Thursday, 3 July 2008

John Harris wins the Berger Prize

The doyen of architectural history, indeed the maverick of architectural history, John Harris, OBE, has won the £5000 William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2007 for Moving Rooms: the Trade in Architectural Salvages, published by Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. The prize is awarded annually by The British Art Journal together with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver. 
In a reception at the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art in London on 2 July 2008 the presentation was made by Tim Knox, Director of Sir John Soane's Museum. 
The assessors commented: 'The author wears his immense knowledge and scholarship lightly, and lifts the lid on so many subjects. The tale he has to tell is rich in its implications. The book forces us to reconsider fundamental questions about the nature of authenticity in all fields, so radically indeed, that this study could almost be reckoned a "postmodern" achievement. It opens up endless possibilities for future research. No-one else could have written it.'
Guests at the reception included Professor Brian Allen, Director of the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; Dr Martin Postle, Assistant Director, Paul Mellon Centre; Eileen Harris; Richard Ormond (formerly Director of the National Portrait Gallery and of the National Maritime Museum) and Professor Leonee Ormond; Dr John Martin Robinson; Dr Paula Henderson (winner of the 2006 William MB Berger Prize); Dr Wendy Baron; Dr Gert-Rudolf Flick; William Drummond; Elizabeth Einberg; Dr Celina Fox; Dr Susan Jenkins (English Heritage, Apsley House); Emeritus Professor Andrew Sanders; Jane Martineau (Burlington Magazine); Kim Sloan (British Museum); Professor Edward Chaney; Sally Salvesen (Yale University Press).