Book of Fortresses

Ed Triplett


The aim of this project is to spatially reconstruct an exceptional architectural source from early modern Portugal called the “Livro das Fortalezas” (Book of Fortresses). This bound volume was created by a Portuguese squire named Duarte de Armas in 1510. It includes a folio of perspective drawings from two vantage-points of over 50 castles on the border between the kingdoms of Portugal and Spain and a second folio of measured plans for each site. With the assistance of student researchers, the book will be reconstructed as a data-rich, three-dimensional map. Sub-projects will include 3D models of the fortresses based on Duarte de Armas’ plans and drawings, a database identifying architectural features and scenes from daily life in the drawings, and GIS layers designed to study how the castles formed a fortified chain on the border with Spain. Future plans include a photogrammetric analysis of the sites in order to determine with greater precision where Duarte de Armas had to be standing when he drew the perspectival drawings, how accurate he was in terms of perspective, scale and detail, and how these castles and towns have changed since 1510.


Cameron Esses

Hillman Han

Stone Mathers

Dictionary of Art Historians

Lee Sorensen


The Dictionary of Art Historians became a Wired! project in 2017. This dictionary is a compilation of art historians mentioned in major art historiographies. Biographical and methodological information about art historians can be difficult to find. Tucked away in obscure obituaries or foreign-language Festschriften, the basics of where an art historian trained or who his/her major influence was, or even what methodology the scholarship employs are often impossible to discern. This database is designed to give researchers a beginning point to learning the background of major art historians of western art history.

The Dictionary of Art Historians began in the fall of 1986 by indexing the historians cited in Eugene Kleinbauer’s Research Guide to the History of Western Art (1982) and his Modern Perspectives in Western Art History (1971), neither of which possessed an extensive index. Heinrich Dilly’s Kunstgeschichte als Institution (1979) and some of Kultermann’s Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte (1966), [the latter then only available in German] were added. The project remained dormant for a few years in card file format. In the interim, a myriad of art historiographies appeared or were reprinted. In 1996, the card project was transferred into an electronic form.

Image Credit


Elizabeth Brown

Brittany Halberstadt

Hannah L. Jacobs

Paul Jaskot

Jessica Orzulak

Erin Rutherford

Digital Public Buildings in North Carolina

Paul Jaskot


This project focuses on the public architecture of North Carolina, from the early Republic to today. Under the general interest in a political history of architecture, we will research major building types (prisons, schools, museums, city halls, etc.) and develop digital maps to visualize the results. The point of the multiyear project will be to produce a dynamic and interactive digital map that allows art historians to query general patterns in publicly sponsored building activity across the state. In addition, specific research into key monumental structures will be highlighted through digital story telling and other means.

Image Credit


Paloma Rodney

Mapping German Construction

Paul Jaskot


Few eras in art history are as famous for their buildings than Weimar Germany (1918-33) and none is more notorious than the Nazi period (1933-45). Yet how are they related in terms of architects and architecture? This project seeks to probe the continuities and ruptures of cultural production between the two periods by looking at the German construction industry. This history from below (as it were) involves art history in questions of labor, resource allocation, and the larger political economy of the state among other issues. As such, the aim of the project is to gather and visualize large datasets of building campaigns through Germany to reveal patterns of construction that may raise other art historical problems. Special attention will be given to visualizing construction during World War II, such as in occupied Krakow, where construction, forced labor, and occupation policy came together.

Mapping Stereotomy

Sara Galletti, Kristin Huffman


Mapping Stereotomy is a database dedicated to stereotomy, the art of cutting stones into particular shapes for the construction of vaulted structures. Stereotomy is best known for the variety of acrobatic masterpieces produced in early modern France and Spain. Yet the art is neither early modern nor European; it has been practiced over a wide temporal span, from Hellenistic Greece to contemporary Apulia, and across a broad geographical area, centered on the Mediterranean Basin but reaching far beyond—from Cairo to Gloucester and from Yerevan to Braga. Mapping Stereotomy consolidates and visualizes information on stereotomic vaults from antiquity through early modernity, with the aim of furthering and broadening research in the fields of construction techniques and Mediterranean studies.


Aidan Blake

Margot Calmar

Angela Tawfick

Paris of Waters

Sara Galletti

Spring 2014 - present

Paris of Waters is a research project that focuses on the impact of water on the demographic, social, architectural, and urban development of the city of Paris through time. The project is concerned with water in a wide array of forms—as resource, as commodity, as means of transportation, as funnel for the city’s waste, and as cause of disaster and death—and with making it visible as a powerful agent of urban change. Paris of Waters challenges traditional urban history narratives—which tend to focus on design, monumentality, and the stylistic features of the built environment—by highlighting the role of infrastructure, underground works, and hydraulic management and engineering as defining elements of a city’s development and history.


Gaby Bloom

Andrew Lin

Amanda Lazarus

Dryden Quigley

Hanna Wiegers

Irene Zhou

Statues Speak

Elizabeth BaltesSheila Dillon


Statues are all around us, but we often walk past them without reflecting on who or what they represent. Once shiny new landmarks in the built environment, statues can become invisible over time. In our hurry to get from one place to another, we do not stop to read the inscriptions that often tell us why the statue was set up. In any case, the information given on the statue base is only part of the story. Statues can “speak” to us in many ways, but what if we could actually give them a voice? What would they want to tell us about themselves?

This project, a collaboration between undergraduate students and faculty at Duke University and Coastal Carolina University, aims to help statues speak, to help them tell their own stories. By combining historical research with mobile and web technologies, we will present the “autobiographies” of the statues on Duke’s campus, exploring how they fit into the fabric of Duke’s history and the long-standing practice of setting up honorific portrait statues.



Video research and script by Darrah Panzarella.


Christy Kuesel

Darrah Panzarella

Mary Kate Weggeland

Jessica Williams