DHCH / Elena Chestnova

Elena Chestnova


Istituto di storia e teoria dell’arte e dell’architettura, Università della Svizzera italiana


Elena Chestnova has studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and at the ETH Zurich and has worked in various fields in London, Jerusalem and Zurich. She has completed her PhD within the SNSF-Project “Architecture and Globalization of Knowledge in the 19th Century. Gottfried Semper and the Discipline of Architectural History.” Her research concentrated on the theory-construction of Gottfried Semper as a consumer and producer of popularized knowledge in London in the 1850s. Her research has focused in particular on the role of material culture in theory construction and design teaching. Her PhD dissertation 'History in Things. Gottfried Semper and Popularization of the Arts in London 1850-55' has been awarded the prestigious Theodor-Fischer Prize for emerging scholars by the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich in 2018. Her research interests include material culture and art historiography, new formats and media of artistic knowledge in the nineteenth century, cross-fertilisation of different disciplinary fields, and dynamics of national identification in the making and viewing of art. She is currently working on developing methodologies for the study of nineteenth-century lectures on art and architecture for broad audiences.