Thomas Howe Named Holder Of The Herman Brown Chair At Southwestern
Thomas Howe, professor of art and art history, has been named holder of the Herman Brown Chair at Southwestern University. The Herman Brown Chair is one of six endowed positions funded at Southwestern by The Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston.
The Chair was previously held by English Professor T. Walter Herbert, who is retiring this spring. Howe will hold the position for five years.Holders of the Brown Chairs receive additional funds and time to conduct their scholarly research. They also are responsible for hosting the annual Brown Symposium on a topic of general interest to the university and the community.
Howe holds a B.A. from Lawrence University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1985 and currently serves as chair of the Art History in the Department of Art and Art History. He served as the Brown Distinguished Research Professor at Southwestern from 2000-2004.
Howe teaches courses in architectural design, architectural history and art history. His course in World Architecture: Ancient Traditions has been selected by the Teaching Company in Washington, D.C., to be developed into a 24-class packet offered to their 10 million subscribers.
He has published several books, including the most widely used illustrated translation and commentary of the Roman architect Vitruvius. He currently is writing a book on the development of political space in the late Roman Republic for Cambridge University Press.
Howe also is Coordinator General of the Restoring Ancient Stabiae Project, a joint U.S.-Italian cultural project that is creating the one of the largest archaeological parks in modern Europe on the site the ancient Roman villas of Stabiae near Pompeii that were destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The Stabiae project is increasingly being cited as a model for the integrated planning for design, archaeology and conservation on a major archaeological site. As part of this project, Howe is curator of the four-year traveling tour of Roman frescoes called “In Stabiano,” which will be at the Dallas Museum of Art from July 9-Oct .11, 2007. The tour has been cited by the Department of State as the most significant example of the new agreement allowing long term loans from Italy to the United States, which is an historic move to reduce illicit export of antiquities from Italy.
Howe launched the art history major at Southwestern, as well as the minor in architecture and design. His course in historical architectural design was the first course in the nation to introduce classical design as an integral part of any design curriculum
“Thomas is an excellent choice for appointment to this chair,” said Provost Jim Hunt. “Since his arrival at Southwestern, he has been instrumental in the development of our art history program and has been the primary mentor and teacher for students interested in architecture. He is an outstanding teacher and scholar, and his work with the restoration of the Stabiae archeological site is extraordinary. He is truly the key leader on this internationally prominent project. It will be very interesting to see how he weaves this work into a future Brown Symposium.”