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Curators Name Award-Worthy Exhibitions and Catalogues

Now for some awards, these just announced by the Association of Art Museum Curators. Recognition by one’s peers is the highest form of praise, really, as they should know the true values of a profession and pay little heed to popularity. 

Outstanding Catalogue Based on an Exhibition (tie):

Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011, by Linda Komaroff, Sheila Blair, Jonathan Bloom et. al.


Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art 1945-1980, Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2011, by Rebecca Peabody, Andrew Perchuk et. al.

Outstanding Catalogue Based on a Permanent Collection

Fragonard’s Progress of Love at The Frick Collection, New York: The Frick Collection in association with D Giles Limited, 2011, by Colin B. Bailey.

Outstanding Catalogue Essay:

Randall R. Griffey, Curator of American Art, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, “Reconsidering ‘The Soil'”: The Stieglitz Circle, The Regionalists and Cultural Eugenics in the Twenties,” in Teresa A. Carbone, et al., Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties, exh. cat. (Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Museum, 2011), 245-77.

Outstanding Monographic or Retrospective Exhibition

“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” curated by Andrew Bolton, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (pictured above)

Outstanding Thematic Exhibition

“The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde,” co-curated by Janet Bishop of SFMOMA, Cécile Debray for the Reunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, Rebecca Rabinow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Art, and Gary Tinterow, formerly of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Outstanding Exhibition in a University Museum

“It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973,” curated by Rebecca McGrew, Pomona College Museum of Art and Glenn Phillips, Getty Research Institute, at Pomona College Museum of Art

 Outstanding Permanent Collection New Installation (or Re-installation)

“Artist’s Eye, Artist’s Hand: American Indian Art,” curated by Nancy Blomberg, Chief Curator and Curator of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum 

Outstanding Small Exhibition (based on square footage: no more than 2,000 square feet)

“Antico: The Golden Age of Renaissance Bronzes,” curated by Eleonora Luciano, associate curator of sculpture, National Gallery of Art, in collaboration with Denise Allen, curator of Italian sculpture, The Frick Collection, New York, and Claudia Kryza-Gersch, Curator of the Kunstkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, at the National Gallery of Art, Washington (above, right).

The complete press release, with all authors named and some runners-up, is here.

I’m especially pleased by the award to the Denver Art Museum, whose installation, which added attribution to Native American artists wherever possible, I wrote about in The New York Times and here, here and here.

I don’t have any other real comments — I liked all of those honored that I saw — except to note again that these choices seem to favor the east and west coasts.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of the Met (top) and the Frick (bottom)


  1. mabonnetoile says

    With the current controversy about Gertrude Stein and after the Edward Burns’s answer it is interesting to Know one of the last Gertrude Stein’s vew before dying when she speaks about art it is also politic .

    Stein’s preface to the exhibition by Francisco Riba Rovira at Roquepine Gallery in May 1945:
    « It is inevitable that when we really need someone we find him. The person you need attracts you like a magnet. I returned to Paris, after these long years spent in the countryside and I needed a young painter, a young painter who would awaken me. Paris was magnificent, but where was the young painter? I looked everywhere: at my contemporaries and their followers. I walked a lot, I looked everywhere, in all the galleries, but the young painter was not there. Yes, I walk a lot, a lot at the edge of the Seine where we fish, where we paint, where we walk dogs (I am of those who walk their dogs). Not a single young painter!
    One day, on the corner of a street, in one of these small streets in my district, I saw a man painting. I looked at him; at him and at his painting, as I always look at everybody who creates something I have an indefatigable curiosity to look and I was moved. Yes, a young painter!
    We began to speak, because we speak easily, as easily as in country roads, in the small streets of the district. His story was the sad story of the young people of our time. A young Spaniard who studied in fine arts in Barcelona: civil war; exile; a concentration camp; escape. Gestapo, another prison, another escape… Eight lost years! If they were lost, who knows? And now a little misery, but all the same the painting. Why did I find that it was him the young painter, why? I visited his drawings, his painting: we speak.
    I explained that for me, all modern painting is based on what Cézanne nearly made, instead of basing itself on what he almost managed to make. When he could not make a thing, he hijacked it and left it. He insisted on showing his incapacity: he spread his lack of success: showing what he could not do, became an obsession for him. People influenced by him were also obsessed by the things which they could not reach and they began the system of camouflage. It was natural to do so, even inevitable: that soon became an art, in peace and in war, and Matisse concealed and insisted at the same time on that Cézanne could not realize, and Picassoconcealed, played and tormented all these things.
    The only one who wanted to insist on this problem, was Juan Gris. He persisted by deepening the things which Cézanne wanted to do, but it was too hard a task for him: it killed him.And now here we are, I find a young painter who does not follow the tendency to play with what Cézanne could not do, but who attacks any right the things which he tried to make, to create the objects which have to exist, for, and in themselves, and not in relation.
    This young painter has his weaknesses and his strengths. His force will push him in this road. I am fascinated and that is why he is the young painter who I needed. He is Francisco Riba Rovira. »
    Gertrude Stein

    Perhaps you have something to tell about .Because why did she help Riba-Rovira ?
    Was she only fascinated by his art ?Was it a politic mistification and manipulation to make on his back a new vitginity for her…
    Because as she tells ,he was persecuted by the nazi .Certainly arrested after “sabotages” in coke working in St Etienne ,if he would not escape from Vannes in a transit camp where the ss wera from Holland he would be send to Mathausen as a red and republican spanish .
    But in all that when we saw in the Met the portrait of Gertrude Stein he did we can read in his way of painting a kind touch of something hieratic ,very straight ,as you must to be after beeing down .
    Running and running more to escape when you not even a diamond to have a glass of water .All his life fighting the faschism as you him with Picasso when they did the book to support coke miners in the Asturies who were on stricke in Spain at the same moment Franco killed Juan Grimao in the sixties …

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