Society of Architectural Historians Names the 2024 Fellows

by SAH News | Feb 15, 2024
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The Society of Architectural Historians today named Robert Bruegmann and the late Anthony Vidler as SAH Fellows, one of the Society’s highest honors. SAH Fellows are recognized for a lifetime of significant contributions to the field, which may include scholarship, service to the Society, teaching, and stewardship of the built environment. SAH will recognize the Fellows at an awards celebration on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at the SAH 77th Annual International Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Robert Bruegmann

Robert Bruegmann is a historian and critic of the built environment. He received his PhD in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and since 1979 has been on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) where he is currently Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Art History, Architecture and Urban Planning. He has also taught at the Philadelphia College of Art, MIT and Columbia University. His main areas of research are in the history of architecture, urban planning, landscape and historic preservation.

Bruegmann is the author of numerous books including Holabird & Roche and Holabird & Root, An Illustrated Catalogue of Work (1991); The Architects and the City: Holabird & Roche of Chicago 1880–1918 (1998), which won the Society of Architectural Historians’ Spiro Kostof Award; Sprawl: A Compact History (2005); The Architecture of Harry Weese (2010); Roman Ivory, A Novel, (forthcoming in 2024); as editor, Modernism at Mid-Century, The Architecture of the United States Airforce Academy (1995); Art Deco Chicago: Designing Modern America (2018); and Citizen Architects: Ben and Cynthia Weese (forthcoming in 2024). He has also published numerous articles in journals and magazines, essays in edited volumes and exhibition catalogues, architectural critiques and book reviews.

Bruegmann has used his research in support of local communities, beginning with his early work with Historic American Building Survey in the 1970s, notably in Benicia, California, where he constructed a narrative history of resource extraction from the Gold Rush to Big Oil. Since 2003 he has been active with the Civic Committee of Chicago Commercial Club, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Chicago Historical Society, Neighborhood Services of Chicago and various community groups in a project to encourage re-investment in Chicago’s North Lawndale community through the use of historic heritage. 

He has served on the boards of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Chicago Architecture Club, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts. An active member of SAH since joining as a graduate student, he has served on several committees throughout the years and was vice president of the Chicago Chapter from 1980 to 1981.

The Late Anthony Vidler

Anthony Vidler, who passed away on October 19, 2023, was an internationally renowned historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture. He attended Cambridge for his bachelor’s and architecture degrees, then earned his Ph.D. at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. In the mid-1960s, he moved to New York City from England and began his teaching career at Princeton University’s School of Architecture, where he was a faculty member from 1965 to 1993. He was professor and chair of the art history department at UCLA, from 1994 until 2002. Vidler served as Dean of the College of Art, Architecture and Planning at Cornell University, from 1997 to1998, and was Dean of The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at Cooper Union, from 2001 to 2013.

His prolific scholarship on modern and contemporary architecture from the Enlightenment to the present includes monographs, essays, book and exhibitions, and he was a leading expert on the 18th-century French architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux. His publications include The Writing of the Walls: Architectural Theory in the Late Enlightenment (Princeton Architectural Press, 1987), Claude-Nicolas Ledoux: Architecture and Social Reform at the End of the Ancien Regime (MIT Press, 1990) which received the Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, The Architectural Uncanny: Essays in the Modern Unhomely (MIT Press, 1992), Warped Space: Architecture and Anxiety in Modern Culture (MIT Press, 2000), Histories of the Immediate Present: The Invention of Architectural Modernism (MIT Press, 2008), James Frazer Stirling: Notes from the Archive (Yale University Press, 2010), which won the Philip Johnson Exhibition Catalogue Award from SAH, and The Scenes of the Street and other Essays (Monacelli Press, 2011).

He designed and conceived the permanent exhibition of the work of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux in the Royal Salt Works of Arc-et-Senans in Franche-Comté, France, he curated the exhibition “Ledoux et les Lumières” at Arc-et-Senans for the European Year of Enlightenment, and he curated a retrospective of James Sterling’s work on view at the Tate, the Staatsgalerie, the Yale Center for British Art and the Canadian Center for Architecture from 2008 to 2010.

Vidler joined SAH in 1989 and served on the board of directors from 1994 to 1997.

Photo Credit: William Staffeld / Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning

Founded in 1940, the Society of Architectural Historians is an international nonprofit membership organization that promotes the study, interpretation and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes and urbanism worldwide. SAH serves a network of local, national and international institutions and individuals who, by profession or interest, focus on 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.

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