Sponsored by The Hyatt Foundation

Ceremony Speech

J. Carter Brown
Chairman of the Jury

Well, Your Honor, I think that the gratitude is on the other foot. We are delighted to be in your city. I come from the District of Columbia, which I hope sounds a little like Columbus. Actually, you have it better here because you have a state; we don't have a state. And yours at least recognizes the role of those who were here before Columbus. But Indiana, after all, dons its cap. But tonight we are celebrating something very transatlantic.

I am Carter Brown. I am here as chairman of the jury of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. And I would like first of all to recognize those members of the jury, past and present, who are here with us tonight. I am going to impose on each of them to stand and ask the rest of you please to withhold any applause until the end of that recitation.

The first is Ada Louise Huxtable of Marblehead, Massachusetts. No applause please or we'll be here all evening. The next, Charles Correa, who's come here from Bombay, India. And after that, Toshio Nakamura, who has come here from Tokyo, Japan. And after that, we have Ricardo Legorreta, who managed to make it from Mexico City, even though his luggage didn't. And then among other former jurors, Ricardo is our most recent juror to have rotated off, but we are very privileged to have with us the architect of this building, Cesar Pelli, and another juror of the Pritzker Prize is also here. He came all the way from Columbus, Indiana, J. Irwin Miller. Applause for all of them.

I think that June of 1994 will go down in the annals as one of the high points in the relations between France and America. I know that in the last weeks many of us on this side of the Atlantic have been glued to our television, reminiscing, or learning, as the case of most of you in this room I'm sure, the first time about 1944 and the great Normandy invasion. And we have a president, who had the opportunity, not only spending time with the president of France (and hitting it off so well that they spent a great deal of time upstairs in their White House, the Elysee Palace) before heading downstairs. So the dinner didn't start `til late. And when it was over, the president of France and our president, and their entourage, decided to visit the Louvre. What else to do at midnight? They were there until almost two o'clock, and were accompanied by a former Pritzker laureate, I.M. Pei, and by the Minister of Culture in France, from whom we will be hearing shortly.

Well, that was in celebration of the Normandy invasion. Tonight, we are here in celebration of the Brittany invasion. Christian de Portzamparc comes from Brittany, and he is one of our youngest laureates, and therefore has not had a chance, the French patronage system being so much more advanced than our own, to build much outside of France, maybe Japan, but not yet in the U.S. We think that needs remedying, and we are very much hoping that your great artistry will be built on this side of the Atlantic as well.

And so I am now going to turn the podium over to a man who has been a partner in crime in all kinds of plots and joint enterprises; he is the Minister of Culture of a country that has one, which we ain't got. It does bring back other reminiscences of a previous U.S. president and his beautiful, loving wife and their visit to Paris, when a predecessor of Mister Toubon was invited back by Jacqueline Kennedy to visit Washington, and specifically the National Gallery of Art. And the two of them specified, or rather Andre Malraux specified, that the then-director of the National Gallery would not be included in this tour. But Mrs. Kennedy very sweetly said that his young assistant, Carter Brown, could be. And so I had a wonderful morning with just the three of us. And it brought back wonderful memories, and rather sad memories a matter of weeks ago, when we were focused on a great visit of a more recent president and his lady to France.

And so from France we have tonight the Minister of Culture, Jacques Toubon, who will be followed by Catherine Bersani, who will represent the other minister in France who deals with architecture, the Minister of Construction and Public Works. She has the title of Director of Architecture. Wouldn't we all love to be that? And we will hear from them, and then from the Secretary of the Jury, Bill Lacy. So I now ask, would the minister Jacques Toubon come to the podium. Thank you very much.