SAH Publication Awards

book jackets
Every year, the Society of Architectural Historians presents awards that recognize the most distinguished publications in architectural history, urban history, landscape history, preservation, and architectural exhibition catalogues. SAH also presents the Founders' Award for an outstanding JSAH article written by an emerging scholar in the previous two years. 

Nominations are closed. Nominations for the 2024 award cycle will open in June 2023.

Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award


The Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award was established in 1949 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of architecture published by a North American scholar.
List of Past Recipients
 

Hitchcock_Rustem_Ottoman_Baroque

2022 RECIPIENT:

Ünver Rüstem 
Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul
Princeton University Press, 2019

The Society of Architectural Historians confers the 2022 Alice Davis Hitchcock Book Award for the best book published by a North American scholar to Ottoman Baroque: The Architectural Refashioning of Eighteenth-Century Istanbul. Taking as his topic an architectural style widely dismissed as a derivative decorative language used by a fading power, Ünver Rüstem recasts the late baroque style associated with the resurgence of the sultanic mosque in Istanbul as a potent means of expressing cultural and political relationships between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe.

Ottoman Baroque illuminates a critical moment in the architectural and urban history of one of the world’s great cities and is a major contribution to research on the meanings and mechanisms of the Baroque internationally. The book engagingly encourages scholars across the discipline to take eclectic ornamentation seriously. In his meticulous analysis of buildings and local contexts in relation to broad stylistic tendencies, Rüstem powerfully challenges conventional notions of “westernization” in architectural history and offers a model of interpreting architectural innovation across borders and within dynamic conditions. 

Award Committee:
Kathryn O'Rourke, Chair
Anthony Alofsin
Mrinalini Rajagopalan


What the Emperor Built cover

2022 HONORABLE MENTION:

Aurelia Campbell
What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming
University of Washington Press, 2020

 

For its outstanding research on architecture and infrastructure built during the rule of Ming emperor Yongle in the early fifteenth century, the Society of Architectural Historians recognizes What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming by Aurelia Campbell with honorable mention in the category of best book in architectural history by a North American scholar. Campbell elegantly brings to life Yongle’s building campaigns, demonstrating the connections between empire-creation and architecture in China. A meticulous analysis that ranges from city planning to imperial and monastic halls to the meanings of specific kinds of timber, What the Emperor Built provides anglophone audiences a wide-angled view of an important, yet underappreciated, moment in architectural history. Campbell’s book is a welcome contribution to the growing English-language scholarship on the architecture of China, and a fascinating addition to research on the intersections of architecture and political power.

Award Committee:
Kathryn O’Rourke, Chair
Anthony Alofsin
Mrinalini Rajagopalan

 

Antoinette Forrester Downing Book Award


For some time, preservationists have been involved in investigating and evaluating the physical fabric of this country and other nations. In order to encourage further research and publication of research in this field, the Society of Architectural Historians has established an annual award for excellence in a published work devoted to historical topics in preservation. Named for Antoinette Forrester Downing, the award honors her scholarship and recognition of the value of local inventories and surveys.
List of Past Recipients

NO AWARD GIVEN THIS YEAR.

SAH Exhibition Catalogue Award


As architectural history exhibitions are able to address historical and critical questions in special ways, through the presentation of both documentation and artifacts to a diversified audience, so their catalogues have become distinctive vehicles for the expression of scholarship in architectural history. They remain as the substantial and enduring contribution after the life of the exhibition is spent. This award recognizes and encourages excellence in this form of scholarship and publication.
List of Past Recipients

 

Exhibition_Pitiot_Stritzler-Levine_Eileen_Gray

2022 RECIPIENT:

Cloé Pitiot and Nina Stritzler-Levine, Editors 
Eileen Gray 
Bard Graduate Center, 2020

 

A combination of curatorial exuberance, meticulous historical research, and innovative book design makes Eileen Gray a stunning and singular exhibition catalogue. As an architect, artist, and furniture designer accustomed to working across media, Eileen Gray (1878–1976) produced a body of work that is difficult to capture in any one monograph. This catalogue was published as a companion to an exhibition that opened briefly at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in October 2020, an extension of a major retrospective on Gray held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2013. Designed by Irma Boom, the book is a beautifully crafted, idiosyncratic object that fulsomely documents Gray’s prolific and dynamic career as well as the shows to which it is connected. The book provides a synoptic view of her work and engages with broader historical issues, including what it meant to be a woman architect in the twentieth century.

