Rebecca O’Neal Dagg Awarded Prestigious Graham Foundation Grant
Rebecca O’Neal Dagg’s research project, “Samuel Mockbee: Art and Architecture Representation and Vision,” has been awarded a prestigious Graham Foundation grant. Her grant award, which will fund travel for interviews and to document Mockbee’s drawings and paintings, is one of 72 chosen for support from nearly 700 submissions to the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. The Graham Foundation, located in Chicago, is one of the most significant funders in the field of architecture.
O’Neal Dagg is an associate professor of architecture in the Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction. Her research focuses on architectural representation, and she has long been interested in Mockbee’s drawings and paintings. “Mockbee produced a substantial body of representation in addition to his architecture and teaching legacy. He received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant and was posthumously awarded the AIA Gold Medal, so there is a lot of interest in knowing more about his vision,” explains O’Neal Dagg. “The research supported by this grant will lead to a book that intends to be a definitive reference on his life and work. Support from the Graham Foundation is an honor to the project and speaks to the significance of his contributions.”
Mockbee’s drawings include architectural projects as well as sketches of his view of the South, the people he met and the places he frequented. His sketchbooks also include his writings. “There is a body of work that many people would love to learn more about,” O’Neal Dagg says. “Mockbee was concerned about solving issues of poverty and social injustice. He did this both by working through the Rural Studio and through portraying an alternative reality through drawing and painting.”
The Graham Foundation has generously supported numerous projects related to Mockbee and Rural Studio in the past, including a grant made to Mockbee and Coleman Coker for their book The Nurturing of Culture in the Rural South An Architectonic Documentary and support to Andrew Freear, the current Rural Studio director, to complete Rural Studio at Twenty: Designing and Building in Hale County, Alabama. “It’s a great lineage to be in,” says O’Neal Dagg. “He was so helpful and inspirational to me as a young student and later as a colleague that I feel like I owe it to him bring his full vision to light.”
O’Neal Dagg joined the faculty of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture in 1999. She teaches upper-level architecture studios, seminars in architecture history and theory, and representation. Currently, O’Neal Dagg is the chair of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture’s (ACSA) Leadership Committee.
Samuel Mockbee, House at Sagaponic, pen and watercolor on trace, 2001, Canton, Mississippi.
Courtesy of Jackie Mockbee.