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Robert Lee Vickery, Jr. was an author, a long-time professor in the University of Virginia School of Architecture, and a practicing architect who was a founder of Charlottesville firm VMDO Architects, which specializes in architecture and design for education. When Vickery died in August 2019, he was remembered at the University of Virginia for his three-decade tenure at the A-School, his impact on the curriculum, and his commitment and influence as a teacher and mentor.
The Library is the holder of the Robert L. Vickery Papers, and worked with the Vickery family on the “Robert Vickery Collection: Marks Upon the Land.” The Vickery Collection contains more than 1,400 photographs, most of which were taken by Vickery in his extensive travels in North, Central, and South America, as well as in Europe and Asia. In 2016, the Library’s Digital Production Group scanned all of the photos, which were then published under a Creative Commons License through the Artstor image resource in order to reach a wide audience. Most recently, Metadata Librarian Ann Burns and Research Librarian for Architecture Rebecca Coleman worked with Vickery and his daughter Clare to add personal insights to the Collection’s descriptions.
The Collection reflects Vickery’s interests in regional and vernacular world architecture and includes his comments on important elements and lessons that can be drawn from the works he photographed. Also included are some of Vickery’s own architectural designs and drawings from his notebooks, but the main focus of the Collection are the photos of architecture from around the world. Many of the images are of well-known landmarks and institutional buildings of regional importance, but also represented are
thoughtful photographs of modest courtyards, entryways, and village and city streets. All of the images reveal Vickery’s passion for his subject matter and his discerning eye for detail, pattern, and composition.
“The Robert Vickery Collection: Marks Upon the Land” can be accessed by searching for “Robert Vickery” at library.artstor.org.