Dr. Nathaniel Silver and Dr. Anne-Marie Eze were honored by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) with a 2017 Award for Excellence for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
s Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books exhibition last fall. The exhibition tied for first place for Outstanding Exhibition from an organization with an operating budget of $15-$30 million.
Dr. Nathaniel Silver, the Gardner Museums Associate Curator of the Collection, and Dr. Anne-Marie Eze, formerly of the Gardner and now Director of Scholarly and Public Programs at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, were selected from a group of 120 nominees for their work completed during the past year.
Since their launch in 2004, the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) has honored nearly 150 curators. They are the only recognition of their kind by which curators directly honor the work of their colleagues. 26 curators received the award this year. Categories ranged from exhibitions and catalogues to essays and digital publications.
It is critical to celebrate advancements in the field, and those curators moving the profession forward through innovations in interpretation and access, said Judith Pineiro, Executive Director of AAMC & AAMC Foundation.
Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books explored the transition from manuscript to printed books in 15th-century Italy, inviting digital-age visitors to contemplate one technological revolution at the time of another. The exhibition was attended by approximately 35,000 people who experienced a striking installation that evoked a Renaissance studio and princely library. All of the books in the exhibition shed new light on Renaissance patrons, artists, scribes, and printers from an era when the art of bookmaking reached its pinnacle.
The Gardner Museum was one of three venues for Beyond Words: Italian Renaissance Books, a city-wide exhibition showcasing illuminated manuscripts and rare printed books in Boston collections. The other locations were the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College and Houghton Library. This ambitious city-wide project created the largest exhibition of Renaissance books in North America.