The Society makes grants twice every year towards research into architectural history, and towards the publication of new works of architectural history
Recent Awards include:
Dr Cameron McEwan, Lecturer in Architecture, University of Central Lancashire – research grant of £200
This SAHGB Research Grant enables the delivery of a paper at the eighth All Ireland Architecture Research Group International Conference on Field Conditions in Dublin. The paper, ‘The Field as a Critical Project,’ is a close-reading of the city as a discursive, material and analogical field in the thought and urban projects of Mario Gandelsonas, Stan Allen and Aldo Rossi. It evaluates how their thought can be reread toward a productive and political possibility for architecture and urbanism today. Papers will be invited to submit to Building Material, the peer-reviewed journal of the Architectural Association Ireland. The research is part of a book in preparation called Analogical City, which close-reads Rossi’s notion of the analogue as a critical project.
Nick Mols, PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh – research grant of £750
The grant awarded by the SAHGB will greatly affect the quality of my research, for which I am very grateful. The grant enables me to undertake fieldwork in New York and Montreal where, I will look into the Avery manuscript and inquire on marginalia in Serlian books at several research collections. This research investigates on Serlio’s mathematics in respect of his representations. The mathematical background of Serlio’s work is usually overlooked, but he used symbolic and numerological meanings in his architecture. This is notable in Serlio’s theory of ‘linee occulte’ or hidden lines, which connect Euclidean mathematics with Neoplatonic thinking. Hence, a mathematical reading of Serlio’s ‘linee occulte’ is necessitated in order to reveal its consequences on architectural conception.
Dr Zachary Stewart, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Texas A&M University, USA – research grant of £1000
My book project, Collaborative Gothic: Architecture, Identity, and Community in the English Parish Church, 1350–1550, frames the late medieval English parish church as one of the earliest well-documented examples of collective architectural production in premodern Europe. It focuses, in particular, on a special subset of churches lacking any structural division between nave and chancel—buildings whose distinctive configuration, I argue, activated the paradoxical status of the parish as a one-and-many institution in a way that enabled broad swathes of society to utilise architectural patronage as a means of negotiating the conflicting demands of late medieval life. Exemplary buildings are largely confined to three regions: the East, the South West, and the North West. Much of my research, to date, has focused on the first of these areas. The SAHGB grant will enable me to travel to the other two to undertake site visits to approximately two-dozen churches in Devon, Cornwall, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Cumbia.
Lina Sun, PhD Candidates, UCL The Bartlett School of Architecture – research grant of £450
Lina’s PhD research, through the media of architectural drawings, examines the process of China’s building traditions and architectural modernity by which Chinese architects at the beginning of 20th century
sought to assimilate modern architecture with some of the world’s longest continuous building traditions. As such the SAHGB Research Grant goes to support her research trip to the China to study the archives of key Chinese architects, principally but not exclusively: Liang Sicheng, Tong Jun, and Liu Jipiao. The evidence and research sources gathered from this research trip along with the last research trip to the US which were also partly supported by the SAHGB, will give Lina’s research essential materials to form the core argument.
Dr Ailsa Boyd, Independent scholar – publication grant of £500
The SAHGB grant will go towards the image reproduction and permission costs for publication of an article entitled ‘“A conscious memento”: The Literary Afterlives of Henry James’s Lamb House’ in the journal Interiors: Design/Architecture/Culture in Spring 2019. In 1896, the novelist Henry James became captivated by Lamb House in Rye, and its unique, bow-windowed ‘garden room’. He sympathetically restored the Georgian house which became his main home for the rest of his life, writing the novels of his major phase in the garden room. The next occupant, E. F. Benson used Lamb House as the inspiration for Mallards in his comic Mapp and Lucia novels (1920-1935). In 1940, the garden room was destroyed by a bomb. However, what Edith Wharton called ‘the centre of life at Lamb House’, still survives through its fictional representations. James utilised the distancing effects of nostalgia in his work, to create a living, modernist interaction with the past, the ‘conscious memento’. Thus, fictional representations and the writing of place can be a method of memorialising destroyed architecture and enabling its survival through intangible heritage.
