Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize
The Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize was established in 1957, in memory of a founding member of the CAA and one of the first American scholars of the discipline. This award seeks to encourage high scholarly standards among younger members of the profession. The prize is awarded for a distinguished article published in The Art Bulletin during the previous calendar year (2012 for the 2013 award) by a scholar of any nationality who is under the age of thirty-five or who has received the doctorate not more than ten years before acceptance of the article for publication.
Yukio Lippit’s essay “Of Modes and Manners in Japanese Ink Painting: Sesshū’s Splashed Ink Landscape of 1495,” published in the March 2012 issue of The Art Bulletin, is a new look at a master work of medieval Japanese ink painting that has commonly been studied biographically and interpreted as a pictorialization of Zen Buddhism. Lippit’s evenhanded approach builds upon earlier interpretations but makes artistic intentions only one facet of his considerations. He elucidates the scroll in its entirety, focusing on the work’s splashed ink landscape and prose preface, painted and written by Sesshū Tōyō himself, as well as the poetic inscriptions added to the work by six leading Zen monks after the artist gifted the scroll to his student, Josui Soen. Lippit broadens his engagement by looking at it through the lens of a semiotician and a social and cultural historian. Elegantly constructing his argument, the author writes in clear and compelling terms, making his case for the specialist and nonspecialist alike.
One of CAA’s longest-running awards, the Porter prize has been awarded to superb articles in Western European art and architecture but has increasingly recognized a wider range of topics (in American, Chinese, Japanese, and Assyrian art) since the 1990s. Past winners include three-time winner Irving Lavin (1960, 1963, and 1970) and, most recently, Marnin Young, Fabio Barry, and Elizabeth Marlowe. Of special note is the 1967 Porter given to Linda Nochlin for her article “Gustave Courbet’s Meeting: A Portrait of the Artist as a Wandering Jew.”
Read a list of all winners of the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from 1958 to the present.
CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2014 Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize.