Tara Dudley, graduate student in the School of Architecture at The University of Texas, has received the prestigious Carter Manny Award from the Graham Foundation. Two doctoral students are selected for the award each year out of hundreds of nominations from the United States and Canada.
The award will provide $15,000 for research and travel in support of her dissertation, which examines the architectural activities of New Orleans’ gens de couleur libres or “free people of color,” a unique group of builders, developers and property owners whose activities set standards within and without predominantly black Creole communities in the 19th century.
Her research focuses on their influence on the physical growth of New Orleans, and the implications — historical, cultural and economic — of their contributions to 19th century American architecture.
Dudley, a native of Lafayette, La., received a bachelor’s of art degree in art history from Princeton University and a master’s of science degree in historic preservation from The University of Texas at Austin. She has interned at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and at Shadows-on-the-Teche and is currently an architectural historian at Hardy-Heck-Moore Inc., a cultural resource management firm based in Austin.
The Carter Manny Award supports dissertation research and writing by promising scholars whose projects focus on fields supported by the Graham Foundation: architecture; architectural history, theory and criticism; design; engineering; landscape architecture; urban planning; urban studies; visual arts; and other related fields.
The Graham Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, Il., awards project-based grants to individuals and organizations and produces public programs to foster the development and exchange of diverse and challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture and society.
In 2006, Timothy Parker, doctoral candidate in architectural history and theory at The University of Texas at Austin, won the award.