David Brownlee at the Globy Awards ceremony

January 11, 2017

Professor David Brownlee Wins Lifetime Achievement ‘Globy’

David Brownlee, University of Pennsylvania professor of the history of art, has received a lifetime achievement award from the Global Philadelphia Association for his contributions to the growth of the city.

​​​​​​​“I am proud to receive the Globy Award as recognition of the vital role that Philadelphia's extraordinary history plays in our conception of who we are today and what we can become tomorrow,” Brownlee said.

​​​​​​​“Globally important things have been happening in Philadelphia for more than three centuries, and their effects and tangible evidence are everywhere to be seen,” he said. “I will continue to work with many colleagues to enlarge public understanding of this rich and relevant legacy.”

Brownlee is the Frances Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art at Penn. A graduate of Harvard University, he came to Penn in 1980 as an assistant professor. He is a historian of modern architecture and urbanism in Europe and America and a Fellow of the Penn Institute for Urban Research.

“David Brownlee is himself a Philadelphia treasure, and we have been pleased to recognize this by presenting to him one of the association's highest awards,” said John Smith, board chair of the Global Philadelphia Association.

Brownlee was one of the earliest proponents of the effort by Philadelphia to become a World Heritage City, Smith said, and in 2012 joined the association’s project team that helped put together a comprehensive case statement. Once Philadelphia received the designation in 2015, Brownlee wrote and narrated a 28-minute film telling the city's World Heritage story, which debuted in 2016.

Today Brownlee is actively working on the key history and preservation sector of a World Heritage Strategic Plan developed by the association and the city, Smith said.

Brownlee’s publications about Philadelphia include Building the City Beautiful: The Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1989); Louis I. Kahn: In the Realm of Architecture (with David G. De Long, 1991); Making a Modern Classic: The Architecture of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (1997); Out of the Ordinary: Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates; Architecture, Urbanism, Design (with David De Long and Kathryn Hiesinger, 2001); and The Barnes Foundation: Two Buildings, One Mission (2012).

A recipient of Penn’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, Brownlee has been recognized with numerous publication awards. He was named a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians in 2015.

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