Steven Brooke grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Cass Technical High School,
one of the first magnet-style science and arts high schools in the country. He was a biology/chemistry major
and played in the orchestra under the much revered conductor, Michael Bistritzsky. While in high school
he studied flute, clarinet, and saxophone at the Teal School of Music and studied piano with his mother,
Shoshana, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and a renowned concert pianist and vocalist.
Steven was graduated from the University of Michigan and
began his graduate work in molecular biology
at George Washington University, conducting his research at the National Institutes of Health. He transferred to
the University of Miamiís Institute for Molecular and Cellular Evolution to work under Dr. Sidney W. Fox,
a world leader in the research on chemical evolution and the origin of cells. Steven was a graduate
student and later a research associate at the Institute. His research focused on the
origins of cellular compartmentalization, models of primordial cellular reproduction, and the origins of cellular
communication and behavior. His photomicrographs and scanning electron micrographs of proteinoid microspheres,
a laboratory model of a primordial cell, appeared in dozens of journals and text books. His papers include:
Sidney W. Fox,
Laura Hsu, and Steven Brooke ; Communication Within and Between Proteinoid
First European Biophysics Congress 1971, Vienna
Jaime Miquel, Steven Brooke, and Sidney W. Fox; Assembly of Microspheres from Acidic Proteinoids and Histones or Histone-like Proteinoids;
Currents in Modern Biology 3 (1971) 299-306
Laura Hsu, Steven Brooke, and Sidney W. Fox; Conjugation of Proteinoid Microspheres: A Model of Primordial Communication;
Currents in Modern Biology 4 (1971) 12-25.
Sidney W. Fox, Laura Hsu, Steven Brooke, Tadoyoshi Nakashima, and James C. Lacey, Jr.; Experimental Models of Communication
at the Molecular and Microsystemic Levels; International Journal of Neuroscience, 1972, Vol.3, pp.181-192;
Steven Brooke and Sidney W. Fox; Compartmentalization in Proteinoid Microshperes; BioSystems, 9 (1977) 1-22
Eventually tiring of life in the lab, Steven began
his architectural photography career in 1979.
Steven received his first camera at the age of eight His mentor, Dr. Frederick Cleveland Test III introduced him to
the work of the Dutch and Italian painters and engravers of
the 16th- and 17th-centuries,
particularly those whose work
featured perspective studies. It was natural that Steven gravitated to this particular field of photography.
His first clients included Dennis Jenkins, Suzanne Martinson, Florence Knoll, Mark Hampton, Ben Baldwin,
and Carl Abbott. In 1984, he was awarded the American Institute of Architects National Honor Award in Photography.
Steven published his first article with Architectural Digest in 1986 and was a Contributing Photographer for over twenty years.
Steven was involved in the early struggles to save
the Miami Beach Art Deco District and to have it included
in the National Registry of Historic Districts. Many cite the 1982 story in Progressive Architecture that featured
his cover and editorial photography, and which was championed by then-architecture editor David Morton, as the first major
publication to bring the district to national attention and respect. His book, Deco Delights, with pioneer preservationist
Barbara Capitman, is still considered the book on the history of the Miami Beach Art Deco district.
In Miami, Steven met Robert Davis who was to develop
Seaside, Florida, the landmark town that ushered in the
New Urbanism movement in town planning. Steven has been Seaside's photographer of record since its inception, producing
three books on the town and
contributing photographs to dozens of articles and books.
In 1991, Steven was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome. While at the Academy, he produced
a new vedute de Roma (views of Rome) in the style of the 17 th- and 18th-century Dutch and Italian engravers. Published by Rizzoli,
it was the first book of its kind in nearly a century, and the first of his now eleven books for Rizzoli. It included essays by
renowned scholars John Varriano, Bonna Wescoat, and Malcomb Campbell. Views of Rome was critically acclaimed
and won the AIA International Book Award. While in Rome, Steven photographed the Capella Paolina, the Pope's Private chapel,
the first photographer in many decades to have been granted such permission. He also contributed to Sarah McPhee's landmark
book on Bernini and the St. Peter's Bell Towers.
Views of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, which
Steven both wrote and photographed, was produced in 1997 when he was a
Fellow at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem. Like Views of Rome, it was the first book of its kind in decades.
To date, he has been the photographer of thirty-six books on architecture and design, nine of which he has also written.
His publishers include Rizzoli International, Abbeville, Abrams, University of Pennsylvania Press, Pelican, and Clarkson Potter.
Active in music until 1979, Steven led bands in Washington,
D.C. and Miami. Among the notable musicians who played in his groups
were guitarist Dave Essig; drummers Chuck Silverman, Lennie Steinberg, and Ramon Casales; bassists Will Lee and Ben Brown;
and pianists Gil Goldstein, Mike Gerber, and Robert Estelle.
Steven Brooke lives in Miami. His seventeen-year old son, Miles,
is a student at Ransom
Everglades School and an outstanding lacrosse goalie.
Steven is an Adjunct Professor in the University of Miami's Department of Architecture. In addition to his photographic work,
Steven holds a brown belt in mixed martial arts, and coaches lacrosse at Ransom Everglades School.