Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2015 Publication Award Recipients

Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2015 Publication Award Recipients

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) have announced the winners of the 2015 Publication Awards in Chicago, as part of their 68th Annual International Conference Awards ceremony. David Brownlee, Keith Morgan, Pauline Saliga, and Stanley Tigerman were also inducted as Fellows of the Society of Architectural Historians for their "lifelong contributions to the field of architectural history."

Awarded annually, the SAH Publication awards honor excellence in "architectural history, landscape history, and historic preservation scholarship," alongside outstanding architectural exhibition catalogs. Eligible publications must have been published in the two years immediately preceding the award, with nominations for the 2016 Publication Awards opening on June 1.

Learn more about the winning publications after the break.

Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award

Established in 1949, this award recognizes the most distinguished work of architectural history scholarship by a North American Scholar. Two books received this award in 2015.

Richard Harris, Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914–1960 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012) 

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "Each year, North Americans spend as much money fixing up their homes as they do buying new ones. This obsession with improving our dwellings has given rise to a multibillion-dollar industry that includes countless books, consumer magazines, a cable television network, and thousands of home improvement stores.Building a Market charts the rise of the home improvement industry in the United States and Canada from the end of World War I into the late 1950s. Drawing on the insights of business, social, and urban historians, and making use of a wide range of documentary sources, Richard Harris shows how the middle-class preference for home ownership first emerged in the 1920s—and how manufacturers, retailers, and the federal government combined to establish the massive home improvement market and a pervasive culture of Do-It-Yourself. Deeply insightful, Building a Market is the carefully crafted history of the emergence and evolution of a home improvement revolution that changed not just American culture but the American landscape as well." [Amazon]

Christopher Curtis Mead, Making Modern Paris: Victor Baltard’s Central Markets and the Urban Practice (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "The name of the architect Victor Baltard is inseparable from the Halles Centrales of Paris, the complex of iron-and-glass pavilions built between 1854 and 1874 in the historic heart of the city. Making Modern Paris is the only comprehensive study to address systematically not only the role Baltard played in the markets’ design and construction but also how the markets relate to the rest of Baltard’s work and professional practice. Christopher Curtis Mead interprets the Central Markets as a cogent expression of Baltard’s professional experience as he adjusted his academic training to new criteria of municipal administration, urban planning, and building technology. Considering his entire career over the three decades he worked for the Prefecture of the Seine, this investigation of how architectural and urban practice came together in Baltard’s work offers a case study of the historical process that produced modern Paris between 1840 and 1870." [Amazon]

Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award

Seeking to encourage further research and publication in the field of architectural preservation, this award takes its name from Antoinette Forrester Downing, a scholar renowned for her recognition of the importance of local inventories and surveys.

Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "In the early morning of November 29, 1864, with the fate of the Union still uncertain, part of the First Colorado and nearly all of the Third Colorado volunteer regiments, commanded by Colonel John Chivington, surprised hundreds of Cheyenne and Arapaho people camped on the banks of Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. More than 150 Native Americans were slaughtered, the vast majority of them women, children, and the elderly, making it one of the most infamous cases of state-sponsored violence in U.S. history. A Misplaced Massacreexamines the ways in which generations of Americans have struggled to come to terms with the meaning of both the attack and its aftermath, most publicly at the 2007 opening of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site.

 This site opened after a long and remarkably contentious planning process. Native Americans, Colorado ranchers, scholars, Park Service employees, and politicians alternately argued and allied with one another around the question of whether the nation’s crimes, as well as its achievements, should be memorialized. Ari Kelman unearths the stories of those who lived through the atrocity, as well as those who grappled with its troubling legacy, to reveal how the intertwined histories of the conquest and colonization of the American West and the U.S. Civil War left enduring national scars.

Combining painstaking research with storytelling worthy of a novel, A Misplaced Massacre probes the intersection of history and memory, laying bare the ways differing groups of Americans come to know a shared past." [Amazon]

Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award

Awarded to exhibition catalogues demonstrating excellence in the address of both historical and critical questions, this award recognises outstanding use of the catalogue form as a tool for conveying scholarship to a diversified audiences.

2015 Johnson Award Winner / Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin and Georges Farhat, André Le Nôtre in Perspective (Paris: Éditions Hazan, 2013; distributed in the U.S. by Yale University Press)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: André Le Nôtre (1613–1700), principal gardener to Louis XIV, was France’s greatest landscape and garden designer. The parks created by him at Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles are the supreme examples of the French 17th-century style of garden design. He was responsible also for the central pathway through the Tuileries, which became the grand axis of Paris running to the Arc de Triomphe and on to La Défense.

This magnificent book sheds new light on the royal gardener’s life and his practice as a landscape architect, engineer and art collector, and examines the legacy of his influence. It highlights his major achievements and enhances our understanding of the French formal-garden model. Le Nôtre’s output is re-examined in terms of its social and cultural contexts; its artistic, technological, material and spatial components; and the dissemination of his ideas. The book contains illustrations of both original documents and the majority of extant drawings by Le Nôtre and his collaborators. Comprehensive and impeccably researched,André Le Nôtre in Perspective brings together the scholarship of some of the world’s leading experts in early-modern art, gardens and allied fields. [Amazon]

Honorable Mention / Susan Weber, William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press and the Bard Graduate Center, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "The most versatile British designer of the 18th century, William Kent (1685–1748) created a style for a new nation and monarchy. The scope of his achievements encompasses architecture, palatial interiors, elaborate gardens, and exquisite furniture. Among his creative innovations are bold combinations of elements from Palladian, rococo, and gothic design, anticipating the intermingling of architectural styles we see today.  William Kent:Designing Georgian Britain is the first comprehensive exploration of this important designer and his extraordinary creations.