Professor Louise Campbell, History of Art, University of Warwick – publication grant of £1000
Louise Campbell: Studio Lives: artists at home and at work in twentieth-century Britain (Lund Humphries, 2019). This book examines studios and studio-dwellings in Britain between the end of the nineteenth century and the start of the Second World War. It asks how artists dealt both with a legacy of Victorian studio-buildings and with the altered conditions of the twentieth-century art market. The studios of nine artists and three artist-couples are analysed, beginning with G.F. and Mary Watts’ studio-home of 1892 and concluding with F.E.McWilliam’s 1938 studio. Each is treated as an episode illuminating the occupant’s ideas, working practices and relations with other artists and architects. Studio Lives casts new light on the varied and complex relations between artist and architect in the modern period. It is often claimed that with the systematisation of architectural education in the early twentieth century, architects became increasingly autocratic. However, this richly illustrated book – showing artists to be knowledgeable and demanding clients, and architects to be highly receptive to their ideas – provides a different view. A grant for the SAHGB will help with the cost of publication.
Dr Christopher Siwicki, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Exeter – publication grant of £1000
I am extremely grateful to SAHGB for their generosity in awarding a publication grant to assist with the cost of image reproduction in my forthcoming book Architectural Restoration and Built Heritage in Imperial Rome (Oxford University Press). The work addresses the treatment and perception of historic public buildings in Imperial Rome, examining the restoration of monuments inherited from earlier generations in order to develop an understanding of the Roman concept of built heritage. It offers a new approach thinking about Roman architecture and has implications for interpreting how the ancients engaged with, perceived and represented material elements of the past. The book covers the first century BC to second century AD with particular attention on the six decades from the Great Fire of AD 64 to the AD 120s, chosen because it was a period of dramatic urban transformation and architectural innovation. A detailed analysis of particular buildings demonstrates how structures physically developed through successive restorations, arguing for the existence of a prevalent and consistent approach to the treatment of historic buildings in this period.
Dr Penny Sparke, Professor of Design History, Kingston University – publication grant of £500
The presence of nature inside built spaces has, to date, been largely ignored by architectural and interior design historian in favour of spatial, material and technological considerations. Nature has had, and continues to have, a huge part to play within interiors, spatially and materially as well as psychologically, and economic, technological and cultural drivers, among others, have influenced its changing role over time. While in the Victorian domestic setting, for example, plants and flowers, were linked to religion, science and health, within architectural modernism plants and flowers took on a primarily aesthetic role as spatial props and softeners of the new, industrial materials. Within commercial inside spaces, such as those of shopping malls and airports, nature has frequently been included as a means of encouraging sales by putting customers at their ease. More recently, the capacity of indoor plants to absorb toxins and lower heart rates has been emphasised. The SAHGB publication grant will go towards supporting the costs of image rights and reproduction for a forthcoming book (Autumn 2020), entitled Nature Inside: Plants and Flowers in Modern Interiors, which will be published by Yale University Press and which will focus on the roles and meanings of plants and flowers in interiors from the eighteenth century to the present.
Daniel Bochman, PhD candidate, Edinburgh University – research grant of £112.50
Dr Nicola Pickering, University of Reading – research grant of £112.50
Loryssa Quatrociocchi, DPhil candidate, St Hugh’s College, Oxford – research grant of £112.50
I am indebted to the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain for graciously awarding me a research grant to attend the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada’s conference in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, from 24-27 May 2017.
The paper I presented at the conference titled ‘Gordon W. Lloyd (1832-1904): the Canadian Churches of Detroit’s Architect’ was based on research I am conducting for my D.Phil in History thesis at the University of Oxford, which examines the nineteenth-century architecture of Lloyd, who was trained in Britain, lived in Windsor, ON, and established an architectural practice in Detroit, MI. This conference paper showcased my most recently-completed chapter on Lloyd’s Gothic Revival churches in southwestern Ontario, which depicts the far-reaching influence of British nineteenth-century architectural traditions on the colonies.
Presenting my paper at this particular conference allowed me to obtain feedback from established Canadian architectural historians, which will have an immense impact on the quality and historical accuracy of my D.Phil. thesis. I have also been afforded the opportunity to publish this paper in the Society’s Journal at the beginning of 2018.
Michèle Woodger, RIBA Publishing – research grant of £112.50
I am hoping to travel to Rome to look at Classical Latin inscriptions in situ and in various museums. I am currently working on a project sponsored by RIBA’s Gordon Rickett’s Memorial Fund, looking at contemporary architectural lettering in London’s built environment.
