T. Kaori Kitao: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Birth: 30 January 1933, Tokyo, Japan; US Citizen


Home Address:

540 Westminster Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081


A.B. in Architecture, June 1958
University of California, Berkeley, California

M.A. in History of Art, January 1961
University of California, Berkeley, California

THESIS: Bernini's Square of Saint Peter's

Ph.D. in History of Art, June 1966
Harvard University, Cambridge, Massaschusetts

DISSERTATION: Studies in Bernini's Church Architecture


1963-66: Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I.
Assistant Professor of History of Architecture

1966-68: Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor of Art History

1968-75: Ibid.
Associate Professor of Art History

1975-81: Ibid.
Professor of Art History and Chairperson

1981-93: Ibid.
Professor of Art History

1993-present: Ibid.
The William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Art History

Special Fields in Teaching:

Michelangelo and the Italian Renaissance
Rembrandt and the Baroque
Philadelphia and American Architecture
Cinema: History, Theory, and Criticism
Architectural Theory and Semiotics
Japanese Architecture and Culture
Design, Technology, and Material Culture

Professional Societies:

College Art Association of America
Society of Architectural Historians
Society for Cinema Studies
Semiotic Society of America
International Society for the Comparative Study of
Civilizations; Vice President, 1980-83
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Japan Society

Awards and Grants:

Old Dominion Grant (Swarthmore College): Sabbatical 1969-70
National Endowment for the Humanities Younger Humanist
Fellowship: Sabbatical Leave 1973-74
Andrew W. Mellon Grant for Faculty Development (Swarthmore College)
Sabbatical Leave 1977-78
Sloan Foundation Course Development Grant, Summer 1986
-- "Yankee Ingenuity: Design, Technology, and Material Culture"

Miscellaneous Professional Activities:

Rhode Island State Boad of Registration for Architects: Examination
Examiner in History and Theory, May 1965
American Institute of Architects, Philadelphia Chapter
AIA Refresher Courses Program, 1970-72
Sloan Foundation: Project Director, 1985-87
Sloan Foundation Faculty Seminar: Automation - Fear and Promises
Swarthmore College, Spring 1986
Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad: Baltic Seas; Lecturer, August 1986
Swarthmore College List Gallery Exhibit: Swarthmore Collects
Co-curator, 27 October - 21 November, 1993


"Prejudice in Perspective: A Study of Vignola's Perspective Treatise"
Art Bulletin,XLIV (1962), pp. 173-94

"Bernini's Church Facades: Method of Design and the Contrapposti"
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians,XXIV (1965), pp. 263-84

The American Peoples Encyclopedia,Grolier Incorporated, New York, 1969

Circle and Oval in the Square of Saint Peter's: Bernini's Art of Planning
College Art Association Monograph on Archaeology and the Fine Arts, New York University Press, New York, 1974

"Philadelphia Row House"
Swarthmore College Bulletin,LXXIV, Alumni Issue, April 1977, 6-11

"Carlo Fontana Had No Part in Bernini's Planning For the Square of Saint Peter's"
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians,XXXVI (1977), pp. 85-93

"Imago and Pictura: Perspective, Camera Obscura and Kepler's Optics"
Atti del Convegno: La prospettiva rinascimentale - codificazioni e trasgressioni,Florence, 1978

"The Tokonoma and the Classical Facade: Semiotics of Hierarchy in Architecture"
Comparative Civilizations Review,No. 2, Spring 1979, 18-37

"The Art of Seeing: How To See More of What Meets the Eye"
Swarthmore College Bulletin,September 1983

"Rocks, Islands, Mountains and the Japanese Garden"
Japanese Gardens,Brooklyn Botanical Garden Publications, New York, May 1985

"Introduction to the College President's Inaugural Symposium"
Educating for Civic Responsibiity in a Multicultural World(The Swarthmore Papers, I, 1, January 1993), ed. Barry Schwartz

"Frenzy and Mastery: Loose Style East and West"
Midwest,5, 1994

"Teaching Slides with Art History, or The Pernicious Effect of Teaching Art History with Quality Slides"
Visual Resources Association Bulletin,XXV-2, Summer 1998, 38-41

The Usefulness of Uselessness
Admissions Office Publication, Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, 1999

"The Usefulness of Uselessness"
Swarthmore College Bulletin, June 2000


Henry A. Millon, ed., Key Monuments of the History of Architecture
reviewed in Technology Review,MIT, June 1965

