2009 MELVA J. DWYER AWARD WINNERS
The 2009 Melva J. Dwyer Award was announced during Convocation on Friday, April 17th, 2009 by Liv Valmestad at the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The winning publication was Winnipeg Modern: architecture 1945-1975, University of Manitoba Press, 2006, edited by Dr. Serena Keshavjee and designed by Herbert Enns.
Winnipeg Modern embodies the elegance and beauty of the Modernist period and includes critical and historical essays on the aesthetic and social project of Modernist architecture in Winnipeg. Lavishly illustrated with 300 photographs from provincial archives, the private archives of architect Henry Kalen, and contemporary photographer Martin Tessler, this book is a testament to the Modernist principles of structural expression and purity of form.
Beginning in the 1940s, John A. Russell (from MIT), Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, nurtured a strong tradition of Modernist design with close connections to architectural giants such as Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Under Russell's guidance, a generation of young architects, such as James Donahue and David Thordarson, adapted the principles of European Modernism to the prairie geography. Other nationally renowned architects, such as Etienne Gaboury and Gustavo da Roza, also left a lasting Modernist mark on Winnipeg's skyline and private residences.
The jury consisted of: Larissa Beringer, Eva Revitt, and Cyndie Campbell. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone on the jury and a special thanks to Larissa, who also managed to give birth during the deliberation process.
Here are some words from the jury:
- Beautifully designed and in a class of its own
- Great size and shape, nice glossy paper, font size and typeface represent the subject well.
- Includes biographies of Manitoba architects and designers influential in the development of modern architecture in Winnipeg.
- An engaging, well-researched collection of essays - Scholarly in approach but accessible to anyone with an interest in urbanity and modern architecture in North America - both regional and international in its appeal.
- Well organized bibliography, comprehensive endnotes for each essay. Excellent photographic documentation compliment each essay - historical photographs, archival images, plans, drawings, elevations, contemporary photography.
The strongest nomineess this year were in the area of architecture. Honorable mentions go to:
- Building New Brunswick: an Architectural History by John Leroux, 2008.
- Insight and On site: the Architecture of Diamond and Schmitt by Jack diamond, Don gillmor and Donald Schmitt, 2008.
Chair, Melva J. Dwyer Award Committee
Chair, ARLIS/NA Canada