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Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

The Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, named in honor of one of the founding members of CAA and first teachers of art history in the United States, was established in 1953. This award honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in the English language. Preference is given to books, including catalogues raisonnés, by a single author, but major publications in the form of articles or group studies may be included. Publication of documents or inventories, unless specifically in the context of an exhibition, are also eligible. The 2014 award year covers books published between September 1, 2012, and August 31, 2013.

2014 Winner

Painting of the Realm Yukio Lippit

Yukio Lippit, Painting of the Realm (2012)

In Painting of the Realm: The Kano House of Painters in 17th-Century Japan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012), Yukio Lippit pursues three questions: What is the nature of artistic production before the advent of the category of art? What was the status of the artist as a social entity and discursive category prior to the transplantation of the European concept of the artist in the late nineteenth century? And what constitutes the “Japaneseness” of painting prior to the consolidation of the nation-state? Focusing on the Kano House of painters over the course of the seventeenth century, Lippit develops answers to these questions by eschewing more conventional methodological approaches and exploring instead a sequence of strategies employed by artists within the Kano House, or operating in tension with it, that helped to formalize a canon for painting conceived as a discrete field of practice with an identifiable national character.

Past Winners

The first Morey award went to H. W. Janson in 1956 for Apes and Ape Lore in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. He also received the award again in 1961 for Sculpture of Donatello. A three-time winner, Erwin Panofsky, was recognized for Early Netherlandish Painting (1957), Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (1964), and Tomb Sculpture (1968). Since then, a wide range of books covering all areas and periods of art history have been awarded, including, most recently, Anthony J. Barbieri-Lo’s Artisans in Early Imperial China (2009), Elizabeth C. Mansfield’s Too Beautiful to Picture: Zeuxis, Myth, and Mimesis (2008), and Peter Selz’s Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond (2007).

Read a list of all winners of the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award from 1956 to the present, as well as a list of finalists from 1996 to the present.

Award Nominations

CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2015 awards. Please review the guidelines to familiarize yourself with the nomination process and to download, complete, and submit the requested materials. Deadline: July 31, 2014, for the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award and the Alfred H. Barr Jr. Awards; August 31, 2014, for all others.

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