Maria Walcher Casotti, Il Vignola
reviewed in Art Bulletin,December 1969

Donis A. Dondis, A Primer of Visual Literacy
reviewed in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism,March 1974

Guarino Guarini e l'internazionalita del Barocco,
Atti del Convegno Internazionale promosso dall'Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, 1968, ed. V. Viale
reviewed in Art Bulletin,December 1974

Vittorio Viale, ed., Bernardo Vittone e la disputa fra classicismo e barocco nel settecento,
Atti del Convegno Internazionale promosso dall'Accademia delle Scienze di Torino, 2 vols., Turin, 1972
Werner Oechslin, Bildungsgut und Antikenrezeption des frühen Settecento in Rom: Studien zum römischen Aufenthalt Bernardo Antonio Vittones,Zurich, 1972
Christian Norberg-Schulz,Baroque Architecture,New York, n.d.; and
Ibid., Late Baroque and Rococo Architecture,New York, 1974
reviewed in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians,XXXVIII, March, 1979

Reviews in Choiceon publications in Renaissance Architecture, Architectural Theory, and Japanese Art and Architecture

Papers Presented:

"Facade Study of Bernini's Roman Churches" – January 1964
College Art Association and Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia

"Bernini's Churches: Pantheon Paraphrase" – January 1966
College Art Association and Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Meeting, New York

"The Japanese House: Image and Idea" – December 1967
Society of Architectural Historians, Philadelphia Chapter Meeting

"The Borgo, The Square of St. Peter's, and Bernini's Art of Compromise" – January 1969
College Art Association and Society of Architectural Historians, Annual Meeting, Boston

"Anamorphosis, Bazin's Ontology, and the First Movies" – January 1973
College Art Association, Annual Meeting, New York

"Masolino and the Brancacci Chapel" – 14 January 1975
Philadelphia Art Historian Dinner Club, Meeting

"Bernini and David's Sling: Art of Misrepresentation" – 27/28 February 1975
Symposium on Seventeenth Century Art and Theory, Temple University, Tyler School of Art

"A Picture Is What It Is and What It Is Not: Art History for Film Studies" – 25-28 March 1976
National Conference on the Teaching of Film; Center for Twentieth Century Studies, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

"Keplero, Alberti, e la prospettiva tirannica" – 11-15 October 1977
Congresso Internazionale di Studi: "La prospettiva rinascimentale: codificazioni e trasgressioni" Castello Sforzesco, Milan

"Semiotics of Hierarchy in Architecture: Japan and Renaissance Europe" – 13-16 April 1978
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations VIIth Annual Meeting, Milwaukee

"Raffaella and Italy's Dilemma: Wertmuller's Swept Away" - 20/21 April 1978
Colloquium for Social Philosophy, The Pennsylvania State University, Delaware County Campus

"Personality, Nature and Art: The Loose Style East and West" - 22-25 March 1979
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations VIIIth Annual Meeting, UC Northridge, California

"Semiotics of Symmetry: Christian and Buddhist" - 22-25 May, 1980
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations IXth Annual Meeting, Syracuse University

"Perceptive Misinterpretation: Gropius, Taut and Japan" - 22-25 May, 1980
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations IXth Annual Meeting, Syracuse University

"Semiotics Liberates Iconography" - 25 February - 1 March 1981
College Art Association, Annual Meeting, San Francisco

"Semiotics of Hyperbole: Japan and the Mediterranean" - 28-31 May, 1981
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations Xth Annual Meeting, Indiana University

"Floor as Ground, Floor as Platform" - 28-31 May, 1981
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations Xth Annual Meeting, Indiana University

"Western Perception of China and Japan: Taut, Gropius and Japanese Architecture" - 1-3 September 1981
The Colloquium, Mutual Perceptions: East and West The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey

"Comparativity in Art History, or the Study of Material Culture in the Comparative Study of Civilizations" - 27-30 May 1982
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations XIth Annual Meeting, University of Pittsburgh

"Mirror, Text, and Lilypond: Art as a Civilizational Key" - 26-29 May 1983
International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations XIIth Annual Meeting, State University College at Buffalo, N.Y.

