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The top prize in British architectural history, the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion, has been awarded to Christine Casey, Professor in Architectural History, at Trinity College Dublin.
The prize for ‘outstanding contribution’ to architectural history has been awarded to Professor Casey, from the School of Histories and Humanities, for her monograph ‘Making Magnificence’(Yale University Press, 2017).
The medallion is the highest honour bestowed by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and was announced at a ceremony on Monday, November 5th, at the Royal Society of Antiquaries in London. It is 30 years since the medallion was awarded to a scholar in an Irish university. In 1988 the medallion was awarded to Roger Stalley for The Cistercian monasteries of Ireland (Yale University Press, 1987). Published by Yale University Press, ‘Making Magnificence’ charts the journey of migrant craftsmen from the Italian-speaking lakes and valleys of southern Switzerland through Germany and the Netherlands to Britain and Ireland. It explores their lives and works in differing social, political and religious contexts and the lives of their families left at home.
‘Making Magnificence’ was judged to be a ground-breaking work which explores the relationship of design and craftsmanship in architectural production. The judges also noted that its narrative traces a pan-European craft phenomenon which spread to the cities and provinces of Britain and Ireland. Commenting on the award, Professor Casey said: “I am delighted that this study of craftsmanship and ornament in architecture has received this prestigious award in architectural history. It is emphatic support for an integrated approach to design and making in architecture.” Professor Casey is also the author of Dublin (Yale University Press, 2005) — which is regarded as the definitive work on Dublin’s architecture.
Christine Casey, Professor in Architectural History, Trinity is an architectural historian with a particular interest in the relationship of architecture and decoration and the role of craftsmanship in architectural production. Her research has developed from an initial focus on Irish eighteenth-century architecture to a broader interest in European early modern architecture. She is currently leading an IRC New Horizons interdisciplinary research project entitled ‘Making Victorian Dublin’. Focused on the Museum Building at Trinity this joint project with the Department of Geology is exploring the role of materials and craftsmanship in Dublin’s Victorian architecture.