Katherine Miller

PhD candidate

Kat Miller is fourth-year doctoral candidate studying American architecture and art with Professor Richard Guy Wilson. Her research interests include public architecture, the professionalization of architecture in early America, the business of architecture, architectural photography, and architectural representation. 

Kat’s dissertation, "The Office of the Supervising Architect in the Antebellum Era: Transforming Architectural Practice, 1852-1862," examines Ammi B. Young's tenure as supervising architect at the U.S. Department of Treasury. It demonstrates that Young introduced innovations in building technology and architectural representation that helped establish the first systematized building program in America. Looking at federal customhouses built in New England and the South on the eve of the Civil War, the study looks at how the Office negotiated architectural authority over local sites. This research closely examines the letters, drawings, lithographed working drawings, and construction photographs produced by the Office’s architect, engineer, draftsman, lithographer and photographer. The dissertation exposes how new standardized national architectural practices were communicated to local builders.

Kat’s research is supported by fellowships from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and the Lindner Center for Art History at the University of Virginia. Her dissertation has been supported by a research grant from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and a Raven Society scholarship. Her dissertation topic emerged from a research fellowship with the Department of Treasury’s Office of the Curator in 2010 and was refined through a scholarship to attend Historic New England’s Program in New England Studies in 2012.