Congratulations to Professor Lewis who has won a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship!  They have been awarded since 1925 to those “who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.”

From the College’s press release:

The Fellowship will allow Lewis to complete the research and writing of “The Pietist Tradition in Town Planning.” “Pietist tradition,” Lewis explains, “is expressed in a half century of Utopian town building by varied separatist sects as the 16th-century Anabaptists, 18th-century Moravians, and 19th-century Shakers.” It is a tradition that is in parallel and in opposition to the ideal cities of the Italian Renaissance.  

His project “is to do justice to this neglected chapter in the history of idea,” Lewis said.  “It will show that Pietist architecture … was rooted in the scholarly and courtly centers of Europe — and reflects the fertile interaction of the Renaissance and the Reformation.”

He will spend some of his year’s leave from Williams in Germany, primarily doing research at the Moravian archives in Herrnhut, Germany. In the U.S. he will focus this year on the Moravian archives in Bethlehem, Penn.  

Lewis said the book will sum up the meaning of “the other urban tradition, and seeks to take the measure of the Pietist contribution to urban thought, and its role as a laboratory for social experimentation.”

Thought it would be nice to throw a little positive reflection on Williams out there for the day.  While I never had the good fortune of taking his classes, several of my fellow Ephs have been motivated to pursue their passion for art and architecture by Professor Lewis and others in the outstanding Williams College arts community.  Yet again I am reminded of how lucky I was to spend four years at Williams surrounded by such dedicated, talented, and creative individuals.  Bravo!

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