Alina Payne is Paul E. Geier Director of Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and Alexander P. Misheff Professor of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University.
She was trained as an architect (McGill) and received MA and PhD degrees in art/architecture history (University of Toronto). She taught at Oberlin College and the University of Toronto, and joined Harvard University in 2003. In 2006 she was awarded the Max Planck and Alexander von Humboldt Prize in the Humanities (2006-12). She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts of Sciences in October 2017.
She is the author of The Architectural Treatise in the Italian Renaissance (Cambridge University Press, 1999; Hitchcock Prize 2000), Rudolf Wittkower (Bollati-Boringheri, 2010), From Ornament to Object. Genealogies of Architectural Modernism (Yale University Press, 2012), The Telescope and the Compass. Teofilo Gallaccini and the Dialogue between Architecture and Science in the Age of Galileo (Leo Olschki, 2012). Volumes of essays she has edited include Teofilo Gallaccini. Writings and Library (Leo Olschki, 2012), Dalmatia and the Mediterranean. Portable Archaeology and the Poetics of Influence (Brill 2014), Vision and Its Instruments. Art, Science and Technology in Early Modern Europe (Penn State Press, 2015), and Antiquity and Its Interpreters (co-editor; CUP 2000). She is currently seeing through publication three volumes of essays: The Companion to Renaissance and Baroque Architecture (Blackwell/Wiley, 2016); Histories of Ornament: Between Global and Local (co-editor; Princeton University Press, 2016) and Revision, Revival and Return. The Renaissance in the Nineteenth-Century (co-editor; Villa I Tatti and Harvard University Press, 2016).
She has published numerous articles on Renaissance and modern architecture, on historiography and artistic theory, and on Mediterranean topics and lectured on topics ranging from Vitruvius to contemporary issues. She has been Visiting Professor at the Villa I Tatti in Florence, Hertziana/Max Planck Institute in Rome, KHI/Max Planck Institute in Florence, the University of Palermo, the University of Rome II and École Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris). She is currently researching her next book on Renaissance architecture and the intersection between the arts on the terrain of materiality which was the subject of her lectures as Chaire du Louvre in Paris, fall 2016.