Each year, the Western European Architecture Foundation
awards the Gabriel Prize-a $20,000 grant for the study
of classical architecture and landscape in France. Prize
winners embark on a three-month itinerary of their own
devising. While abroad, Gabriel laureates focus on some
particular aspect of French architecture: for one recent
laureate that meant the monastic cloisters of provincial
France; for another, the arcades of Paris. Whatever
their individual program, prize-winners work closely
with the Foundation's European representative, a Parisian
architect who is available for regular criticism and
discussion. This provides one constant in the laureates’
time abroad. Drawing provides another. Prize winners
spend much of their sabbatical sketching, measuring,
and, in the course of three months, producing three
large renderings. In the process, each laureate comes
to know some of the masterpieces of France.
The selection process includes three phases, with candidates
registering their interest through the submission of pertinent
illustrations of personal work and an outline of the studies
contemplated. A first jury is empowered to select from
such submissions three candidates who are then invited
to meet a second jury assembled with the task of naming
the final winner and a runner up. The winner is requested
to begin studies in France by May 1st, keep a traveling
sketchbook, and prepare three large colored drawings within
a period of three months under the supervision of the
Jurors are chosen for their experience as teachers,
as artists, and for their knowledge of study abroad.
They are architects, landscape architects, painters,
professors, and past Gabriel Prize laureates. The goal
is to maintain a variety of viewpoints and experiences
among the jurors.
In nearly every sense, the Gabriel program reflects
the vision of its extraordinary founder, George Parker,
Jr. George was an American patriot, a Texan, and a
Francophile. He believed passionately in the humanizing
power of classical architecture and strove to find
some way to bring its spirit back to our own country.
The Foundation and the Gabriel Prize are the fruits
of that effort. Each has now celebrated a twentieth
The Foundation is indebted to the Gabriel Prize winners
who have been, after all, the program's raison-d'etre.
Each has been willing to set aside their lives for three
months of hard work and study. The drawings they produce
are a reflection of their efforts and their very considerable
talents. To them, the Foundation offers its deepest
thanks and admiration.
George's death in 1998 left a void, but with his generous
endowment the Foundation will continue to fulfill his
goals. We encourage you to review the work done by our
winners and consider making an application for yourself
or referring someone you may know.
Patrick J. Fleming
Western European Architecture Foundation