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Victoria Young (she/her/hers)


Art History

  • Research Interests
  • Professor Young is on sabbatical for the 2021-2022 year researching how the sacred is conveyed in settings housing three versions of William Holman Hunt’s work, The Light of the World. The settings are the Manchester Art Gallery, Keble College Oxford, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Specialization: Modern American and European Architecture

Young’s research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, with special interests in sacred space. Her 2014 book on Marcel Breuer's design of Saint John's Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota (1953-1961) explored the impact of midcentury modernism and liturgical reform on sacred architecture. She currently is considering the role of baptism in Breuer’s sacred work for a forthcoming edited volume on water and sacred architecture from Routledge Publishing. Young's work in the past has focused on religious architecture; she wrote her Master's thesis on Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, England, a monastic design by the nineteenth-century English architect, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. This project focused on the international aspects of Pugin's design, both architecturally and ideologically.

The gift of the Winton Guest House to the University of St. Thomas in 2007 led Young to analyze it and its place in the work fo the architect, Frank Gehry, through a permanent exhibit in the house that ran from October 2011-May 2015.

Young also explores the work of Voorsanger Architects in her research and creation of the Voorsanger Architects Archive at the University of St. Thomas.

“The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: An Architectural Interpretation of War,” War and Remembrance: Recollecting and Representing War (McGill University Press, 2022).

Sacred Connections Through Concrete: Considering Marcel Breuer’s Saint John’s Abbey Church and Bartholomew Voorsanger’s Chapel at the National World War II Museum,” Faith & Form vol. 51 issue 1 (March 2018): 11-15.

Preserving the Present: The Voorsanger Architects Archive at the University of St. Thomas

Saint John's Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space. University of Minnesota Press, October 2014.

  • Author interview with Marginalia Review of Books.
  • Nominated for the Alice Davis Hitchcock Award, presented by the Society of Architectural Historians for distinguished scholarship by a North American author in the history of architecture.

“The House as Art.” Exhibit for the Winton Guest House museum on the Gainey campus of St. Thomas. Fall 2011.

Frank Gehry: From Architect to Icon.” St. Thomas Magazine 27 no. 2 (Spring 2011)

"The Design and Construction of Saint John's Abbey Church, 1953-1961" in Saint John's at 150: This Place called Collegeville (Liturgical Press and Saint John's University Press, 2006).

“Monasticism and Modernity: St. John's Abbey Church and Marcel Breuer." Casabella vol. 67 no. 715 (October 2003): 28-39.

"A. W. N. Pugin's Mount Saint Bernard Abbey: The International Character of England's Nineteenth-Century Monastic Revival" in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, February 2002 (http://www.19thc-artworldwide.org/spring02/85-spring02/spring02article/211-a-w-n-pugins-mount-saint-bernard-abbey-the-international-character-of-englands-nineteenth-century-monastic-revival).

“Marcel Breuer and Sacred Space: From the Bauhaus to Bismarck,” University of Mary Convocation Speaker, September 24, 2021.

“Finding the Sacred in War Museums,” Architectural Humanities Research Association, Dundee, Scotland, November 21-23, 2019

“From a Landscape of War to a Landscape of Peace: The National World War II Museum in New Orleans,” War Memories International Symposium: Celebrations, Reconstructions, Representations and War Narratives in the English-Speaking World, Kingston, Ontario, June 12, 2018.

Session Chair, "Unheard Voices: New Interpretations of Minnesota Landscapes," Society of Architectural Historians, St. Paul, Mn, April 2018.

2016-2018: Coordinator of Minnesota entries for Archipedia, developed by the Society of Architectural Historians.

"The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: An Architectural Interpretation of War," Memories: Commemoration, Re-enactment, Writings of War in the English-speaking World (18th-21st centuries), Paris, France, June 16, 2016.

"The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: Creating the Landscape of War," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 1-4, 2015.

"Shaping Catholic Liturgy in the Mid-Century Concrete Church," Society of Architectural Historians, Buffalo, NY, April 2013.

"How does Monastic Architecture of the Mid-Twentieth Century Reflect Gender?" American Catholic Historical Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 5, 2012.

"Frank Gehry's Domestic Building in New Orleans – Regional Starchitecture?" Louisiana Studies Conference, Natchitoches, LA, September 22, 2012.

"Catholic Monastic Architecture and Gender: Marcel Breuer and the Benedictines of Saint John’s Abbey and Annunciation Priory." Modern Catholic Space conference, London, England, December 9-10, 2011.

"Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House: Design, Build, and Relocate," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting, St. Louis, MO, March 31-April 4, 2010.

"Creating Modern Liturgical Space: Breuer and the Benedictines at Saint John’s," Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, April 2007.

  • April 2020-2022: President, Society of Architectural Historians
  • April 2018-2020: First Vice President, Society of Architectural Historians
  • April 2016-2018: Second Vice President, Society of Architectural Historians
  • March 2014-present: Ex-officio member of the National Board of the Society of Architectural Historians, Chapters Liaison
  • March 2011-2014: Director, National Board of the Society of Architectural Historians
  • October 2006-March 2015: Member of the state of Minnesota's Historic Review Board for designation of National Register properties
  • July 2005-September 2015: Appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to a seat on the Governor's Residence Council. Former secretary of the Council and member of the Greening Initiative.
  • 2003-2010: Director and former President, the Board of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians