Times design critic Sam Hall Kaplan and local architect Aaron Betsky are among 17 persons from across the country honored by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.
Kaplan was awarded a $5,000 grant to aid in the research of a book exploring and celebrating significant public urban spaces and Betsky a $7,500 grant for a book on early-20th Century architect James Gamble Rogers.
In addition to being an architect in the office of Frank O. Gehry, Betsky has written for professional journals. Kaplan is the author of several books, the most recent being "L. A. Lost and Found," a personal and pictorial survey of the shaping of Los Angeles, to be published next month by Crown.
Also being awarded grants were 16 institutions, including the University of California, Berkeley. It received a $10,000 grant to host an international symposium on housing. Others receiving awards were Douglas Davis of Newsweek for a book on contemporary architecture, and Ellen Posner of the Wall Street Journal for a book on museum design.
The Chicago-based Graham Foundation was established in 1955 in the name of architect and philanthropist Ernest Robert Graham.