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Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award

The Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for museum scholarship was established in 1980, in honor of the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art and a scholar of early-twentieth-century painting. This award is presented to the author or authors of an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, published in the English language under the auspices of a museum, library, or collection. Catalogues of public or private collections or significant portions thereof and exhibition catalogues are eligible.

2023 WINNER

Julia Burtenshaw, Héctor García Botero, Diana Magaloni, and María Alicia Uribe Villegas, The Portable Universe/El universo en tus manos: Thought and Splendor of Indigenous Colombia (DelMonico Books / Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2022)   

The Western concept of El Dorado has long impacted the study of the ancient cultures of Colombia, overshadowing the manifold stories that pre-Columbian art weaves across time and space. How can museum curators uncover those stories, illuminate their nuanced complexities, and present them to the public in engaging and innovative ways? The Portable Universe/El universo en tus manos is the remarkable outcome of just such an undertaking. Both the catalog and related exhibition are the result of a six-year collaboration between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Museo del Oro, Bogotá. Most importantly, the curators collaborated with a contemporary Indigenous community in Colombia, the Arhuaco of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The Portable Universe reveals that pre-Columbian artifacts—including goldworks, ceramics, and textiles—are not mere objects, but rather messengers that link living beings (people, animals, plants) and places across space and time. Each is, in brief, a portable universe. The Arhuaco explain that these messengers need to be “nourished,” or brought back to life. Thus, the concept of nourishment enters curatorial practice: a form of sustained, reciprocal attention that goes well beyond customary models of stewardship. Incisively written, gorgeously illustrated, and ingeniously designed, this groundbreaking book brings together interdisciplinary research (in history, archaeology, anthropology, environmental studies, and ornithology) and Indigenous knowledge to propose a new approach to the material and spiritual culture of ancient Colombia, one which underscores the transformative powers of cross-cultural dialogue. A major advance in the study of Indigenous art, the book spurs us to creatively rethink our notions of both the museum and scholarship.   

Jury Members:   

Benjamin Anderson, Cornell University, Co-chair  
Karen Lang, Independent Scholar, Co-chair  
Francesca Pietropaolo, Independent Scholar  
Jochen Wierich, Aquinas College   

PAST WINNERS

CAA gave the first Barr award to Kurt Weitzmann, Margaret English Frazer, et al. in 1981 for Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century, the catalogue for an exhibition held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 1979. Many more award-winning catalogues produced at that museum followed.

Publications for exhibitions held at many other institutions nationwide have been recognized by CAA for their excellence, including The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art at the Kimbell Art Museum (1988), “Degenerate Art”: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1993), and Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York at the National Museum of American Art (1997).

2022, Robert Cozzolino, ed. Supernatural America: The Paranormal in American Art (University of Chicago Press, 2021)
Jury: Andrew Saluti, Syracuse University, chair; Susan Aberth, Bard College ; Benjamin Anderson, Cornell; Karen Lang, University of Arizona; Joyce Tsai, Clyfford Still Museum

2021, Katherine A. Bussard and Kristen Gresh, eds., “Life” Magazine and the Power of Photography (Princeton University Art Museum, 2020
2021, Louis Marchesano, ed., Käthe Kollwitz: Prints, Process, Politics (Getty Research Institute, 2020
Jury: Susan Aberth, Bard College; Benjamin Anderson, Cornell University; Karen Lang, University of Warwick; Joyce Tsai, University of Iowa; and Andrew Saluti, Syracuse University.   

2020, Karl Kusserow and Alan C. Braddock, Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment (Princeton University Art Museum, 2019) 
Jury: Robert Ladislas Derr, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chair; Kathryn B. Gerry, Bowdoin College; Joyce Tsai, University of Iowa; Susan Aberth, Bard College; and Andrew Saluti, Syracuse University.  

2019 Wendy Kaplan, Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985: Found in Translation (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2017) 
Jury: Carey C. Rote, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, chair; Danielle Carrabino, Smith College Museum of Art; Robert Ladislas Derr, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Kathryn Gerry, Bowdoin College; Vanessa Rocco, Southern New Hampshire University 

2018 Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, Jerusalem, 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2016)
Jury: Carey C. Rote, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, chair; Danielle Carrabino, Harvard Art Museums; Robert Ladislas Derr, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Kathryn Gerry, Memphis College of Art; and Vanessa Rocco, Southern New Hampshire University.

2017 Ruth Fine, Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis (Philadelphia: PAFA and University of California Press, 2015)
Jury: Kelly Baum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, chair; Danielle Carrabino, Harvard Art Museums; Vanessa Rocco, Southern New Hampshire University; Carey C. Rote, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; and Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara.

2016 Stephanie Barron and Sabine Eckmann, New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic 1919–1933 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art and DelMonico Books, 2015)
Jury: David Dearinger, Boston Athenaeum, chair; Kelly Baum, Princeton University Art Museum; Alison de Lima Greene, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Thayer Tolles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

2015 Susan Weber William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain (New York: Bard Graduate Center and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013)
Jury: Thayer Tolles, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, chair; Kelly Baum, Princeton University Art Museum; Alison de Lima Greene, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; David Dearinger, Boston Athenaeum; and Peter Sturman, University of California, Santa Barbara.

