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Awards and Fellowships

The VAF offers a number of awards and fellowships to promote and support vernacular architectural fieldwork and scholarship, as well as the dissemination of research. Information about applying and past winners can be found on the pages below.

Access Award

The Access Award supports first-time attendance at the VAF's annual meeting by scholars and students with limited professional exposure to the fields of architectural history and vernacular studies, as well as by practitioners and independent scholars in the field.

Award for Advocacy

The Award for Advocacy encourages citizen-based advocacy by recognizing exemplary efforts and achievements on behalf of our vernacular built heritage. The 2020 recipient of the Advocacy Award is Patty Gay. Her sustained dedication has helped people from all walks of life appreciate the significance of vernacular architecture in New Orleans. 

Ambassadors Awards

Ambassadors Awards provide funding for faculty-sponsored student groups (both undergraduate and graduate) from North American institutions, to attend VAF annual conferences. The 2019 Ambassador Award went to the University of Mary Washington (UMW).  

Catherine W. Bishir Prize

The Catherine W. Bishir Prize is awarded annually to the scholarly article from a juried North American publication that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscape. The co-winners of the 2020 Catherine W. Bishir Prize are Michael J. Chiarappa and Andrea R. Roberts.  Their compelling articles on African Ameican experiential landscapes in the mid-Atlantic and Texas open new avenues of critical inquiry with new, diverse, and model methodologies that fruitfully further vernacular architecture studies. 

Paul E. Buchanan Award

The Paul E. Buchanan Award recognizes contributions to the study and preservation of vernacular architecture and the cultural landscape that do not take the form of books or published work. The winners of the 2020 Paul E. Buchanan Awards recognized Robert W. Craig for “Traditional Patterned Brickwork Buildings of New Jersey” and The Los Angeles City Planning Office of Historic Resources for the Multiple Property National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form for “The Asian Americans in Los Angeles Historic Context Statements” 

Abbott Lowell Cummings Award

The Abbott Lowell Cummings Award, named for the founding president of the VAF, is awarded annually to the newly-published book that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes of North America. The winner of the 2020 Abbot Lowell Cummings Award was awarded to C.J. Alvarez for his original, ambitious, and timely project: interpreting the cultural landscape of the artificial line that both links and separates the United States and Mexico: Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide.

Henry Glassie Award

The Henry Glassie Award, named for the renowned vernacular architecture scholar and folklorist, recognizes special achievements in and contributions to the field of vernacular architecture studies. The 2019 winner was Dr. Richard Longstreth. It is awarded intermittently, as deemed appropriate by the VAF Board of Directors.

Orlando Ridout V Fieldwork Fellowship

The Orlando Ridout V Fieldwork Fellowships help cover the expenses of either projects or fieldwork training.


Simpson Presenter’s Fellowships

The Simpson Presenter's Fellowship allocates funding to offer partial financial assistance to students and young professionals presenting papers at VAF annual conferences.

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