As many of you are aware, Abbott Lowell Cummings was the first president of the VAF, and his passing this spring at the age of 94 was a big loss for the organization as well as the field of vernacular studies. There was a tribute
published online with some wonderful photographs and remembrances that I encourage you to explore. Also, the VAF board passed a resolution in Salt Lake City that will appear in the meeting minutes to formally recognize his contributions, the full text of which appears below.
May 31, 2017
Abbott Lowell Cummings (1923-2017) was the founding president of the Vernacular Architecture Forum,
through his publications, particularly The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay (1979), he established a high standard of meticulous research and rigorous fieldwork standard for the field of Vernacular Architecture studies,
through his professional career as executive director of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, he transformed an antiquarian organization into a distinguished, nationally significant standard bearer for historic preservation and historical interpretation,
through the establishment of the American & New England Studies Program at Boston University and in many years of teaching at Yale University, he brought the study of ordinary architecture and landscapes into the academy,
through his generous, patient, enthusiastic and warm mentoring, he inspired and encouraged generations of students, colleagues and fellow VAF travelers,
be it resolved and spread upon the minutes that the Vernacular Architecture Forum expresses its tremendous gratitude to Abbott and treasures his memory and legacy.