University of Pittsburgh
March 14, 2012

Pitt Professor Kirk Savage Wins National Award for Monument Wars

Book looks at the evolution of Washington, D.C.’s, National Mall and the stories behind its monuments

Sharon Blake


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PITTSBURGH—The Foundation for Landscape Studies has awarded the 2012 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize to Kirk Savage, a professor and chair in the University of Pittsburgh Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences’ Department of the History of Art and Architecture. Savage received the award for Monument Wars: Washington D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape (University of California Press, 2009).
The $2,000 prize is awarded to a recently published book that has made significant contributions to the understanding of garden history and landscape studies.
In Monument Wars, Savage tells the story of the National Mall, its historic plans, its structures, and the dramatic shift in national representation through the years, from the image of a single man, often on horseback, to the commemoration of common soldiers and citizens, and from monuments that celebrate victory to memorials that honor victims. Savage explores the politics behind “national memory” and discusses events that helped shape the Mall’s evolution.
“The book will make you go back to the National Mall, but you’ll never again see it in quite the same light,” stated a review of the book in The Washington Post’s Book World.
Two years ago, Savage received the 2010 Charles C. Eldredge Prize from the Smithsonian American Art Museum for Monument Wars.
Savage began writing about public monuments and public spaces as a freelancer in the 1980s. He went on to earn MA and PhD degrees in art history from the University of California, Berkeley. His book Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton University Press) won the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for the best book published in American studies in 1998. 


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