John Beldon Scott won the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award from the College Art Association for the best book of the year (the Porter prize is for the best article of the year). The book is Architecture of the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin. John was a student of Olga Berendsen, a founding editor of the Rutgers Art Review, and a professor at U. of Iowa.
The citation reads in part as follows:
"In "Architecture for the Shroud:Relic and Ritual in Turin" (U. of Chicago Press, 2003) John Beldon Scott traces the rich history of Christ's Shroud, the revolutionary chapel designed by Guarino Guarini to house it, and the dynastic fortunes of the dukes of Savoy, who made political capital of both relic and chapel. This beautifully written, profusely illustrated book provides a vivid and compelling account of the Savoy's close identification with the Shroud from its earliest traceable history in the fourteenth century to the present day. In an erudite but accessible study that interweaves the long history of a relic, a dynasty, and an architectural masterpiece, Scott examines the evolution of art, patronage, religion, and politics throughout some seven hundred years. .... Moving impressively from one methodology to another, Scott traces the history of the relics's public rituals, situates the chapel's construction within the context of Turinese urban plannning, and notes the chapel's transformation into a burial site for the Savoy during the nineteenth century. The book ends poignantly in 1997, when the chapel was tragically gutted during an electrical fire. Scott's study is extraordinarily wide-ranging and nuanced, gathering evidence from religious history, popular culture, archival materials, and architectural theory to show how the history of Guarini's chapel is inseparable from the history of the Shroud's cult and its manipulation by the House of Savoy. "Architecture for the Shroud" provides an inspirational model for studies of the interaction between patron and artist, art and culture, and religion and politics, and brilliantly demonstrates the benefits of studying an artwork over time."
The Book (U.Chicago Press)
Excerpt from Book (U.Chicago Press)