SAH/Mellon Author Awards


In 2013, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) a grant of $51,330 to administer the SAH/Mellon Author Awards. The award is designed to provide financial relief to scholars who are publishing their first monograph on the history of the built environment, and who are responsible for paying for rights and permissions for images or for commissioning maps, charts or line drawings in their publications. Through this grant, SAH will provide awards to scholars to help defray the high costs of image licensing, reproduction, and creation of original drawings and maps for monographs on the history of the built environment. This grant is intended as a seed grant to assist authors to defray these costs and to secure other applicable grants. Awards will be made once in 2014 and once in 2015 for print (hardcover, soft cover) and digital publications (eBook, DVD). Awardees will be selected on the basis of the quality and demonstrated financial need for their project.

The SAH/Mellon Author Awards will provide authors publishing their first monograph with the financial resources they need to produce scholarly books in their most desirable form. The publication of a monograph continues to be the most valued demonstration of scholarly competence for career advancement and recognition in the humanities. Unfortunately, many authors today must provide both a fully realized text and the financial resources for its image program. The cost for image rights and licensing, especially for digital publications, can be prohibitively expensive.

The SAH/Mellon Author Awards jury comprises distinguished mid-career and senior scholars who are members of SAH and whose specializations cover a broad range of scholarship on the built environment. The jury has discretion over the number of awardees and the size of the grant to be awarded, but a typical grant would be $5,000-$6,000. The grants will be made directly to authors to defray the costs of image acquisitions.

SAH is grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for supporting this award.


Applications to the SAH/Mellon Author Awards will be considered only for book-length, scholarly manuscripts on architectural history and the history of the built environment that are currently under contract with a publisher. Awards are made solely in support of image acquisition or creation, such as for reimbursement of costs for the reproduction and licensing of images in print and digital formats or the creation of original artwork such as drawings or maps. This award does notcover new photography.

Successful applicants will be  first-time book authors who are under contract with a publisher for a manuscript on the history of the built environment. 

Applications are judged within the following parameters: (1) support will be for scholars who are publishing their first monograph (2) funds are for reimbursement or anticipated expenses for rights and reproductions; and (3) books must be under contract with a publisher.

Additional criteria for making awards include: contribution or importance to the field; significance and clarity of argument in submitted abstract and text sample; effective use of illustrations; depth of research and completeness of bibliography; and clarity of writing. Excellence within these criteria is the guiding principal for determining awards; however, an author will not receive an award without demonstration of image-acquisition or creation costs.


Awards are open to authors of all nations; however, applications must be submitted in English.

Authors can be under contract with commercial or nonprofit publishers. Self-published books are not eligible.

Books covering all periods and areas in the history of architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism, and related subjects are eligible, except for those about art history and visual studies (see below). Excavation or other technical reports, articles, previously published works (including collections of previously published essays), or congress proceedings are not eligible.

The author will have received a PhD and must submit proof and date of PhD and current professional standing.

The author must be a current member of SAH.

A project that has been rejected for a grant may not be resubmitted.


The 2016 award cycle will open on March 1, 2016 and close on June 1, 2016. Awards are made in July, and authors receive notification of awards within four to six weeks.


Application materials, including the Author’s Form and Publisher’s Form, must be submitted to SAH with the additional materials in the Application Checklist. The author is responsible for requesting information from the publisher and ensuring that the publisher submits the Publisher’s Form and reader’s reports to SAH.

In addition to the material submitted by the publisher, the author provides proof of PhD and current professional standing, response to reader’s reports supplied by the publisher, a complete list of images, sources, rights requested and obtained, and costs per image as a basis, and individual portions of the manuscript itself. Please see the checklist for more information.


The author is responsible for submitting the primary material for the application, including the Author’s Form, a complete list of images, sources, rights requested and obtained, and costs per image, and materials from the manuscript itself. The author is also responsible for requesting and confirming submission of several components of the application from the publisher, including the Publisher’s Form and two or more reader's reports.

The author ensures all materials listed in the checklist below are sent as separate email attachments to Chris Higgins at (receipt provided).

Applications submitted solely by publishers or for production support will not be accepted. Publishers may submit an application for production costs for the same title to the Millard Meiss Publication Fund.


Chris Higgins, SAH Program Coordinator, or 312.573.1365.


2015  Zeynep Celik Alexander  Kinaesthetic Knowing: An Epistemological History of Design Education  
2015  Yvonne Elet  Architectural Invention in Renaissance Rome: Artists and Humanists at Raphael’s Villa Madams 
2015  Brian D. Goldstein  The Roots of Urban Renaissance: Gentrification and the Struggle Over Harlem 
2015  Cameron Logan  Historic Capital: Preservation, Race, and Real Estate in Washington, D.C. 
2015  Jennifer Mack Segregation by Design: Immigration, Urban Planning, and the Construction of Equality in Sweden  
2014 Daniel A. Barber  A House in the Sun: Modern Architecture and Solar Energy in the Cold War (Oxford University Press) Forthcoming
2014  Peter Fane-Saunders  Pliny the Elder and the Emergence of Renaissance Architecture (Cambridge University Press) Forthcoming 
2014  Ann C. Huppert  Becoming an Architect in Renaissance Italy: Art, Science, and the Career of Baldassare Peruzzi (Yale University Press) Forthcoming 
2013  Francesca R. Ammon  Culture of Clearance: Waging War on the Landscape in Postwar America (Yale University Press) Forthcoming 
2013  Lucy M. Maulsby  ​Fascism, Architecture and the Claiming of Modern Milan, 1922-1943 ​(University of Toronto Press) 2014
SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation for its operating support.
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