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Awards and Fellowships

Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize

The Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize, named after the founding president of the VAF, is awarded annually to the publication that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes. In judging the nominated books, the jurors look for a publication that is

  • based on primary research,
  • emphasizes fieldwork,
  • breaks new ground in interpretation or methodology, and
  • contributes generally to the intellectual vitality of vernacular studies in North America.

Entries may come from any discipline concerned with vernacular architecture studies. Books published in the two years prior to the conference year are eligible for consideration. Edited collections are not eligible.


The nomination deadline for the 2014 Cummings Prize is December 16, 2013.

There is no application form, but a cover letter should include a complete mailing address, phone number and email address in order to notify the candidate should the nominated work receive the award. Books should be sent directly to each of the committee members for the Cummings Prize. Please contact the committee chair with any questions at

2014 Cummings Prize committee:

Dr. Elaine Jackson-Retondo
Chair, VAF Cummings Prize
2231 Trafalgar Place
Oakland, CA 94611

Prof. Matthew Lasner
Hunter College
Department of Urban Affairs and Planning
695 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10065

Prof. Richard Longstreth
Department of American Studies
2108 G Street, N.W., #101
George Washington University
Washington, D.C. 20052

2013 Prize Winner

Matthew Gordon Lasner. High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century. Yale University Press, 2012.
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All Prize Winners

The Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize was first awarded in 1983.
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