An international team of the foremost experts in the field examines the entire spectrum of Kent’s oeuvre, including the interiors at Kensington Palace and Houghton Hall. Essays illuminate issues about the authorship of Kent’s furniture and metalwork, situate his contributions in relation to architectural discourse, and classify the characteristics of his designs. Copiously illustrated, including many stunning new photographs, this handsome volume celebrates the work and career of one of the most influential figures in the history of architecture and design." [Amazon]

Spiro Kostof Book Award

Established at the SAH's 1993 Annual Meeting, this award honours the late historian Spiro Kostof, and is given to works in urban history and related disciplines deemed to have made "the greatest contribution to our understanding of historical development and change."

2015 Kostof Award Winner / Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo, I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "In this dazzling multidisciplinary tour of Mexico City, Mauricio Tenorio-Trillo focuses on the period 1880 to 1940, the decisive decades that shaped the city into what it is today.  

Through a kaleidoscope of expository forms, I Speak of the City connects the realms of literature, architecture, music, popular language, art, and public health to investigate the city in a variety of contexts: as a living history textbook, as an expression of the state, as a modernist capital, as a laboratory, and as language. Tenorio’s formal imagination allows the reader to revel in the free-flowing richness of his narratives, opening startling new vistas onto the urban experience.

From art to city planning, from epidemiology to poetry, this book challenges the conventional wisdom about both Mexico City and the turn-of-the-century world to which it belonged. And by engaging directly with the rise of modernism and the cultural experiences of such personalities as Hart Crane, Mina Loy, and Diego Rivera, I Speak of the City will find an enthusiastic audience across the disciplines." [Amazon]

Honorable Mention / Andrew Friedman, Covert Capital: Landscapes of Denial and the Making of U.S. Empire in the Suburbs of Northern Virginia (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2013)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher: "The capital of the U.S. Empire after World War II was not a city. It was an American suburb. In this innovative and timely history, Andrew Friedman chronicles how the CIA and other national security institutions created a U.S. imperial home front in the suburbs of Northern Virginia. In this covert capital, the suburban landscape provided a cover for the workings of U.S. imperial power, which shaped domestic suburban life. The Pentagon and the CIA built two of the largest office buildings in the country there during and after the war that anchored a new imperial culture and social world.

As the U.S. expanded its power abroad by developing roads, embassies, and villages, its subjects also arrived in the covert capital as real estate agents, homeowners, builders, and landscapers who constructed spaces and living monuments that both nurtured and critiqued postwar U.S. foreign policy. Tracing the relationships among American agents and the migrants from Vietnam, El Salvador, Iran, and elsewhere who settled in the southwestern suburbs of D.C., Friedman tells the story of a place that recasts ideas about U.S. immigration, citizenship, nationalism, global interconnection, and ethical responsibility from the post-WW2 period to the present. Opening a new window onto the intertwined history of the American suburbs and U.S. foreign policy, Covert Capital will also give readers a broad interdisciplinary and often surprising understanding of how U.S. domestic and global histories intersect in many contexts and at many scales. [Amazon]

Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award

Since its establishment in 2005 by the SAH Board, this award has recognized the most distinguished published scholarship in the history of landscape architecture of garden design. 

David E. Coke and Alan Borg, Vauxhall Gardens: A History (New Haven and London: Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011)

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

From the publisher:"From their early beginnings in the Restoration until the final closure in Queen Victoria's reign, Vauxhall Gardens developed from a rural tavern and place of assignation into a dream-world filled with visual arts and music, and finally into a commercial site of mass entertainment. By the 18th century, Vauxhall was crucial to the cultural and fashionable life of the country, patronized by all levels of society, from royal dukes to penurious servants. 

In the first book on the subject for over fifty years, Alan Borg and David E. Coke reveal the teeming life, the spectacular art and the ever-present music of Vauxhall in fascinating detail. Borg and Coke's historical exposition of the entire history of the gardens makes a major contribution to the study of London entertainments, art, music, sculpture, class and ideology. It reveals how Vauxhall linked high and popular culture in ways that look forward to the manner in which both art and entertainment have evolved in modern times." [Amazon]

Founders' JSAH Article Award

This award recognises "excellence of scholarship and presentation" in an article published by an emerging scholar in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians in the two years preceding the award.

George F. Flaherty, “Responsive Eyes: Urban Logistics and Kinetic Environments for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics,” Journal of Architectural Historians 73, no. 3 (September 2014): 372–397.

Courtesy of Society of Architectural Historians

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Cite: Patricia Arcilla. "Society of Architectural Historians Announces 2015 Publication Award Recipients" 23 Apr 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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