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  • 30 Sep 2015 3:29 PM | Christine R Henry

    by Christine Henry, VAN Editor

    Welcome to the Fall 2015 issue of the Vernacular Architecture Newsletter!  This issue is packed with information—from announcements about conferences—especially the 2016 VAF conference in Durham, North Carolina—to calls for papers, and news about members.  But I want to particularly draw your attention to the dialogue that has been started around the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act on the President's Blog.  This is a great chance for members to comment and discuss across space and time, until we all get another chance to meet in person in Durham.  Enjoy!


  • 30 Sep 2015 2:27 PM | Christine R Henry

    by Gretchen Buggeln, Valparaiso University

    The Chicago VAF conference this past June began with an excellent and provocative lecture by Professor Davarian Baldwin that centered on the fate of Chicago’s Checkerboard Lounge blues club. In the Q&A following the talk, Louis Nelson, architectural historian at the University of Virginia, raised important questions about the way we think about historic preservation in the United States, the language of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and whether VAF members could and should push for a new definition of historic preservation. Nelson's remarks sparked a lively conversation that rippled through the conference.

    Professor Baldwin graciously agreed to let us reprint a portion of his June lecture in this issue of the VAN. In addition, I've asked three VAF members to respond. First, Louis Nelson reiterates his questions and critique. Jennifer Baughn, Architectural Historian for the State of Mississippi, responds with a current practitioner's perspective.  Finally, Jennifer Cousineau will adds Canadian perspective.  All of these essays appear in the President's Blog section of the web site with open comments sections.  We hope that this online conversation will elicit your engagement. Please join in!
  • 30 Sep 2015 1:57 PM | Christine R Henry

    By Kim Hoagland

    Special Series: Invitation to Vernacular ArchitectureThe Vernacular Architecture Studies Series, also known as the Special Series, seeks authors for future volumes.  For more information, see the Special Series page on the website.

    The Vernacular Architecture Studies Series is a series of books that are designed to introduce vernacular architecture to new audiences.  Written by experts in the field, the books can instruct the reader in research techniques, discuss interpretation of evidence, or explore a major issue.  The books are designed to be short (100-page manuscripts), well-illustrated (100 images), and accessible.  The University of Tennessee Press is our publisher.

    If you have an idea for a book that might fit this series, or if you are looking for an idea for your next book, please consult our webpage  We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.

  • 30 Sep 2015 1:45 PM | Christine R Henry

    PhotoPaysage / Landscape Representation

    Albuquerque, NM, USA, October 15-17, 2015

    Website: http://unmphotolandscape.com

    A French / American Dialogue about the role of photography in changing conceptions of landscape

    Images credits: Left: © J.B. Jackson/UNM, 1997. Right, top to bottom: © Sabin Delcour 2015 (cropped); © Miguel Gandert, 1996; © Geoffroy Mathieu and Bertrand Stofleth 2013; © J.B. Jackson/UNM, 2015 (cropped).

    Three photographic exhibits, film screenings, social events and two days of talks by photographers, landscape architects, writers and historians.

    The conference will feature a three-year French research initiative on the interface of landscape, photography and theory, along with contributors toDrawn to Landscape: The Pioneering Work of J. B. Jackson, edited by Janet Mendelsohn and Chris Wilson, which debuts at the conference. 

    Organized by the Ecole nationale supérieure du paysage de Versailles (French National Landscape Architecture School), and the School of Architecture and Planning, and University Libraries at the University of New Mexico

    French Speakers                   U. S. Speakers            Session Chairs

    Monique Sicard                      Timothy Davis             Brian Goldstein

    Jordi Ballesta                          Paul Groth                  Richard Longstreth

    Bruno Notteboom                   Helen L. Horowitz       Chester Liebs

    Frédéric Pousin                      Matthew Coolidge       Virginia Scharff

    Sabine Delcour                       Miguel Gandert           Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

    Marie-Madeleine Ozdoba       Laurie Olin                  Katya Crawford

    Raphaële Bertho                    Lucy Lippard               Laura Harjo

    Lin Chi-Ming                           Chris Wilson               Kymberly Pinder


    “Photographic Notes On the Road: J. B. Jackson, 1955-1989,” School of Architecture and Planning Gallery,       October 15 - November 9, curator, Jordi Ballesta.

    “Vernacular in Place: Old and New Topographic Photography,” UNM Art Museum, October 16 - December 12, curators, Miguel Gandert and Chris Wilson.

    “Documenting the Cultural Landscape: The J.B. Jackson and Chester Liebs Collections.” October 15 - 17, Center for Southwest Research, Zimmerman Library, curators, Audra Bellmore and Erin Fussell.

    French Sponsors: Agence nationale de la recherché; AUSser: Architecture Urbanistique Société; and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique . At UNM: Center for the Southwest, History Department; Center for Southwest Research; College of Fine Arts; George Pearl Endowment; Historic Preservation and Regionalism Program; Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program; Landscape Architecture Program; Office of the Provost; and the University Art Museum

  • 30 Sep 2015 1:10 PM | Christine R Henry

    Deadline – October 30, 2015

    The Vernacular Architecture Forum invites paper proposals and applications for the Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships for its 35th Annual Conference in Durham, North Carolina, June 1-4, 2016.

