8/18/2014 Peter Durantine

Schuyler’s ‘Sanctified Landscape’ Earns Herbert H. Lehman Prize

This magazine article is part of Summer 2014 / Issue 78
  • Photo by Melissa Hess Photo by Melissa Hess


For 35 years, Professor David Schuyler has challenged his students at Franklin & Marshall to view the subjects of culture and history from multiple perspectives.

He takes that same approach as a researcher and writer, a scholarly method that has earned Schuyler the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in New York from the New York Academy of History at Columbia University, his alma mater. The honor recognizes Schuyler’s 2012 book, “Sanctified Landscape: Writers, Artists, and the Hudson River Valley, 1820-1909,” and is the third prize the volume has won.

Named for the governor who served the Empire State in the 1930s and early 1940s, the award aligns with the New York Academy’s mission to “promote and honor outstanding historical research and writing.” The academy’s director, Kenneth Jackson, presented the award this spring at a dinner at Manhattan’s Century Club.

“It’s especially touching because he was co-director of my dissertation and has been a close friend for many years,” Schuyler said of Jackson. “It was great to share that moment with him.”

Schuyler, F&M’s Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of Humanities and American Studies and a founding trustee of the academy, is a native of the Hudson Valley city of Newburgh, N.Y. He grew up on tales of the subjects of his book: Hudson River School painter Thomas Cole, writer Washington Irving, and landscape designer Andrew Jackson Downing.

“Many have written of these figures, but Mr. Schuyler brings them to life in engaging ways and with fresh insights,” reads the Lehman Prize citation. “He never loses sight of the fact that these artists and writers not only rendered the Hudson River Valley for generations of Americans, but also shaped their perception of it.”
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