2014 Jeff L. Rosenheim, Photography and the American Civil War (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013)
Jury: Phillip Earenfight, Dickinson College, chair; Alison de Lima Greene, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; David Dearinger, Boston Athenaeum; Lisa Saltzman, Bryn Mawr College; and Thayer Tolles, Metropolitan Museum of Art
The jury also awarded a second Barr award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions.

2013 Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon, eds., Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (Los Angeles: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012)
Jury: Erica Hirshler, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, chair; Andrea Bayer, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Phillip Earenfight, Dickinson College; Lisa Saltzman, Bryn Mawr College; and Anne Woollett, J. Paul Getty Museum
The jury also awarded a second Barr award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions.

Maryan Ainsworth Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, the Complete Works

Maryan Ainsworth, ed., Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, the Complete Works (2010)

2012 Maryan W. Ainsworth, ed., Man, Myth, and Sensual Pleasures: Jan Gossart’s Renaissance, the Complete Works (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2010)
Jury: Erica Hirshler, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, chair; Andrea Bayer, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Phillip Earenfight, Dickinson College; Lisa Saltzman, Bryn Mawr College; and Anne Woollett, J. Paul Getty Museum
The jury also awarded a second Barr award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions.

2011 Darielle Mason, ed., Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection and the Stella Kramrisch Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009)
Jury: Anna Chave, Graduate Center, City University of New York, chair; Andrea Bayer, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Virginia Fields, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Erica Hirshler, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and Anne Woollett, J. Paul Getty Museum
The jury also awarded a second Barr award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, Collections, and Exhibitions.

2010 Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn, and Karni Singh Jasol, Gardens and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur (Washington, DC: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 2008)
Jury: Teresa Carbone, Brooklyn Museum, chair; Anna Chave, Graduate Center, City University of New York; Virginia Fields, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; David W. Penney, Detroit Institute of Arts; and Susan Sidlauskas, Rutgers University

2009 Tim Barringer, Gillian Forrester, and Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, eds., Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and His Worlds (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2007)
Jury: Teresa Carbone, Brooklyn Museum, chair; Anna Chave, Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York; Susan Huntington, Ohio State University; David W. Penney, Detroit Institute of Arts; and Susan Sidlauskas, Rutgers University
The jury also awarded a second Barr award for Smaller Museums, Libraries, and Collections.

2008 Sarah Greenough and Diane Waggoner, The Art of the American Snapshot, 1888–1978: From the Collection of Robert E. Jackson (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, in association with Princeton University Press, 2007)
Jury: Beth Holman, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, chair; Teresa Carbone, Brooklyn Museum; Susan Huntington, Ohio State University; David Penney, Detroit Institute of the Arts; Susan Sidlauskas, Rutgers University

2007 Teresa A. Carbone with Barbara Dayer Gallati and Linda S. Ferber, American Paintings in the Brooklyn Museum: Artists Born by 1876 (New York: Brooklyn Museum, in association with D. Giles, 2006)
Jury: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Elizabeth Childs, Washington University in St. Louis; Beth Holman, Center for Medieval Studies, Fordham University; Susan Huntington, Ohio State University

2006 Eleana Phipps, Johanna Hecht, and Cristina Esteras Martín, eds., The Colonial Andes: Tapestries and Silverwork, 1530–1830 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2004)
Jury: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Elizabeth Childs, Washington University in St. Louis; Beth Holman, Bard Graduate Center; Carol S. Ivory, Washington State University, Pullman; Forrest McGill, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

2005 Helen C. Evans, ed., Byzantium: Faith and Power (1261–1557) (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2004)
Committee: Carolyn C. Wilson, independent scholar, chair; Elizabeth Childs, Washington University in St. Louis; Carol C. Ivory, Washington State University; Forrest McGill, Asian Art Museum; Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary

2004 Linda Komaroff and Stefano Carboni, The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2002)
Committee: Marilyn Brown, Tulane University, chair; Forrest McGill, Asian Art Museum; Virginia Mecklenburg, Smithsonian American Art Museum; Carolyn Wilson, independent scholar

2003 Thomas P. Campbell, Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, in association with Yale University Press, 2002)
Committee: Richard Vinograd, chair, Stanford University; Marilyn Brown, Tulane University; Carolyn Wilson, independent scholar, Houston; Virginia Mecklenburg, Smithsonian American Art Museum

2002 Stephen Little, Taoism and the Arts of China (Oakland, University of California Press, 2000)
Committee: Elizabeth Ferrer, independent scholar, Austin, Texas, chair; Marilyn Brown, Tulane University, New Orleans; Richard Vinograd, Stanford University, California; Carolyn Wilson, independent scholar, Houston, Texas

2001 Yve-Alain Bois, Matisse and Picasso (Paris: Editions Flammarion, 2001)
Committee: Elizabeth W. Easton, Brooklyn Museum of Art, chair; Gail Feigenbaum, New Orleans Museum of Art; Elizabeth Ferrer, Austin Museum of Art; Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University; Richard Vinograd, Stanford University

