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Historic New England awards twenty-sixth annual Book Prize

Nov 10, 2020

The 2020 Historic New England Book Prize goes to The Atlas of Boston History edited by Nancy S. Seasholes.

Historic New England also selected two Honor Books for recognition this year: Connecticut Architecture: Stories of 100 Places by Christopher Wigren of Preservation Connecticut and The Paintings of J.O.J. Frost: An American Story by Bethe Lee Moulton.

The Atlas of Boston History traces the city’s history and geography from the last ice age to the present with fifty-seven beautifully rendered maps. Thirty-five experts in a variety of fields contributed to the publication. From ancient glaciers to landmaking schemes and modern infrastructure projects, the city has been transformed almost constantly over the centuries. The book explores the history of the city through its physical, economic, and demographic changes, and social and cultural developments.

Connecticut Architecture: Stories of 100 Places uses a wide variety of Connecticut residential, commercial, and ecclesiastical buildings and landscapes to tell stories about the state. Arranged thematically, the book explains the many ways that structures and sites relate to larger histories of making places, style, geology, and more. It engages the reader in looking at Connecticut places in new ways.

The Paintings of J.O.J. Frost: An American Story tells the tale of Frost and his desire to document pre-Civil War life in his much loved town of Marblehead, Mass., and presents research that highlights the gradual international recognition of his work. The book traces the growing interest in folk art and what happened to his paintings from his death in 1928 to the opening of the Marblehead Museum’s Frost Gallery in 2017.

See a complete list of past Book Prize winners.

About the Book Prize

Historic New England’s Book Prize is awarded annually to a book that advances the understanding of life in New England from the past to today by examining its architecture, landscape, and material culture. This also includes works in the decorative arts, archaeology, historic preservation, the history of photography, and other related subjects.

Celebrate the Winners

Celebrate the annual Book Prize and hear remarks from the winners during our Night of Prizes webinar on December 9 at 6:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. The link for the webinar will be sent with your order confirmation.

With thanks

Night of Prizes is made possible by support from Historic New England’s Friends of the Library and Archives.