How do we incorporate the past into the way we see the world?  What does the experience of past worlds offer to contemporary visual and material culture, including architecture?  When and why do creators choose to use or fight back against the past?  And how do we learn from the weirdness of the past instead of trying to make it conform to the present?  Hear an architect, artist, preservationist, classical scholar, and theater and puppet artist talk about the uses of the past, and how they have reacted to the complicated idea of “pastness” – even the past idea of the future -- in their work.  

The panel is comprised of scholars and practitioners from different disciplines who have been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome.

Catherine Chin, classics professor and writer, UC Davis
Eleanor Gorski, Assistant Commissioner of Planning, Design and Historic Preservation, City of Chicago
Dan Hurlin, theater and puppet artist, Sarah Lawrence College
Thomas Kelley, NormanKelley, Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017 Participant
Thomas Leslie, architectural historian, Iowa State University
Tom Mayes, historic preservationist, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Catie Newell, installation artist and architect, University of Michigan
Todd Palmer, Executive Director, Chicago Architecture Biennial
Mark Robbins, FAAR, President of AAR
Catherine Wagner, visual artist, Mills College
Susan West-Montgomery, National Trust for Historic Preservation

The panel will  explore the ways that reception, revision, or rejection of the past helps us make sense of how we live now.

This event is organized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation's PastForward conference. PastForward is the premier educational and networking event for those in the business of saving places. Art, advocacy, and innovation are the hallmarks of preservation in Chicago, where outstanding architecture and diverse neighborhoods have become a proving ground for preservation approaches. PastForward 2017 focuses on “forward,” exploring the next generation of preservation tools and techniques—high-tech, big data, virtual. For more information, please visit

Register today to attend this event.