"The Painter as Subject Historically Considered" - Response to Papers - 21/22 April 1989
The American Society for Aesthetics - Eastern Division, Annual Meeting, University of the Arts, Philadelphia

"Isn't History Art?" - 4 March 1994
Under Capricorn: International Conference on Art, Politics and Culture, Wellington, New Zealand

"Teaching Slides with Art History" – February 1997
College Art Association and Visual resources Association, Toronto, Canada

Work in Progress:

Cross-Cultural Studies in Art and Architecture
Cross-Cultural Semiotics of Art
Philadelphia Study: Holme's Plan and the European Planning Traditions
Philadelphia Study: PA State House and its Steeple
Introduction to Visual Semiotics
Gardens Semiotically Considered


"Nature and Architecture in Japan" - 15 October 1965
-- Forum Talk, Rhode Island School of Design

"The Dome in Church Architecture: Its Meaning in History" - 24 March 1966
-- Beneficent Church, Providence, R.I.

"Hsi ching and sprezzatura: Aspects of the 'Unfinished' East and West" - 15 November 1966
-- Rhode Island School of Design

"The Circle in Bernini's Oval Square" - 8 December 1966
-- Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania

"Three Lectures on Japanese Architecture" - 10, 17 and 24 April, 1967
-- Philadelphia Museum of Art

1. The Japanese House: Architecture for Nature and Seasons
2. Architecture of Hierarchy: the Shoin
3. Architecture of Non-Art: the Sukiya

"The Facade in Baroque Architecture, or How Dishonest Were the False Fronts, Honestly?" - 6 December, 1967
-- T-Square Atelier, Philadelphia

"Sant'Andrea al Quirinale in Rome" - 15 January 1968
-- College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

"The Japanese House: Plan and Construction" - 6 March 1968
-- T-Square Atelier, Philadelphia

"City as Art--Rhyme and Reason" - 8 June 1968
-- Swarthmore College, Alumni Day Talk

"The Japanese House: Three Uncommon Observations" - 11 December 1968
-- T-Square Atelier, Philadelphia

"Renaissance View of Nature" - 12 Februry 1969
-- Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania

"Peephole and Cannonball: The Renaissance Radial City" - 12 April 1972
-- Goucher College, Baltimore, Md.

"Man and Nature: The Garden in the Italian Renaissance" - 1 October, 1972
-- Swarthmore Garden Club

"New Wave and After, or Movies are No Longer What They Used to be" - 13 October, 1972
-- Swarthmore College, Alumni Lecture

"Renaissance Art in the Magic of Cinema" - 28 March 1973
-- Architecture Department, Drexel University, Philadelphia

"Magic of the Photographic Image, or Film as Renaissance Art" - 5 April 1973
-- Swarthmore College, Faculty Lecture

"Film, Photography, and Renaissance Painting" - 1974
-- Rosemont College, Rosemont, Pa

"Philadelphia Row House: An American Vernacular" - 27 May 1976
-- Swarthmore College, Alumni College Lecture

"Bernini and David's Sling" - 15 April 1977
-- Department of Fine Arts, Indiana University

"Zen in Kurosawa's 'The Men Who Step on the Tiger's Tail'" - December 1979
-- Department of Religion, Haverford College

"Japan: Contradictions and Syncretism" - 4 December, 1980
-- Asian Studies Club, Swarthmore College

"Rocks and Rock Gardens in Japan" - 8 December 1980
-- Department of Religion, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.

"How to Succeed in Almost Anything by Learning to Think with Your Eyes, or Hidden Benefits of Studying Art"
-- Career Planning and Placement, Swarthmore College - 27 January 1981

"Bruno Taut and the Western Perception of Japanese Architecture,
or Knowing from Inside and Understanding from Outside" - 3 March 1982
-- East Asian Studies, Princeton University

"Floor as Ground, Floor as Platform" - 24 March 1983
-- East Asian Colloquium, University of Pennsylvania

"Three Trite Observations on Swarthmore Education" - 29 May 1983
-- Last Collection, Swarthmore College

"Roji: Japanese Tea Garden and Stepping Stones" - 19 October l983
-- Philadelphia Museum of Art,

"Rock, Garden, Rock Garden" - 15 February 1984
-- Scott Horticultural Foundation, Swarthmore College

"Philadelphia Architecture" - 27 February 1984
-- Costume Society of America, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, Philadelphia

"Benefits, Obvious and Hidden, of Studying Art" - 30 January 1985
-- Career Planning and Placement, Swarthmore College

"Paradox in the Renaissance Garden" - 28 February 1985
-- Scott Horticultural Foundation, Swarthmore College

