The Society of Architectural Historians has been awarded a two-year, $508,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study the status of the field of architectural history in higher education. The grant provides support for a data-gathering initiative that will gauge the health of architectural, urban and landscape history as fields of study, as well as degree programs and curricula across the higher education landscape. SAH plans to hire a post-doctoral researcher to design and manage the study to determine where, and in what ways, these fields of study are expanding, receding, changing, or holding steady and to consider the structural or cultural factors behind such trends. SAH also will hire a Project Coordinator to assist with the project. Visit the SAH Career Center at sah.org/career-center for full job descriptions.
“We thank the Mellon Foundation for its generous support and share the Foundation’s belief that the humanities and arts are essential to a well-informed citizenry and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies,” said SAH Executive Director Pauline Saliga. “This grant will enable SAH to use data and analysis as a filter to view its current programs, publications, and funding opportunities. If significant changes are recommended, SAH will examine how to implement change internally and externally with institutions in higher education.”
SAH President Sandy Isenstadt, professor of art history and director of the Center for Material Culture Studies at University of Delaware, commented on why the study is so important to SAH: “As a learned society, SAH has deep roots in higher education, which in turn affects the intellectual vigor of the nation. Understanding the quality and dissemination of its core commitments to architectural and urban history is therefore vital to the Society’s continued effectiveness, both for its membership and for its role as an advocate for cultural heritage. With this study, SAH will have at hand hard data to understand the state of the field currently and to forecast its future directions. As a result, SAH will be better able to foster new scholarship on the history of the built environment that can help place today’s pressing issues in a broader and more responsible context.”
About the Society of Architectural Historians
The Society of Architectural Historians is an international membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. Founded at Harvard University in 1940, SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on the history of the built environment and its role in shaping contemporary life. SAH promotes meaningful public engagement with the history of the built environment through advocacy efforts, print and online publications, and local, national and international programs. Learn more at sah.org.
About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies. To this end, we support exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work.