offered in honor of John's late mother Dorothy LaPolla-Czarnecki for her unwavering encouragement and promotion of education. John, his family, and company continue this legacy of support and mentorship of aspiring students and craft persons in education and the arts. For further information, please contact [email protected].
To find out more about the Christopher H. Browne Drawing Tours, email [email protected] or call 212-730-9646 ext. 112.