"Architectural Styles in Philadelphia: Thoughts on Buildings and Women's Wear" - 7 March 1985
-- Moore College of Art, Philadelphia

Four Lectures on a Cruise – August 1986
-- Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad, Scandinavia, Estonia, and Leningrad

"The Hermitage and European Collections"
"A Crooked Mile, or Reading Medieval Tallinn"
"Less is More: Thoughts on Scandinavian Design"
"Edvard Munch and the Rise of Expressionism"

"Introduction to Visual Semiotics, or How We Read Pictures" - June 1987
-- Swarthmore Alumni College

"The Garden as an Art Form," - June 1987
-- Swarthmore Alumni College

"The Japanese Castle: Refined Ruggedness" – 3 February 1989
-- Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Arts of Japan

"Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera: Introduction" - 3 February 1989
-- City and Film: Symposium, University of Pennsylvania, School of Fine Arts

"Introducing Visual Semiotics: Meaning in Art" - 16 February 1989
-- Drexel University

"Outdoor Space, Private Scene: Japanese Garden Viewed Cross-Culturally" – November 1990
Symposium: The Japanese Garden in America

13 November 1990: The National Wildlife Federation, Vienna, Virginia
15 November 1990: The New York Botanical Garden, New York
17 November 1990: The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

"Rationalizing Nature: The Rise of the Renaissance Garden" – 25 June 1991
in the lecture series, Nature Composed: The Art of Landscape Design
-- New York Botanical Garden and the National Academy of Design in New York

Four Lectures on Japanese Architecture: 5-22 May 1992, Japan, Korea, China
-- Swarthmore Alumni College Abroad

"Rocks, Gardens, Rock Gardens: Karesansui in Kyoto"
"Meditations on the Roji: Tea, Stepping Stones, and Space"
"The Japanese Castle: Refined Ruggedness"
"Floor, Platform, and the Culture of Hierarchy"

"The Shôji and the Aesthetic of Layering" - 14 February 1993
-- Philadelphia Museum of Art

"Spatially, Sequentially: Art of Garden Design" - 22 April 1993
-- Scott Arboretum Lecture, Swarthmore College

"All By Design: Art History of Everyday Things" - 4 June 1993
-- Swarthmore Alumni College

"The Loose Style, East and West" - 9 July 1993
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Lectures in New Zealand: August 1993
-- Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand – 18, 23, and 24 August

"Tight and Loose: Style as Critical Rhetoric"
"Shoji and the Japanese Aesthetics of Layering"
"Floor, Platform, and the Culture of Hierarchy"

-- Auckland Institute of Technology: Art and Design – 18 and 24 August

"Less is More or Less: Design, Taste, and History"
"Anatomy of Comedy in Silent Film"

"Rocks, Stepping Stones, and Calligraphy" - 4 October 1993
-- Wallingford-Swarthmore Community Classes

"Ratio and Rationalization: Alberti and the Renaissance Art" - 3 November 1993
-- Community College of Philadelphia NEH Cultural Traditions Project

"Garden for Viewing, Garden for Exploring" - 4 November 1993
-- Temple University Ambler Campus, Department of Landscape Architecture

"Style as Critical Rhetoric" - 17 November 1993
-- Bryn Mawr College: Faculty Seminar

"Visual Semiotics in the Study of Art" - March 1994
-- Carrington Polytechnic Institute, Auckland, New Zealand

"Holme's Philadelphia Plan: An American Original" - 2 June 1994
-- Bryn Mawr Alumni College

"Looking Backward, or Art Is No More" - 3 June 1994
-- Swarthmore Alumni College

"Film as Design: Ozu and Itami" - 15 October 1994
-- Image of Japan: A Symposium
in connection with the Exhibition, Japanese Design: A Survey Since 1950, Philadelphia Museum of Art

"Art is Dead, Long Live Art: Art, History, Artistry" - 6 December 1994
-- Department of Art and Archaeology Graduate Student Lecture, Princeton University

"Philosophies of Space and Nature: Japan and the West" - 18 April 1995
-- Landscape Design Network, Temple University Ambler Campus

"Leonardo's Spell" - 4 June 1998
-- Swarthmore Alumni College

"Anatomy of Space in the Japanese Garden" – - 22 August 1998
-- Stanley Park, Westfield, MA

"The Usefulness of Uselessness" - 27 March 1999, Keynote Address
-- The 1999 Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth's Odyssey at Swarthmore College



see also
My Courses in Art History at Swarthmore

return to
Kaori's Webbsie