34th Annual Mary Ellen LoPresti Art Publication Awards, 2017-2018

The Southeast Chapter of ARLIS/NA is pleased to announce the winners of its 34th Annual Mary Ellen LoPresti Art Publication Awards for excellence in art publishing for the copyright year 2017.

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is the largest international professional organization devoted to art librarianship. The Southeast Chapter of ARLIS/NA established the LoPresti Publication Award Competition in 1985 to recognize and encourage excellence in art publications issued in the Southeastern United States. The publication awards are named for Mary Ellen LoPresti, who was the Design Librarian at the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library, North Carolina State University, until her death in 1985.

The winning publications are kept in the ARLIS/NA Southeast Chapter archives at Duke University.

This year’s judges were Marty Miller (Louisiana State University), Nancy Hampton (Xavier University), Sheila Cork (New Orleans Museum of Art), and Peter Klubek (Baton Rouge Community College). They reviewed 25 submissions from 17 publishers.

If you are interested in applying for next year’s award, please see the Award Guidelines and Entry Form at http://southeast.arlisna.org/awards/lopresti-award/.

Winner – Scholarly Publication

Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans by Pamela D. Arceneaux, with a foreword by Emily Epstein Landau. The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2017

This book provides a deep visual dive into the blue books of the notorious red light district of New Orleans.  Serving as tourist guides to the houses, prostitutes, and services available to potential customers (including advertisements for liquor and venereal disease treatments), blue books provided a window into the cross-cultural, ethnic, and commercial issues of this period in the city’s history.  The facsimile reproductions are excellent as is the scholarship that went into creating this first truly visual exploration into the books themselves.  The content is well organized and thoroughly researched.  Overall, this is a must-have publication for collections with a Southern history emphasis, as well as a fine addition to any arts collection in general.

Winner – Exhibition Catalog

Dali and Schiaparelli by Dilys Blum, Hank Hine, et al. The Salvador Dali Museum, 2017.

Beautifully illustrated and bound, this stunning exhibition catalog traces the collaboration between Surrealist icon Salvador Dali and world-renowned fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.  This collaboration produced many innovative fashions, including the Lobster Dress, the Shoe hat and inspired Schiaparelli’s Shocking perfume.  The book is further notable for its well-written essays, its informative captions that enhance the viewers understanding of the exhibit’s imagery, the thoughtful use of the artists’ quotations, and the organization of the content in general.  The accompanying chronology is useful in charting the development of the artists’ partnership.

Winner – Artist’s Book

Matchbook Volume Four. Small Fires Press, 2017. Guest Editor: Jessica Elsaesser.

This tiny artists’ literary magazine is bound by a vintage matchbox cover and features short poetry and small illustrations from over a dozen writers and artists.  It is notable for its clever re-purposing of recycled materials, its unique approach to the literary publication format, and the high quality of its content.