Victoria Young portrait

Victoria Young

Professor and Chair of Art History
B.A., New York University
M.ArchH., Ph.D., University of Virginia
44 N. Cleveland Ave.
(651) 962-5855
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5855

Professional Interests

Professor Young is currently researching the creation, design and construction of the National World War II Museum in New OrleansShe is also developing the Voorsanger Architects Archive at the University of St. Thomas.

Specialization: Modern American and European Architecture

Young’s research focuses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century architecture, with special interests in sacred space, contemporary museums and the work of Frank Gehry. Her recent book on Marcel Breuer's design of Saint John's Abbey Church in Collegeville, Minnesota (1953-1961) explores modern religious space as does her recent article on the mid-century church in the 150th anniversary volume of Saint John's Abbey and University. Young's work in the past has focused on religious architecture; she wrote her Master's thesis on Mount Saint Bernard Abbey in Leicestershire, England, a monastic design by the nineteenth-century English architect, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. This project focused on the international aspects of Pugin's design, both architecturally and ideologically.

The gift of the Winton Guest House to the University of St. Thomas in 2007 led Young to analyze it and its place in the work fo the architect, Frank Gehry, through a permanent exhibit in the house that ran from October 2011-May 2015.

Her current research continues her interest in contemporary design, museums and memory in an exploration of Voorsanger Architectsdesign for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, a project begun in 2003, with completion expected in 2015.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

Sacred Connections Through Concrete: Considering Marcel Breuer’s Saint John’s Abbey Church and Bartholomew Voorsanger’s Chapel at the National World War II Museum,” Faith & Form vol. 51 issue 1 (March 2018): 11-15.

Saint John's Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space. University of Minnesota Press, October 2014.

“The House as Art.” Exhibit for the Winton Guest House museum on the Gainey campus of St. Thomas. Fall 2011.

“Frank Gehry: From Architect to Icon.” St. Thomas Magazine 27 no. 2 (Spring 2011) 

"The Design and Construction of Saint John's Abbey Church, 1953-1961" in Saint John's at 150: This Place called Collegeville (Liturgical Press and Saint John's University Press, 2006).

“Monasticism and Modernity: St. John's Abbey Church and Marcel Breuer." Casabella vol. 67 no. 715 (October 2003): 28-39.

"A. W. N. Pugin's Mount Saint Bernard Abbey: The International Character of England's Nineteenth-Century Monastic Revival" in Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide, February 2002 (

Recent and Forthcoming Presentations

“From a Landscape of War to a Landscape of Peace: The National World War II Museum in New Orleans,” War Memories International Symposium: Celebrations, Reconstructions, Representations and War Narratives in the English-Speaking World, Kingston, Ontario, June 12, 2018.

Session Chair, "Unheard Voices: New Interpretations of Minnesota Landscapes," Society of Architectural Historians, St. Paul, Mn, April 2018. 

2016-2018: Coordinator of Minnesota entries for Archipedia, developed by the Society of Architectural Historians.

"The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: An Architectural Interpretation of War," Memories: Commemoration, Re-enactment, Writings of War in the English-speaking World (18th-21st centuries), Paris, France, June 16, 2016.

"The National World War II Museum, New Orleans: Creating the Landscape of War," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 1-4, 2015.

"Shaping Catholic Liturgy in the Mid-Century Concrete Church," Society of Architectural Historians, Buffalo, NY, April 2013. 

"How does Monastic Architecture of the Mid-Twentieth Century Reflect Gender?" American Catholic Historical Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 5, 2012. 

"Frank Gehry's Domestic Building in New Orleans – Regional Starchitecture?" Louisiana Studies Conference, Natchitoches, LA, September 22, 2012. 

"Catholic Monastic Architecture and Gender: Marcel Breuer and the Benedictines of Saint John’s Abbey and Annunciation Priory." Modern Catholic Space conference, London, England, December 9-10, 2011.

"Frank Gehry’s Winton Guest House: Design, Build, and Relocate," Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association National Meeting, St. Louis, MO, March 31-April 4, 2010.

"Creating Modern Liturgical Space: Breuer and the Benedictines at Saint John’s," Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, April 2007.


April 2018-2020: First Vice President, Society of Architectural Historians

April  2016-2018: Second Vice President, Society of Architectural Historians

March 2014-present: Ex-officio member of the National Board of the Society of Architectural Historians, Chapters Liaison

March 2011-2014: Director, National Board of the Society of Architectural Historians

October 2006-March 2015: Member of the state of Minnesota's Historic Review Board for designation of National Register properties

July 2005-September 2015: Appointed by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty to a seat on the Governor's Residence Council. Former secretary of the Council and member of the Greening Initiative.

2003-2010: Director and former President, the Board of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians

Summer 2018 Courses

Summer 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Fall 2018 Courses

Fall 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ARHS 540 - 01 Sacred in Unexpected Places M - - - - - - 1730 - 2030 OEC 414

Days of Week:

M - - - - - -

Time of Day:

1730 - 2030


OEC 414

Course Registration Number:

42644 (View in ClassFinder)

Credit Hours:


Victoria M. Young

Typically, we think of sacred space as that found in churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc. This seminar will explore notions of the sacred in unexpected locations, as we consider how the secular world intertwines with the profane. Through an examination of selected works from various regions, traditions, and cultures, this course will consider the manner in which users make space sacred beyond that of the established Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religions. Topics to be considered will come from the following: chapels in war museums and other war-related sites; memorials; nature, landscapes and gardens; shopping centers; Disney; sporting events; civil religion and the landscape of Washington, D.C.; museums and exhibitions on religion; material religion; facillties for the homeless and elderly; domesticity; the Burning Man festival; non-traditional religions including Mormonism, Christian Sciences, Theosophy, Zen Buddhism, etc.; and megachurches, pilgrimage, and tourism.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2019 Courses

J-Term 2019 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location