The history of lettering design in the UK – in particular stone letter carving – is heavily influenced by Trajan letterforms. The question remains as to whether the enduring popularity of Classical lettering is due to the geometries of the letterforms themselves, or due to the reception of the Classical world in the modern day. This grant will enable me to see the Roman originals in context. It will also hopefully enable me to use the library at the British School at Rome to access written sources on architecture and the role of lettering craftsmen
Dr Jocelyn Anderson, Independent scholar – publication grant of £500
Over the course of the long eighteenth century, many of England’s grandest country houses became known for displaying noteworthy architecture and design, large collections of sculptures and paintings, and expansive landscape gardens and parks. Although these houses continued to function as residences and spaces of elite retreat, they had powerful public identities: increasingly accessible to tourists and extensively described by travel writers, they began to be celebrated as sites of great importance to national culture.
The SAHGB publication grant will go towards supporting image reproduction costs for a forthcoming book on how country houses’ identities as tourist attractions emerged: Touring and Publicizing England’s Country Houses in the Long Eighteenth Century will reposition the importance of country houses in eighteenth-century Britain and explore what it took to turn them into tourist attractions; it will be published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018.
Dr Alistair Fair, Lecturer in Architectural History, University of Edinburgh – publication grant of £500
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, the landscape of regional theatre in Britain was transformed by the construction of a wave of publicly supported theatre buildings. This research examines the post-war theatre-building boom and sets it in context, showing how Britain’s new theatres are not only of interest in themselves but also shed new light on the period’s architectural, urban, and cultural histories more generally.
The SAHGB grant has contributed to the cost of images for a substantial book, Modern Playhouses, which is to be published by Oxford University Press in 2018.
Amy Boyington, PhD candidate, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge – publication grant of £500
Amy’s publication grant has been used to cover the reproduction costs of a set of images from the Bedford Archives Services to illustrate her chapter in the forthcoming Women and the Country House in Ireland and Britain publication. Her chapter focuses on the architectural endeavours of the widowed Jemima Yorke, 2nd Marchioness Grey (1723-97) at her London and country residences, which have hitherto received limited academic interest. The aim of the volume is to highlight the integral role that women played in the country house through the exploration and examination of new archival material. The book will be published in Autumn 2017 by Four Courts Press.
Amy Boyington, PhD candidate, Cambridge University – research grant of £395
Amy’s doctoral research investigates the extent to which elite women of the eighteenth century commissioned architectural works in Britain and the extent to which the type and scale of their projects were dictated by their marital status.
As such the SAHGB Research Grant will be used to consult the correspondence of Anne Robinson (1742-c.1815) of Saltram House, Plymouth. Despite being unmarried and dependent, during her lifetime Anne was able to pursue her architectural and aesthetic ambitions both at Saltram and at her London properties. By consulting her numerous letters Anne’s previously overlooked architectural agency will be brought to light.
Dr Graham Cairns, Senior Visiting Research Scholar, Columbia University, New York – research grant of £500
This research being supported by the SAHGB is a comparative UK–US analysis of the use of architecture in political imagery. It suggests that our analysis of architecture and its relationship with politics has underestimated the importance of pictorial imagery. The White House, Washington DC, the Parliament Buildings, or 10 Downing Street, London, for example, are buildings historically experienced through representations, whether that be in painting, engravings, prints and sketches or, today, through televisual imagery. This research seeks to explore how this domain ace of imagery has repeatedly informed the evolution of architecture in both countries. The SAHGB grant is facilitating visits to relevant archives in the United Kingdom.
Dr Christine Hui Lan Manley, Lecturer, Leicester School of Architecture – publication grant of £510
Frederick Gibberd was a pioneering architect of the Modern Movement in Britain. Practising as an architect, town planner and landscape architect, he developed a strong visual approach to design which led many to question his place in narratives of modern architecture. This research examines Gibberd’s diverse and far-reaching works to reveal that his visual approach put him at the forefront of the development of a softer, English form of modern architecture and town planning. The SAHGB Publication Grant will go towards image reproduction costs for the forthcoming book on Frederick Gibberd, published by Historic England and the Twentieth Century Society.