2000 Pepe Carmel and Kirk Varnedoe, Jackson Pollock: New Approaches (New York: Museum of Modern Art and Harry N. Abrams, 2000)
Committee: Elizabeth Easton, Brooklyn Museum of Art, chair; Gail Feigenbaum, New Orleans Museum of Art; Elizabeth Ferrer, Austin Museum of Art; Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University

1999 Helen Ibbitson Jessup and Thierry Zéphir, eds., Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia: Millennium of Glory (Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 1997)
Committee: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Christine Kondoleon, Worcester Art Museum; Elizabeth W. Easton, Brooklyn Museum of Art; Gail Feigenbaum, New Orleans Museum; Nancy Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania

1998 Mary Nooter Roberts and Allen F. Roberts, Memory: Luba Art and the Making of History (New York: The Museum for African Art and Munich: Prestel, 1996)
Committee: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Christine Kondoleon, Worcester Art Museum; George Shackelford, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Nancy Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania

1997 Rebecca Zurier, Robert Snyder, and Virginia Mecklenberg, Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York (Washington, DC: National Museum of American Art and New York: Norton, 1995)
Committee: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Ann Gunter, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; Christine Kondoleon, Worcester Art Museum; George Shackelford, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

1996 Henry A. Millon, National Gallery, and Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani, The Renaissance from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo: The Representation of Architecture (catalogue for an exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice)
Committee: Joneath Spicer, chair, Walters Art Gallery; David Binkley, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art; Ann Gunter, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; Peter Selz, University of California, Berkeley; George Shackleford, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

1995 Richard Barnhart, Painters of the Great Ming: The Imperial Court and the Zhe School (Dallas Museum of Art, with essays by Mary Ann Rogers and Richard Stanley-Baker)
Committee: Joaneath Spicer, chair, Walters Art Gallery; Judi Freeman, Portland Museum of Art; Ann Gunter, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery; Peter Selz, University of California, Berkeley; Sidra Stich, Berkeley, California

1994 Raymond Bellour and Mary Lea Bandy, Jean-Luc Godard: Son + Image (Museum of Modern Art)
Committee: Kevin Consey, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, chair; Judi Freeman, Portland Museum of Art in Maine; Joaneath Spicer, Walters Art Gallery; Sidra Stich, Berkeley

1993 Stephanie Barron, ed., with contributions by Peter Guenther, et al., “Degenerate Art”: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in association with Harry N. Abrams)
Committee: Judith Stein, chair, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; Kevin Consey, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art; Judi Freeman, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Sidra Stich, independent curator

1992 Julia Brown Turrell, Rule Without Exception: Lewis Baltz (Des Moines Art Center, in association with University of New Mexico Press)
Committee: Judith Stein, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, chair; Kevin Consey, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Harry Rand, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

1991 Elizabeth Broun, Albert Pinkham Ryder (Smithsonian Institution Press)

Donna DeSalvo, “Success is a Job in New York . . .”: The Early Art and Business of Andy Warhol (Grey Art Gallery, New York University, and Carnegie Museum of Art)
Committee: Kenneth Silver, New York University, chair; Mari Carmen Ramirez-Garcia, Archer M. Huntington Gallery, University of Texas; Judith Stein, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

1990 Keith Christiansen, Lawrence Kanter, Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena: 1420–1500 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, dist. Harry N. Abrams)
Committee: Edith Tonelli, Wight Art Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles, chair; Samuel Sachs; Lowery Sims, Metropolitan Museum of Art

1989 Jonathan Wordsworth, Michael C. Jaye, Robert Woof, with the assistance of Peter Funnell, William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romantics
Committee: George Goldner, chair; Linda Ayres; Charles Moffett

1988 Linda Schele and Mary Ellen Miller, The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art
Committee: Maryan Ainsworth, Metropolitan Museum of Art, chair; George Goldner; Jan Muhlert

1987 Angelica Zander Rudenstine, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
Committee: Joel Isaacson, chair; Patricia Condon; Thomas Kren

1986 Peter Sutton, Masters of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting
Committee: H. Diane Russell, chair; Joseph Rishel; Sherman Lee

1985 Patricia Condon, In Pursuit of Perfection: The Art of J.-A.-D. Ingres
Committee: Clifford Ackley, chair; Tom Freudenheim; Robert Hobbs

1984 H. Diane Russell, Claude Lorraine, 1600–1682
Committee: Margaret Frazer, chair; Wayne Begley; Hayden Maginnis

1983 Clifford Ackley, Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt
Committee: Ann Sutherland Harris, chair; Thomas W. Leavitt; Patrick M. de Winter

1982 Wen Fong, et al., Great Bronze Age of China
Committee: Henry Hopkins, chair; Frederick Cummings; Alan Rosenbaum

1981 Kurt Weitzmann, Margaret English Frazer, et al., Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century
Committee: Johns Walsh, Jr., chair; Hilton Kramer; Thomas Lawton