Award Committee:
Carolyn Yerkes, Chair
Laura Moretti
Bryan Clark Green

Exhibition_Renegades

2022 HONORABLE MENTION:

Luca Guido, Stephanie Pilat, and Angela Person, Editors
Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture 
University of Oklahoma Press, 2020

Renegades: Bruce Goff and the American School of Architecture advances the thesis that as chairman of the School of Architecture at the University of Oklahoma during the postwar decades, Bruce Goff created a distinct and influential approach to design that reverberated throughout the next half-century of American architecture. The catalogue, which accompanies an exhibition held at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in spring 2020, argues that the pedagogy Goff and his colleagues promoted, as well as the projects that they and their students went on to construct, constitutes an “American School” of architecture, rooted in a specific time and place, and decidedly anti-East Coast in its outlook. Handsomely produced, the catalogue introduces the reader to a range of student work and built projects, with a series of linked thematic essays that situate Goff and his associates within the history of American architecture.

Award Committee:
Carolyn Yerkes, Chair
Laura Moretti
Bryan Clark Green


Spiro Kostof Book Award


This award was established in 1993 at the Society's Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, in recognition of Spiro Kostof's extraordinarily productive and inspiring career that was ended by his premature death in December 1991. In the spirit of Kostof's writings, the award will be given to interdisciplinary studies of urban history that make the greatest contribution to our understanding of the growth and development of cities.
List of Past Recipients

Kostof_Stratigakos_Hitlers_Northern_Utopia


2022 RECIPIENT:

Despina Stratigakos
Hitler's Northern Utopia: Building the New Order in Occupied Norway
Princeton University Press, 2020

Drawing on underexplored archival sources, Stratigakos' book provides an outstanding textual and visual history of Nazi New Order through both infrastructural and architectural projects in Nazi-occupied Norway. This original research eloquently expands the historical and architectural knowledge on Nazi expansionism and the “Nazification” of towns in Norway and their vision for a postwar Germanic empire, a topic neglected in recent literature. Providing a captivating investigation of wartime environments and urban lives, Stratigakos offers new insights into the ways the Nazi regime deployed architecture as a vital tool in their larger geo-political project. 

Award Committee:
Mohammad Gharipour, Chair
Benjamin Flowers
Samia Henni

Kostof_Schwenkel_Building_Socialism

2022 HONORABLE MENTION:

Christina Schwenkel
Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam
Duke University Press, 2020

Schwenkel’s book makes a great contribution to interdisciplinary and transnational urban and architectural histories by studying complex relationships between East German and Vietnamese socialist architecture, policies, tensions, and solidarities. Its stories and methodologies offer fascinating examples of the spatialities and temporalities of “building socialism” in postcolonial and postwar contexts. This brilliant account offers a novel contribution in both subject and method, one that should inspire the next generation of urban historians to consider how to enlarge the scope of inquiry of urban space and design to include previously overlooked regions and modes of inquiry. 

