Denise Scott Brown
The Pritzker Prize jury has decided not to revisit its decision to exclude the architect Denise Scott Brown from the 1991 Pritzker Prize that was given to her design partner and husband, Robert Venturi, with whom she had worked side by side.
Two students at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design had started an online petition calling for the panel that administers architecture’s highest prize reconsider that decision. The case has brought to the fore the status and recognition given to women in the field.
“Insofar as you have in mind a retroactive award of the prize to Ms. Scott Brown, thepresent jury cannot do so,” said Lord Peter Palumbo, the Pritzker’s chairman, in a letter to the two students. “Pritzker juries, over time, are made up of different individuals, each of whom does his or her best to find the most highly qualified candidate. A later jury cannot re-open, or second guess the work of an earlier jury, and none has ever done so.”
Ms. Scott Brown could not be reached for comment. It was her remarks that prompted the students, Arielle Assouline-Lichten and Caroline James, to start the petition in the first place. “They owe me not a Pritzker Prize but a Pritzker inclusion ceremony,” Ms. Scott Brown said previously. “Let’s salute the notion of joint creativity.”
“It takes times for institutions to admit historical wrongs,” Ms. Assouline-Lichten said in an interview on Friday. “So we’re hopeful they’ll continue to work with us and over time acknowledge that the Pritzker Prize will need to respond and adapt.”
Lord Palumbo said in his letter that “Ms. Scott Brown remains eligible for the Pritzker award” and commended the students on raising awareness about women in architecture.
“We should like to thank you for calling directly to our attention a more general problem, namely that of assuring women a fair and equal place within the profession,” he wrote. “To provide that assurance is, of course, an obligation embraced by every part of the profession, from the schools that might first encourage students to enter the profession to the architectural firms that must facilitate the ability of women to fulfill their potential as architects.”
via NY Times