Humanities and Arts

Contact Information

Salisbury Laboratories, 014
Phone: +1-508-831-5370

M. David Samson

Professor Samson teaches art history, and his scholarship is in the history of architecture, especially the modern period. He studies and explains the moments of transition when styles change, and the spread of avant-garde creations into general currency. He is also interested in the history of industrial design, and enjoys introducing his students to it, revealing the complex background of forms and ideas behind common household objects. His architectural history courses explore both the left- and right-brain aspects of built form. Expression and function are intimately intertwined in all the visual arts, and Professor Samson demonstrates in his courses that expression is as important as function--in some cases, more so.

Research Interests

  • History of Modern Architecture
  • Architectural Theory


  • BS, University of Chicago, 1980
  • PhD, Harvard University, 1988

Featured Publications

  • "'Unser Newyorker Mitarbeiter': Lewis Mumford, Walter Curt Behrendt, and the Modern Movement in Germany," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 55, no. 2 (1996).
  • "Philip Johnson and the Revolution of the Text, 1930-1934," INTERFACES 24 (2006).

View a Complete List (.pdf, 168kb)

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