Vincent J. Scully
New Haven, Connecticut
Award Type: Crowninshield Award
Vincent J. Scully, Sterling Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at Yale University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Miami, has been called the most important interpreter of art and architecture of our time. For 61 years, he has inspired generations of students with his unique style of "lecture performance" and his original and penetrating analysis of art, architecture, landscape, urbanism, cultural heritage and the human spirit. The author of 20 books, Scully has taught, trained and mentored many of the nation's foremost art historians, artists, architects, preservationists and critics.
Observing early in his teaching career that urban development policies during the 1950s tended to destroy neighborhoods, Scully sounded an early warning call against the policies and practices of urban renewal. A Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Scully has been on the front lines of the preservation movement, condemning sprawl as the enemy of the historic American landscape. Many important battles in Scully's native New Haven, including the fight to save New Haven's Public Library and City Hall, were won because of his tireless effort and commitment.
Scully enrolled as a student at Yale at the age of 16. More than 65 years later, the dean of Yale's School of Architecture, Robert A.M. Stern, announced the establishment of the Vincent J. Scully Jr. Visiting Professorship in Architectural History at Yale. Scully is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the United States' highest honor for artists and arts patrons, and dozens of other accolades. In 1999, the National Building Museum endowed the Vincent Scully Prize to recognize exemplary practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design.
"There is no candidate more worthy of the National Trust's highest honor for lifetime achievement than Professor Vincent Scully," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "He is a hero of mine, as he is to so many others who appreciate great design and great architecture. Through his life's work, Vincent Scully has helped preserve the heritage of our nation."