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Ceremony Speech

J. Carter Brown
Chairman of the Jury

Mr. President, Chairman, Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Carter Brown, the chairman of the jury for the Pritzker Prize, and on behalf of that jury, it is my privilege to thank you, Mr. President, for our being here. We like your house. You have given us perhaps, a new definition of la vie da Boheme.

The Pritzker Prize is determined by a jury, many of whom are with us tonight. They come, many of them from great distances, to be in Prague tonight. Ada Louise Huxtable, distinguished architectural critic, formerly of the New York Times. Charles Correa from India, distinguished architect and winner of the Royal Institute of British Architect's Gold Medal. Frank Gehry, a Pritzker Prize winner, from Los Angeles. Ricardo Legorreta, from Mexico City, an architect very much in demand these days. Toshio Nakamura from Tokyo, Japan, editor of A+U, the great encyclopedia in our field—he is a walking encyclopedia. And we also have two former Pritzker Laureates with us: Hans Hollein of Vienna, and Gottfried Böhm of Germany. Welcome all of you.

The idea of being in this castle, I think bears witness to the importance of patronage, often unsung, to the art of architecture. Those of us in the art world have grown up revering Rudolph II, and many of the other great figures you have called into being in this great assemblage. But tonight, I wanted particularly to pay homage to another great democratic president, Jan Masyryck, who had first of all the intelligence to marry an American wife, and secondly, the enormous intelligence to engage Jose Pletschnik whose work you have experienced in entering here and whose architectural quality bears witness to how important patronage can be in a democratic society.

Speaking of democracy, we are flattered to have not only the President here which does such honor to the art of architecture, but also the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies, Mr. Milan Uhde, who has yet another distinction, which in our world is particularly significant, he is a former Minister of Culture. Chairman Uhde.