    Papers may address vernacular and everyday buildings, sites, or cultural landscapes worldwide. Submissions on all relevant topics are welcome but we encourage papers exploring African-American life, including slavery, the rise of a black middle class, the Civil Rights movement, and the relationship of race and the built environment; the transformation and industrialization of agricultural landscapes; and the architecture of institutions, including churches, schools, and hospitals.


    Papers should be analytical rather than descriptive, and no more than twenty minutes in length. Proposals for complete sessions, roundtable discussions or other innovative means that facilitate scholarly discourse are especially encouraged.

    Proposals should clearly state the argument of the paper and explain the methodology and content in fewer than 400 words. Please include the paper title, author’s name, and email address, along with a one-page c.v.. You may include up to two images with your submission. Note that presenters must deliver their papers in person and be VAF members at the time of the conference. Speakers who do not register for the conference by March 1, 2016, will be withdrawn. Please do not submit an abstract if you are not committed to attending the papers session on Saturday, June 4th.

    THE DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS IS OCTOBER 30, 2015. Abstracts should be emailed to the VAF Papers Committee Chair, Annmarie Adams, at papers@vafweb.org. For general information about the Durham conference, please visit the conference website at www.vafweb.org/Durham-2016 or contact Claudia Brown at durham@vafweb.org.

    Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships:

    VAF’s Pamela H. Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships offer a limited amount of financial assistance to students and young professionals presenting papers at VAF’s annual conference. Awards are intended to offset travel and registration costs for students, and to attract developing scholars to the organization. Any person presenting a paper who is currently enrolled in a degree-granting program, or who has received a degree within one year of the annual conference is eligible to apply. Awards cannot exceed $500. Previous awardees are ineligible, even if their status has changed. Recipients are expected to participate fully in the conference, including tours and workshops.

    To apply, submit with your abstract a one-page attachment with "Simpson Presenter’s Fellowship" at the top and the following information: 1) name, 2) institution or former institution, 3) degree program, 4) date of degree (received or anticipated), 5) mailing address, 6) permanent email address, 7) telephone number, and 8) paper title.

  • 30 Sep 2015 1:07 PM | Christine R Henry

    Celebrate theMontgomery Modern book cover launch of Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979, written by architectural historian Clare Lise Kelly.  The evening will include an illustrated talk by the author, reception, and book signing.

    The Montgomery County Planning Department (M-NCPPC) is hosting the launch party on Friday, October 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, Maryland. The event, sponsored by the Planning Department’s Historic Preservation Office, is free.  RSVPs are encouraged but not required.

    Register for the Montgomery Modern Book Launch Party at http://www.montgomeryplanning.org/historic/montgomery_modern/

    Montgomery Modern: Modern Architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland, 1930-1979

    by Clare Lise Kelly (M-NCPPC, 2015)

    This book is a chronicle of modern architecture in Montgomery County, Maryland from its first appearance in the 1930s through the 1970s. Located outside the nation’s capital, Montgomery County experienced a great postwar building boom, benefitting from access to federal jobs and a rolling, often rugged landscape.  Modern designers include Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer and Charles Moore as well as skilled local practitioners of Charles M. Goodman and Keyes, Lethbridge & Condon.  Award-winning projects featured in the book range from custom homes to modern tract houses, from corporate campuses to roadside businesses.  Richly illustrated with current photographs of Carol Highsmith and archival views by Robert Lautman, the publication includes biographical sketches of practitioners (architects, landscape architects, developers, planners) and an inventory of key buildings and subdivisions.  Montgomery Modern informs the reader about the significance of modern architecture and the fragile nature of the built environment from the recent past.

    Clare Lise Kelly is senior architectural historian for M-NCPPC Montgomery County Planning Department. She is the recipient of the AIA Kea Medal (Potomac Valley Chapter) and the the author of Places from the Past, a history of the built environment of Montgomery County which won the Maryland Historical Trust Heritage Education award.  She has a B.S. in Design & Environmental Analysis from Cornell University, and an M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont, and is a board member of Docomomo-DC. She established the M-NCPPC Montgomery Modern initiative to raise awareness of mid-century modern architecture, earning education awards from the Maryland Historical Trust and Montgomery Preservation, Inc.

    Carol Highsmith has been called America’s Photographer, having made a career documenting the nation’s built environment, focusing on its fragile and disappearing architectural heritage. Her photographs are housed in a permanent collection in the Archives of the Library of Congress.

  • 30 Sep 2015 1:05 PM | Christine R Henry



    How has urban renewal shaped Lawrence, Massachusetts and other industrial cities since the Second World War? This symposium will focus on Lawrence and other mid-size industrial cities affected by federal and state urban renewal programs, the tear-down of aging housing stock, highways being constructed through neighborhoods, and the destruction of long-established immigrant communities.

    We are looking for folks who want to present! This is the third history symposium hosted by the Lawrence History Center.  More information including the full call for participation can be found here. Deadline to submit a proposal to present: Dec. 4, 2015!

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