Hart was born in Ireland and spent part of his childhood in Hong Kong. He studied architecture at Bath and Cambridge Universities (Trinity Hall), where he was taught by Michael Brawne, Patrick Hodgkinson, Peter Smithson and Dalibor Vesely. He worked first as an architectural assistant to Colin St John Wilson on the British Library project in London, before studying for a doctorate in Cambridge on Inigo Jones under Joseph Rykwert.
Hart's concerns lie in particular with the symbolic function of architecture, and with the meaning of architectural forms. He has published widely in the field of architectural history, specialising in the Italian architectural treatises and in British architectural history of the Renaissance and Baroque periods.[better source needed]He is the co-translator (with Peter Hicks) of the treatises of Sebastiano Serlio, and he has also translated the two guidebooks to Rome published by Andrea Palladio and the guidebook to Venice by Francesco Sansovino (2017). These works have in turn been translated into Chinese and Japanese. Hart's translation of these classic works formed part of a wider project initiated by Rykwert and Robert Tavernor through their translation of the treatise by Leon Battista Alberti. In addition, Hart's monographs include influential studies of the work of Inigo Jones, Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, all published by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.[dead link]The latter monograph was awarded the Best Book on British Art Prize of the American College Art Association in 2005.
In 1997 Hart was the curator of an exhibition entitled 'Paper Palaces: Architectural books from 1472 to 1800 in the collection of Cambridge University Library'. This consisted of architectural prints, manuscripts and over 140 rare books and incunabula, and was held in the Adeane Gallery of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It was opened by the Duke of Gloucester. In 2008 he co-organised (with Peter Hicks and Alan Day) an exhibition entitled 'Palladio's Rome' held at the British School at Rome, and in 2009 he co-organised (again with Hicks and Day) an exhibition of research work held at the Réfectoire des Cordeliers at the Sorbonne, Paris. Along with Tavernor, Hart has pioneered the use of the computer to visualise lost buildings and investigate historic forms. In 2002 he was funded by the AHRC to build a computer model of Hawksmoor's work in the city of Oxford. His computer work has been displayed in the 1993 and 1995 Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, in the National Theatre Museum at Covent Garden, the George Peabody Library at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and in the ‘Nelson and Napoleon’ exhibition held at the National Maritime Museum, London, in July 2005.
Teaching and Fellowships
Vaughan Hart has lectured in many schools of architecture throughout the world, and his graduate students hold academic and museum posts in Australia, Sweden and the UK. Hart has held visiting posts as a Senior Fellow of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in 2005, and as a Visiting Scholar at St John's College, Oxford in the same year. In 2009 he was Ailsa Mellon Bruce Visiting Senior Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. He was a visiting Professor at Kent University. He served on the AHRC Peer Review College from 2011 to 2016. He was a trustee of the Holburne Museum in Bath from 2011–16 and a member of the advisory board of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, an independent research institute within the University of Helsinki, Finland, from 2012-17. He served as the Assistant Honorary Secretary and Trustee of the Oriental Ceramic Society between 2014-19.
- Art and Magic in the Court of the Stuarts (Routledge, 1994; paperback edition 2014)
- St Paul's Cathedral: Christopher Wren (Phaidon, 1995; hardback edition 1999)
- Sebastiano Serlio on Architecture (with Peter Hicks, Yale University Press, 2 vols.: vol.1, 1996 (paperback edition 2005; Chinese edition, China Architecture and Building Press, 2014) and vol.2, 2001)
- Paper Palaces: the Rise of the Renaissance Architectural Treatise (with Peter Hicks, Yale University Press, 1998)
- Nicholas Hawksmoor: Rebuilding Ancient Wonders (Yale University Press, 2002: awarded the Best Book on British Art Prize of the American College Art Association in 2003; paperback edition 2007)
- Palladio's Rome (with Peter Hicks, Yale University Press, 2006; paperback edition, 2009; Japanese edition, Hakusuisha Co. Ltd., 2011)
- Sir John Vanbrugh: Storyteller in Stone (Yale University Press, 2008: shortlisted in 2008 by the Authors’ Club for the Banister Fletcher Book Prize)
- Inigo Jones: the Architect of Kings (Yale University Press, 2011: shortlisted in 2012 for the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History, the British Art Book Prize and Apollo Magazine's Book of the Year; shortlisted in 2013 for the Best Book on British Art by the Historians of British Art)
- Sansovino's Venice (with Peter Hicks, Yale University Press, 2017)
- Myth and Modernism: Essays on the Quest for Spiritual Architecture in the Early Twentieth Century (Kindle Direct Publishing, 2019)
- "JSTOR: Search Results". Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2017-09-17.
- "Vaughan Hart". the University of Bath's research portal. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2019-08-24.
- See entry for Hart in Who's Who 2016.
- http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/SearchResultsTMM.asp?selType=Author&txtCriteria=vaughan Archived 2013-12-03 at the Wayback Machine hart
- "Library Publications - Exhibition Catalogues". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "Paris exhibition features 'virtual balloon flight' over Bath". Archived from the original on 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "How Historians Are Now Using Computer Technology". Archived from the original on 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "3DVISA". 3dvisa.cch.kcl.ac.uk. Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2012-01-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Coronation and consecration of Napoleon I". Archived from the original on 2014-05-12. Retrieved 2016-09-24 – via www.youtube.com.
- "National Gallery of Art - Resources". Archived from the original on 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2012-01-09.
- "Vaughan Hart appointed visiting Professor of Architecture - Kent School of Architecture - University of Kent". Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-12-02.
- "The Holburne Museum – Trustees". Archived from the original on 2011-12-11. Retrieved 2012-01-09.