Award Committee:
Mohammad Gharipour, Chair
Benjamin Flowers
Samia Henni

 

Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award


The Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Book Award was established by the SAH Board in 2005 to recognize annually the most distinguished work of scholarship in the history of landscape architecture or garden design. Named for SAH past president and landscape historian Elisabeth MacDougall, the award honors the late historian's role in developing this field of study.
List of Past Recipients

MacDougall_Dumpleman_Seeing_Trees

2022 RECIPIENT:

Sonja Dümpelmann
Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin
Yale University Press, 2019

Seeing Trees is a remarkable lesson in how much one can learn from street trees. A study of nineteenth- and twentieth-century New York and Berlin as two model cities for the advancement and propagation of urban forestry, it challenges the traditional dichotomy between humans and nature in densely built metropolitan settings. Owing to Sonja Dümpelmann’s meticulous research, the changing meaning of trees and strategies of their planting and management become a fresh lens for addressing the complex urban dynamic dominated by concerns with public health, issues of local identity, and questions of race and gender. As her narrative straddles environmental, landscape, and urban histories, it deftly interweaves social, political, and intellectual contexts, from the discourse of nativism to the Civil Rights Movement and Cold War politics. This innovative approach to urban ecology offers a powerful model of historical scholarship that situates the theory and practice of city greening among the ongoing efforts to combat climate change.

Award Committee:
Anatole Tchikine, Chair
Yael Allweil
C. J. Alvarez

MacDougall_Whiteman_Where_Dragon_Veins_Meet

2022 HONORABLE MENTION:

Stephen H. Whiteman
Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe
University of Washington Press, 2020

 

Where Dragon Veins Meet is more than an authoritative study of Bishu Shanzhuang or the Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat, the eighteenth-century garden retreat north of Beijing favored by the Kangxi and Qianlong emperors of China. It is a daring and eminently successful attempt to integrate the resources and practice of art historical research with the tools and objectives of landscape history. The result is a masterly analysis of the site that reveals its layered semantics both against the historical context, driven by dynastic ambition and political ideology, and the geographical setting with its distinct environmental and topographic characteristics steeped in imperial myth. Stephen H. Whiteman’s erudite narrative draws on an impressive range of visual and textual evidence, using GIS mapping to shed unexpected light on traditional Chinese landscape representations while juxtaposing artistic expression and geomantic principles. His book is a vivid demonstration of the importance of such hybrid methods in advancing interdisciplinary scholarship. 

Award Committee:
Anatole Tchikine, Chair
Yael Allweil
C. J. Alvarez

 

Founders' JSAH Article Award


The Founders' Award is given annually for an article published by an emerging scholar in the preceding two years in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians that exhibits excellence of scholarship and presentation. For the purposes of this award, an "emerging scholar" is defined as someone under the age of 40 or within five years of the completion of a terminal degree at the time of submission of the article. Authors will be asked by the JSAH editor whether they are eligible, and if eligible, authors will be asked to submit a curriculum vitae.

Criteria for Award

  1. Publication in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians during previous two years Articles from the December issue may be forwarded in galley form. 
  2. Excellence of scholarship and presentation

Upon publication of each issue of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Founders Award application materials are sent to all eligible JSAH authors. Those interested in being considered for this award are asked to submit a CV to the JSAH editor immediately upon receipt.
List of Past Recipients

 

JSAH-Sept-2020-cover

2022 RECIPIENT:

Zachary Stewart
“One and Many: Parish Church Planning in Late Medieval England“
Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 79 No. 3, September 2020

 

Zachary Stewart’s article offers an innovative and meticulous reading of a particular kind of architectural form, the medieval parish church. Pervasive in England, yet little understood in the history of architecture, these buildings developed from a collective design process, one that resulted in the creation of a distinctive spatial configuration. Unlike churches built elsewhere in Europe, Stewart tells us, these sacred spaces were built by the people who used them. Employing the case study of St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich, Stewart combines a deft treatment of archival sources, a generous engagement with existing historiography, and a judicious amount of spatial theory to expand the panorama of medieval architecture—all rendered in clear prose. His analysis of the “open plan church,” the term he coins to describe his subject, offers fresh insight into the built environment and design practices not just in medieval England, but elsewhere and at other times. 

Award Committee:
Heather Hyde Minor, Chair
Jesús Escobar
S.N. Johnson-Roehr

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SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
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