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School of Visual Art and Design

Faculty and Staff Directory

Lydia Brandt

Title: Associate Professor / Art History
Department: School of Visual Art and Design
School of Visual Art and Design
Phone: 803-777-4160
Office: McMaster 320
Office Hours: Tuesday/Thursday: 1:30-2:30 pm, or by appointment
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
School of Visual Art & Design


PhD, University of Virginia (Art and Architectural History)

BA, New York University (Art History)


Professor Brandt’s scholarship asks questions about the ways in which American buildings and landscapes shape and respond to popular ideas about the past. The University of Virginia Press published her book, First in the Homes of His Countrymen: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in the American Imagination, in late 2016. It chronicles America’s obsession with the first president’s iconic home through advertising, prints, paintings, popular literature, and the full-scale replication of its architecture. The Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon have supported Brandt’s research. The book was the 2018 winner of the Victorian Society in America's Henry-Russell Hitchcock Award.

 Since 2011, Brandt has taught the history of architecture and American art and the methods and theories of historic preservation at UofSC. She uses local resources in her classes, arranging projects and hands-on field trips centered recently on the sites of Historic Columbiathe Columbia Museum of Artthe South Carolina State Museum, the UofSC campus, and the grounds of the South Carolina State House.

 To see the products of some of her students’ research, see:

 Professor Brandt’s also an active advocate for preservation in South Carolina.


Fall 2018--Spring 2019 On sabbatical

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.