SAH is accepting abstracts for
the 69th Annual Conference

Pasadena/Los Angeles, CA
April 6-10, 2016

Deadline June 9, 2015

View the call for papers

The Best Planned City in the World: Olmsted, Vaux and the Buffalo Park System 

Produced by the Library of American Landscape History

Watch the film

Architecture in the Rio de la Plata Basin: Between Tradition and Cosmopolitanism

September 1-12, 2015


Register Now


Bury the Lantern: The Other Side of Promoting Farm Electrification

By Sarah Rovang | April 23, 2015

Tombstone for a kerosene lamp

In the late 1930s and early 1940s, numerous farm communities across the United States gathered to enact lantern funerals, the ritualized interring of antiquated kerosene lamps. Cloaked in the guise of mourning, these parodic rites were actually celebrations of the arrival of electric lighting in the rural landscape. In some cases, the burial plot was marked with a tombstone such as the one seen in Figure 1, which explains that the “coal-oil lamp” has been “abolished for all time” by the advent of electricity.

Members in the News

SAH Deadlines & Dates

SAH Opportunities
SAH/Mellon Author Awards    6/1 
2016 Call for Papers    6/9 
Brooks Travelling Fellowship    10/1 
Programs & Events    Dates 
2015 Field Seminar
(Uruguay and Argentina) 



  • Drawing for the Prize: Architectural Competition Drawings from Europe to America

    Cambridge | Dates: 05 – 05 May, 2015
    This talk will adopt the premise that architectural training as it was conceived in France in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was aimed more directly at producing drawings than buildings. The relatively limited existing scholarship on architectural drawings in a pedagogical context has been dominated, however, almost exclusively by concern for the subjects assigned—which is to say the final, built result. This approach has failed to address the question of the drawings as objects rather than illustrations and more particularly their status as the product of a complex institutional apparatus that taught and rewarded a codified system of architectural representation. This talk considers not only the questions of why and how a French Beaux-Arts model became dominant in dialogue with shifts in institutional structures but also the story of its discontents when alternate means of representation that the Beaux-Arts system had suppressed were revived and explored by those outside the academic establishment. Architects trained with Legeay and deeply influenced by Piranesi, legitimated a separation between the representation and the actual project itself and taught students to draw ‘des tableaux d’architecture’. Students of the Académie de France à Rome in particular began to make use of expressive techniques that were until then considered exclusively the domain of the pictorial or plastic arts. Variations in ornamentation or distribution were conveyed through affective juxtapositions of color and daring application of pigment that held little to no relationship with the realities of the projected building. The proximity between architects and painters in the second half of the eighteenth century became institutionalized after the Revolution at the École des Beaux-Arts, where architects were trained in the same building as painters, sculptors, and engravers and where draftsmen across media shared life and perspective drawing classes. During the first years of the nineteenth century, and particularly during the Napoleonic Empire, a reaction against such dramatic pictorial effects encouraged students to restrain their chromatic palette, to refine their lines and to lay stress on the precision with which they represented ornaments and sculpture. Monochromes were prized, resulting in a new value placed on mastering shading and wash, which was to become one of the defining characteristics of the Beaux-Arts style. Over the course of the century wash would provide an arena for experimenting with conventional uses of color and the production of abstract forms that tread carefully between providing a satisfying degree of detail without distracting the viewer or compromising a harmonious whole. In the ateliers of Vaudoyer, Percier and Lebas, students were taught how to animate the surroundings (notably natural elements, such as water, lawns, isolated trees, etc.) in order to produce the most affective architectural renderings of the century. While their most dominant features had little to do with the structures depicted they would emerge as the key models of academic architectural training at the end of the nineteenth century throughout Europe and the United States.
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  • CAVRACon - UC Santa Barbara, June 18-19, 2015

    Santa Barbara | Dates: 18 – 19 Jun, 2015
    The California Visual Resources Association Conference, also known as CaVraCon, will provide presentations, case studies, and demos dealing with the many aspects of creating, managing and maintaining digital image collections, as well as the opportunity to network with both emerging professionals and veterans of the field.
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  • Dedication Marion Mahony Griffin Beach Park in Chicago

    Chicago | Dates: 09 – 09 May, 2015
    The Chicago Park District, Australian Consulate-General in Chicago, Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, and Alderman Joe Moore invite you to the dedication of Marion Mahony Griffin Beach Park on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 11 am. Dedication ceremony will be followed by Australian morning tea and complimentary tours of the Emil Bach House (Frank Lloyd Wright, 1915), 7415 North Sheridan Road until 1 pm.
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