David Stanley Gebhard Past Award Winners
The eleventh David Stanley Gebhard Award winners were announced at the MNSAH annual meeting on March 13, 2019, at the Minnesota Humanities Center in St. Paul. The judging was lively and kind of a nail-biter. There was a tie for first place in the book award category. The awards went to:
- Brian McMahon for The Ford Century in Minnesota (University of Minnesota Press), how the Ford Motor Company transformed Minnesota over the past 100 years.
- Larry Millett for Minnesota Modern: Architecture and Life at Midcentury (University of Minnesota Press), a close-up view of a style that penetrated the social, political, and cultural machinery of the times.
There was no prize awarded in the category for articles. The judges were Jennifer O’Brien, Paul Bastyr, and Bob Frame. Jennifer and Paul are both graphic designers with a background in art history. Bob is a former MNSAH president and a past Gebhard winner.
- The winning book is Minnesota’s Own, authored by Larry Millett, with photographer Matt Schmitt, published in 2014 by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. One of the judges said “Larry Millett is about the closest thing we have to a celebrity author in this town (other than Garrison and Louise Erdrich, I suppose). His books are like a small industry of its own. But here’s the thing: this book is all sorts of charming. Beautifully produced, and gorgeous photos, of course, but also sparkling, well told stories about the homes. Completely compelling.”
- In what turned out to be a very tough competition, the judges also awarded an honorable mention to two books: John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design by Jane King Hession and Tim Quigley, published in 2015 by University of Minnesota Press, and Saint John’s Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Spaceby Victoria M. Young, published in 2014 by University of Minnesota Press. Apparently each of these books had one judge who thought it should have been the winner, and the judging ended up being quite spirited.
- Who knew there could be a winning article about prestressed concrete? And yet, “Constructing Suburbia: The Hidden Role of Prestressed Concrete”, by Robert M. Frame III and Richard E. Mitchell, took the prize for best article. It was published in Minnesota History Quarterly, 64:4, the Winter 2014-15 issue.
- St. Paul Union Depot, by John W. Diers, published in 2013 by the University of Minnesota Press. Diers worked in management in the transit industry for thirty-five years, including twenty-five years at the Twin Cities Metropolitan Transit Commission and is now a now a consultant on transit operations and writer and researcher on transportation history.
- The winning article is “Downsizing the Public Realm: Building and Razing Winona’s Grand Post Office,” by Greg Gaut and Marsha Neff, Minnesota History Quarterly, Volume 63, Issue 6, Spring 2013. Gaut and Neff write about history from their home in Winona.
The award period was for works published July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2013. Judges were Jo Davison, senior vice president–creative, Larsen Design; Will Stark, historic preservation consultant, Stark Preservation Planning LLC; and Robert Ferguson, Ph.D., architectural historian and past MNSAH board member.
- Book: The Opposite of Cold: The Northwoods Finnish Sauna Tradition, by Michael Nordskog, photographs by Aaron W. Hautala, published in 2010 by University of Minnesota Press. Nordskog is an attorney, writer, and editor who lives in Viroqua, WI. Hautala is creative director and owner of RedHouseMedia in Brainerd, MN.
- Honorable mention: The Invisible Element of Place: The Architecture of David Salmela by Thomas Fisher, University of Minnesota Press, 2011.
There was no award given in the magazine article category this year.
Judges were Barbara Bezat, assistant archivist, Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries; Jennifer Komar Olivarez, associate curator, Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture, Minneapolis Institute of Arts; and Jane King Hession, author and architectural historian. The award period was for works published July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2011.
- Book: Twin Cities Picture Show: A Century of Moviegoing, by Dave Kenney, published in 2007 by Minnesota Historical Society Press. Kenney is a freelance writer specializing in Minnesota history.
- Article: “Constructing Suburbia: Richfield in the Postwar Era,” by Lisa Plank and Thomas Saylor, published in the summer 2008 issue of Minnesota History. Plank is director of the Richfield Historical Society, and Saylor is associate professor of history at Concordia University, St. Paul.
- Honorable mention, book: Wood+Concrete+Stone+Steel: Minnesota’s Historic Bridges, by Denis Gardner, University of Minnesota Press, 2008. Gardner is a historian and an author.
Judges were Linda Mack, architecture critic; Robert Mack, FAIA, principal, MacDonald and Mack architects and adjunct faculty, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota; and Greg Donofrio, assistant professor, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota. The award period was for works published July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2009.