Enfilade

Basile Baudez’s Inessential Colors Wins the 2022 Hitchcock Medallion

Posted in books by Editor on December 30, 2022

The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB) recently announced its award winners for 2022.

Cover of the book, showing a section of a building.We are pleased to congratulate the winners of this year’s SAHGB awards. The Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion has been awarded annually since 1959 to a monograph that makes an outstanding contribution to the study or knowledge of architectural history. This year’s winner is:

Basile C. Baudez’s Inessential Colors: Architecture on Paper in Early Modern Europe (Princeton University Press), which the panel commend as a landmark work, beautifully written, methodologically innovative and which will have significant impact on future studies.

Elizabeth McKellar, on behalf of the judging panel, commented: “The judges praised this as an original, complex and ambitious work which examines changes in architectural drawing c. 1500–1800. The author skilfully weaves an investigation of the changing use of colour in architectural representation to argue for new understandings of draughtsmanship and its place in architectural practice. Furthermore, Baudez reveals how histories of the practice of architecture are inextricably interwoven with those of painting, engineering and cartography as well as the professional, commercial and institutional networks that shaped its activities. The book is to be commended for its mastery of a huge range of secondary literature across the broad chronological and geographical sweep of both southern and northern Europe (including Britain) in an integrated approach. The book is beautifully and generously illustrated incorporating a breath-taking range of sources, many of them little-known. The quality of this visual material together with the clarity of the writing combine to produce a powerful re-assessment of the role of coloured maps, plans and drawings in communicating and defining early modern architecture in Europe.”

The shortlist is available here, with the full announcement of winners here.

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