Carolyn Yerkes  Assistant Professor


Carolyn Yerkes

Assistant ProfessorHistory of Architecture


Ph.D., Columbia University, 2012; M.Arch., Princeton University, 2005

Carolyn Yerkes specializes in Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Focusing on European buildings from the 15th through 18th centuries, much of her latest research investigates relationships between architectural theory and techniques of architectural representation. Her book manuscript, awarded the James Ackerman Prize in the History of Architecture, examines the 16th- and 17th-century functions of a crucial but neglected corpus of Renaissance architectural drawings. It offers a new analysis of the role and function of networks and copies of drawings during the period.

Now Yerkes is working on a book about early modern architectural experiments. The book examines how architects used buildings to explore the natural world, including such phenomena as acoustical echoes, gravity, optics, and time. Another study in progress, entitled “From Solomon to Sonograms,” deals with the juridical anomaly of forced looking in episodes when images are a form of punishment.

Yerkes joined Princeton’s faculty in 2014. Before that she was curator of rare books at Columbia’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. She also taught classes in art history and architecture in Columbia’s Department of Art History and Archaeology.

Teaching Interests

Yerkes’ teaching interests include the role of antiquity in the Renaissance, architectural objects, the history of acoustics, modes of architectural representation (books, drawings, models), infrastructure and subterranean construction, architecture and law, and the concept of error in architecture.

Selected Publications

“The Grand Escalier at the Château de Versailles: The Monumental Staircase and Its Edges,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 75, no. 1 (Spring 2015).

“The Lost Octagons of the Pantheon: Images and Evidence,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 77 (December 2014).

“Drawings of the Pantheon in the Goldschmidt Scrapbook at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 48 (December 2013).

Essays and entries in The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, ed. Hilary Ballon (Columbia University Press,  2011), published in conjunction with the Museum of the City of New York’ s exhibition.

“Worcester College Ms B 2. 3 and Its Sources: Seventeenth-Century French Drawings of Ancient and Modern Roman Architecture,” Annali di Architettura 23 (December 2011).