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College of Arts & Sciences
School of Visual Art and Design

Faculty & Staff Directory

Lydia Brandt

Assistant Professor
Art History
School of Visual Art and Design
University of South Carolina

Office MM 328
Phone Number 777-2362
Website Lydia Brandt

PhD, University of Virginia (Art and Architectural History)

BA, New York University (Art History)

Fall 2016 Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday 2.30-3.30 PM or by appointment


Professor Brandt’s scholarship asks questions about the ways in which American buildings and landscapes shape and respond to popular ideas about the past. Her book, First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination is forthcoming in November 2016 from University of Virginia Press. The book chronicles America’s obsession with the first president’s iconic home through advertising, prints, paintings, popular literature, and the full-scale replication of its architecture.


Other recent publications include a chapter in Meet Me at the Fair: A World’s Fair Reader(ETC Press with Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014); an article in the leading journal on American material culture, Winterthur Portfolio; and a recent piece on modern architecture in Columbia, SC in Arris (The Journal of the Southeast Society of Architectural Historians). The Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon have supported Brandt’s research.


Since 2011, Brandt has taught the history of architecture and American art and the methods and theories of historic preservation at UofSC. She uses local resources in her classes, arranging projects and hands-on field trips centered recently on the sites of Historic Columbia, the Columbia Museum of Art, the South Carolina State Museum, the UofSC campus, and the grounds of the South Carolina State House.


To see the products of some of her students’ research, see:


In addition to her on-going advocacy for historic preservation in South Carolina, Brandt is currently working on a new research project on the twentieth-century Columbia firm Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle and Wolff.

 I am also an active advocate for preservation in South Carolina.