Jesús Escobar Associate Professor; Department Chair

Jesús Escobar teaches courses and publishes scholarship on the art, architecture, and urbanism of early modern Spain, Italy, and the larger Spanish world. His book The Plaza Mayor and the Shaping of Baroque Madrid (Cambridge University Press, 2003; paper, 2009), explored the interchange of architecture and politics in the evolution of Madrid from a secondary city of Castile to the seat of a global empire. The book won the Eleanor Tufts Award from the American Society for Hispanic Art Historical Studies and was published in a Spanish-language edition in 2008 by Editorial Nerea. He is currently completing a follow-up book project exploring government buildings and public spaces associated with powerful institutions in seventeenth-century Madrid. Other recent publications consider seventeenth-century architecture in Seville and Santiago de Compostela, early modern religious architecture in the whole of the Spanish Empire, and a historiographical exploration of Spanish Habsburg architecture.

Professor Escobar serves as Editor for the scholarly book series, Buildings, Landscapes, and Societies, published by Penn State University Press. He is also an editor for the Grove Encyclopedia of Latin American Art and Architecture, a member of the National Committee for the History of Art, and an active participant in a number of professional societies. Prior to arriving at Northwestern, he taught at Fairfield University and held visiting professorships at MIT and Columbia. His research has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. At Northwestern, he is Principal Investigator for the Chicago Objects Study Initiative, a collaborative project with the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In 2018-19, Professor Escobar will be on leave following the end of his term as Department Chair. He welcomes applications from prospective graduate students interested in architecture and urbanism in the early modern, transatlantic Spanish Empire as well as the study of architectural and artistic exchange in the Spanish Habsburg world. He also looks forward to working again with Northwestern’s talented undergraduates upon his return to campus in Fall 2019.

Program Area: Architecture and Urbanism, Early Modern

Regional Specialization: Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe

Regional Interests:  Architecture and urbanism in the Spanish Habsburg world, Baroque visual culture, early modern cartography 

Selected Publications

Jesús Escobar. “Philip II and El Escorial.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Art History. Ed. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann. New York: Oxford University Press, 27 June 2017.

Jesús Escobar, "Map as Tapestry: Science and Art in Pedro Teixeira's 1656 Representation of Madrid," Art Bulletin 96/1 (2014): 50-69.

Jesús Escobar, "Architecture in the Age of the Spanish Habsburgs," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 75/3 (2016): 258-262.