Stella Nair

Stella Nair

Charles K. Williams II Rome Prize
September 12, 2016–July 31, 2017
Profession
Associate Professor, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles
Project title
Rome in the Andes: the Impact of the Classical World on Inca Architectural History
Project description

Rome was the lens through which the Spanish saw the Inca Empire. As the eminent historian Sabine MacCormack has described in her book On the Wings of Time: Rome, the Incas, Spain, and Peru (Princeton University Press, 2009), Roman history, religion, and politics became the models with which the Spanish understood the Incas and their vast lands. In addition, Roman architecture and urban planning was used by the Iberians to describe the Inca built environment. During her fellowship year at the American Academy in Rome, Stella Nair will interrogate the relationship between Roman and Inca architecture more concretely. An Inca specialist trained as an architect and architectural historian, Nair will study first hand the ancient buildings that were used to define Inca architecture, as well as the early modern books, drawings and prints of ancient Roman sites that made their way across the Atlantic and had a profound impact on Andean writers of Inca architectural history.