Courtney Rawlings

Courtney Rawlings


Courtney Rawlings is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at Emory University. Courtney’s studies are largely concerned with the art, architecture, and design in Europe and America from the interwar to the mid-century. Currently, her research is focused on the rise of public housing in the United States, especially in Los Angeles.

Her forthcoming dissertation, preliminarily titled, “The Architecture of Red Los Angeles: Building Low-Cost Housing Communities for a Postwar Future, 1942-1955,” focuses on the work of three modern architects working in Los Angeles at midcentury: Richard Neutra, Gregory Ain, and Paul R. Williams. To support her claim that what we now call “midcentury modernism” was first developed to address California's housing crisis and uplift working-class peoples, Courtney aims to unveil how and why these architects provided their residents affordable communities—with comforts such as ample green space, communal amenities like free childcare, and private, flexibly-planned and spacious apartments—to distinguish the projects from their speculatively-built, urban surround. In short, she will show that these architects foregrounded communal spaces in a modernist idiom in order to reform the domestic sphere and alter the patterns of everyday life.

Before coming to Emory, Courtney received her B.A. from the University of California, Riverside, where she graduated with high honors in Art History and Philosophy. Since entering Emory’s Art History Department in 2015, Courtney has completed her qualifying paper (M.A. Thesis) “Caricature in the Carracci Academy: Experiments at the Limits of Recognition,” worked on two digital humanities projects (“Mapping Senufo” and “Atlanta Housing Interplay”), and been awarded the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Object-Centered Curatorial Research, where she worked in the Decorative Arts Department at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Most recently, Courtney received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Dimas, California to support her dissertation research.