Dr. Max Grossman - Faculty Biography
Dr. Grossman earned his B.A. in Art History and English at the University of California-Berkeley, and his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Art History at Columbia University. After seven years of residence in Tuscany, he completed his dissertation on the civic architecture, urbanism and iconography of the Sienese Republic in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. He served on the faculty of the School of Art and Design at San Jose State University in 2006-2009, taught art history for Stanford University in 2007-2009, and then joined the Department of Art at The University of Texas at El Paso, where he is Associate Professor of Art History. During summers he is Director of the Roma Aeterna study abroad program while he conducts research in Italy for his publications. He has presented papers and chaired sessions at conferences throughout the United States, including at the annual meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, and in Europe, at the biennial meetings of the European Architectural History Network. In May 2015, the Italian Art Society sponsored his triple session, “Civic Foundation Legends in Medieval Italian Art,” for the 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The following October, he gave a lecture at Humanities West in San Francisco, “Italian Civic Palaces in the Age of the City Republics.” In April 2016, at the 62nd Annual Conference of the Renaissance Society of America in Boston, he presented his paper, “The Castle of Bracciano and the Advent of Artillery: Francesco di Giorgio Martini in Latium”; and in November, he chaired a session on medieval Florentine architecture at the Ladis Trecento Conference in New Orleans. In March 2017, he served as a discussant on a panel at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology in Santa Fe. His article “A Case of Double Identity: The Public and Private Faces of the Palazzo Tolomei in Siena” was published in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians in March 2013. His conference paper “Sienese Fortifications in the Age of the Guelph Commune” was published in Investigating and Writing Architectural History: Subjects, Methodologies and Frontiers (Turin, Italy: Politecnico di Torino, 2014). His article “Saving Downtown: An Architectural Survey and National Register Nomination for El Paso, Texas” appeared in The Alliance Review in February 2017. His co-edited volume titled Building Family Identity: The Orsini of Bracciano from Fiefdom to Duchy (1470-1698) has just been published by Peter Lang (September 2019). His book, El Paso Architecture, which treats the architectural history of El Paso and the surrounding region from 1659 through 1945 is under contract with Arcadia Publishing and will be published in spring 2020. He has submitted a book proposal stemming from his doctoral thesis, the first synthetic treatment of the total architectural production of an Italian city-state, and it is currently under review. At present, his research focuses on the political iconography of the Sienese commune, as manifest in painting, sculpture, architecture, coinage, seals and manuscripts. In addition, he is studying the development of the Italian civic palace, from its origins in the twelfth century through its final transformations in the quattrocento, with the aim of challenging and revising accepted paradigms while forming a new critical apparatus for interpreting the architecture and urbanism of medieval and Renaissance city-states. Off campus, Dr. Grossman served for several years as Vice-Chair of the El Paso County Historical Commission. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of The Trost Society, the only non-profit institution in West Texas focusing on historic preservation. He presides over the group’s Architectural Preservation Committee, whose mission is to formulate and implement strategies for protecting the architectural heritage of El Paso while promoting the economic development of the historic districts of both the City and County. Finally, he is the founder and Director of Operations of the El Paso History Alliance, a virtual cultural community with more than 52,000 followers.
Revised: 12 Sep 2019