Carolyn Yerkes specializes in Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Focusing on European buildings from the 15th through 18th centuries, much of her latest research investigates relationships between architectural theory and techniques of architectural representation. Her first book, Drawing after Architecture: Renaissance Architectural Drawings and Their Reception, appeared in 2017. It investigates the nature of architectural evidence to understand how early modern architects used images to explore structures, create biographies, and write history. The book won the James Ackerman Award in the History of Architecture and was published by Marsilio as the eighth volume in that series.
Now Yerkes is working on a book about early modern architectural experiments. The book examines how architects used buildings to explore the natural world, including such phenomena as acoustical echoes, gravity, optics, and time. Another study in progress, tentatively entitled “From Solomon to Sonograms,” deals with the juridical anomaly of forced looking in episodes when images are a form of punishment. Together with John Pinto and Heather Hyde Minor, she is developing an exhibition and scholarly catalog about the architect and printmaker Giovanni Battista Piranesi that focuses on his polemical publications.