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Pritzker mulls recognition for Denise Scott Brown

The Pritzker prize jury is to consider recognising Denise Scott Brown following pressure from the profession

A petition amassing more than 2,000 signatures has called for Denise Scott Brown to be recognised for the part she played in Robert Venturi’s work which led him to receive the prestigious award in 1991.

Martha Thorne, executive director for the Pritzker Architecture Prize committee said: ‘The Pritzker Laureate is chosen annually by a panel of independent jurors. Those jurors change over the years, so this presents us with an unusual situation. The most that I can say at this point is that I will refer this important matter to the current jury at their next meeting.’ 

Robert Venturi was awarded the Pritzker by a jury made up of J. Carter Brown, Giovanni Agnelli, Ada Louise Huxtable, Ricardo Legorreta, Toshio Nakamura, Kevin Roche, and Lord Rothschild.

Following the AJ’s call for the Pritzker Prize to acknowledge Denise Scott Brown as joint equal winner of the award in 1991, an online petition was launched by Harvard’s Women in Design Group. The petition has so far received almost 2,400 signatures, including Sarah Wigglesworth, Anna Heringer and The AJ’s Rory Olcayto.

Scott Brown had been a partner at Venturi Scott Brown for 22 years when Robert Venturi won the prize for his work. She also co-authored the seminal Learning from Las Vegas with Venturi and Steven Izenour in 1972.

In a speech prepared for the AJ Women in Architecture lunch, Scott Brown called on her role in Robert Venturi’s 1991 win to be acknowledged retrospectively. Describing it as a ‘very sad’ situation, she said: ‘They owe me not a Pritzker Prize but a Pritzker inclusion ceremony. Let’s salute the notion of joint creativity.’

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