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Association of Art Museum Curators Announces the Recipients of the 2007 Annual Awards for Excellence

NEW YORK.- The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) announces its annual Awards for Excellence in the categories of museum catalogues, articles, and exhibitions. Members of the AAMC are eligible for nomination, and awards are determined by the organization’s membership.

“This year’s nomination pool marked an all time high for the number of catalogues, essays and exhibitions that we received,” says Sally Block, Director of the AAMC. “Our winners represent the best of the curatorial profession - both in scholarship and dedication to their chosen fields.”

In an exceptionally rich and competitive field of permanent collection catalogues, the AAMC has named Walter Liedtke’s two-volume Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art its highest honor. Jurors cited this as a catalogue whose exemplary scholarship mirrors the quality of the collection it describes and, in addition, soars above its task through the author’s breadth of knowledge and elegant writing. “The author constructed a collection catalogue that is distinguished by focus, originality and great intelligence. This long-term endeavor was written for a scholarly audience, but it communicates a deep understanding of Dutch art and culture in a manner that delivers intellectual weight with an intensity of spirit that parallels the author’s passion for his subject,” says Maureen O’Brien, Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and chair of the AAMC Permanent Collection Catalogue jury.

In the field of exhibition catalogues, which received a record number of submissions this year, Elizabeth Armstrong’s Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury took the top award. “The catalogue could hold its own separate from the exhibition--you could still get an excellent sense of what the show was about without having seen it,” noted Merrill Falkenberg, curator at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and AAMC exhibition catalogue juror. Other jurors noted the rich interplay between the various cultural disciplines reflected in the catalogue, as well as its adroit balance between new scholarship and popular appeal.

All awards for 2007 will be formally announced at the AAMC Seventh Annual Meeting, to be held May 10th through the 13th in Los Angeles, California. The following are the winners of the 2007 Annual AAMC Awards (AAMC members’ names are in italics):

Outstanding Catalogue Based on a Permanent Collection

Walter Liedtke
Dutch Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue

Elizabeth Armstrong, with essays by Michael Boyd, Frances Colpitt, Dave Hickey, Thomas Hine, Bruce Jenkins, Elizabeth Smith, and Lorraine Wild
Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA, with Prestel Publishing, Munich

Honorable Mentions:

Alisa LaGamma, with Barbara Boehm, Elias K. Bongmba, Kairn Klieman, Denise Patry Leidy, and Louis Perrois
Eternal Ancestors: The Art of the Central African Reliquary, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan
Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination, Peabody Essex Museum, London, England, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Outstanding Essay

Frederick Ilchman, “Tintoretto as a Painter of Religious Narrative,” in Tintoretto, Miguel Falomir (ed.), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Outstanding Exhibition or Installation

Central Time Zone:

“Jasper Johns: Gray” curated by James Rondeau and Douglas Druick with Mark Pascale and Nan Rosenthal. Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, in cooperation with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Eastern Time Zone:

“The New Greek and Roman Galleries at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art” curated by Carlos A. Picon, Joan Mertens, Elizabeth Milleker, Christopher Lightfoot, and Sean Hemingway. Organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Pacific Time Zone:

“WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” curated by Cornelia Butler. Organized by The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, in cooperation with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York, NY; and the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC

Mission of the AAMC

With a membership of over 850, the AAMC was founded in 2001 to support the role of curators in shaping the mission of art museums in North America. The goals of the AAMC are to:

•Serve as an advocacy group for the curatorial profession
•Articulate the standards for the profession
•Promote research and scholarship through an annual meeting and educational programs on selected themes held at venues throughout North America
•Exchange information through a website and monthly newsletter
•Facilitate online discussions addressing a wide variety of relevant topics
•Recognize distinguished achievement in the field though annual awards
•Facilitate the exchange of information about traveling exhibitions
•Provide a collegial forum for discussion about museum issues in North America
•Accomplish these goals in cooperation with museum directors, trustees and other staff

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