Kathryn O'Rourke, Ph.D.
- Professor , Art and Art History
Kathryn O’Rourke received her B.A. in Architecture from Wellesley College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a historian of modern architecture whose interests include many subjects in Latin America, the United States, and Europe.
Professor O’Rourke is the author of Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation, and the Shaping of a Capital (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016), which received the Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians. The volume she edited, O’Neil Ford on Architecture (University of Texas Press, 2019), was a runner up for the Ramirez Family Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. She is currently at work on two book projects: Archaism and Liberalism in Modern Architecture, and a short survey of modern architecture in Texas (University of Texas Press), as well as invited essays on Felix Candela, and race and historiography in 19th-century U.S. architecture.
Her other scholarship includes articles on Mexican architectural rationalism and health care reform, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s work in Latin America, the art of Diego Rivera, and architectural postmodernism on the Texas Gulf Coast. She has contributed essays to Frida Kahlo’s Garden, O’Neil Ford and Arch Swank: The Little Chapel in the Woods, Platform, and Oxford Bibliographies in Architecture, Planning, and Preservation.
Professor O’Rourke’s scholarship has been supported by grants from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. In 2013 she received the Founders’ Award from the Society of Architectural Historians.
At Trinity, Professor O’Rourke teaches courses on the art and architecture of Latin America and on modern architecture. She directs the minor in Architectural Studies, teaches in the Urban Studies program, and is affiliated with Trinity’s Mexico-Americas-Spain (MAS) program. Prior to joining the faculty at Trinity, she taught architectural history at Swarthmore College.
From 2016 to 2020 Professor O’Rourke served as secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians. For six years she served on the State Board of Review of the Texas Historical Commission, four of them as vice-chair. She currently serves on the board of directors of Centro San Antonio and is the inaugural chair of its Urban Planning and Development Committee. She sits on the Visiting Committee on Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art, and is a founder and the president of Design|Forum, a San Antonio non-profit.