24th Annual LoPresti Award Winners, 2007-08

The Southeast Chapter of ARLIS/NA is pleased to announce the winners of its 24th Annual Mary Ellen LoPresti Art Publication Awards Competition for publications produced in 2007.

The winners were announced by Gail Novak, New College of Florida, 2008 LoPresti Awards Chair, at the 34th Annual ARLIS/Southeast annual meeting in Sarasota, FL on November 7, 2008. Kathleen List, Ringling College of Art and Design, Linda McKee, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and Allen Novak, Ringling College of Art and Design, served on the LoPresti Awards Committee.

Best Book:

lopres2Vaudechamp in New Orleans by W.K. Rudolph. New Orleans: Historic New Orleans Collection, 2007. ISBN-13 978-0917860515

In the Historic New Orleans Collection were found Jean-Joseph Vaudechamp’s portraits. The dignity and fashionableness of some of New Orleans earliest citizens gaze outwardly to the reader. The painting’s backgrounds with gentle grey, blue seas and grey, pearl skies, like the beauty found in old Dutch masterpieces, compliment the sitter’s complexion. Before photography appears, in the new Louisiana Territory the important families wanted a remembrance; to hold onto a beloved, wife, mother, sister. Both the book jacket and front of the hardcover book have gold handwriting and a full portrait. The book designer is Michael Ledbet. The size and weight of the book increase the likelihood that it will be held comfortably in the hand for reading, rather than rested on the coffee table. The soft grey blue pages compliment the opposite pages of text. The book has all the practical means of academic access with a full index and notes. Explanatory descriptive captions are near each of Vaudechamp’s portraits. It has technically excellent images, as evidenced in the reproduction of both pencil and oil. The text is very readable, explaining the artist Vaudechamp increased his livelihood and standing in social circles, by exhibiting in France and painting in New Orleans. As part of the Louisiana Biography Series, William Keyse Rudolph made an enlightened study of the artist’s life and work. (Gail Novak, New College of Florida)

Book: Honorable Mention:

art-of-the-cherokeeArt of the Cherokee: Prehistory to the present by S.C. Power. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2007. ISBN 0820327670

Susan Power’s book is a scholarly yet readable work on the traditional and contemporary arts of the Cherokee, centering on Cherokees of North Carolina and Oklahoma. Full-color images of the art works predominate, complemented by historical images, to detail the artists and the works in the cultural context within which they were created. Images are captioned with dates, source, location, and photographer credit where known. The text and layout of the book are invitingly designed, with good use of white space and section headings. Notes for all chapters, a glossary, works cited, and nearly four pages of acknowledgements to museums, educational institutions, and repositories document the author’s thorough research. This is a useful and important book. Power is an established scholar, and her 2004 book Early Art of the Southeastern Indians was selected by ALA as a Best of the Best from University Presses title.
(Kathleen List, Ringling College of Art and Design)


Best Exhibition Catalogue:

cubaCuba avant-garde: contemporary Cuban art from the Farber collection by A. Mena Chicuri, K. Oliver-Smith, M.G. Alfonso, S. Delson. Gainesville, FL: Sameul P. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, 2007. ISBN-13 978-0976255246

This catalogue is an important contribution to art publishing, art history, and the (turbulent political) history of Cuba. It documents a little known but important force in contemporary art, while it highlights a private collection of some of the best Cuban art available. The text is in both English and Spanish with full color plates and includes essays by Kerry Oliver-Smith, curator of contemporary art at the Harn Museum of Art and curator of the exhibition, and Abelardo Mena, curator of contemporary art at the National Museum in Havana. Also included are essays by Magda Gonzalez-Mora, a founder of the Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, Havana, and an independent curator based in Havana and Toronto. The exhibition was toured throughout the United States, with its premiere in 2007 at the Harn Museum in Gainesville, followed by The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota. (Linda McKee, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art)


Exhibition Catalogue: Honorable Mention

glassSonja Blomdahl: Incalmo/glass by S. Blomdahl. Montgomery, Ala: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. ISBN 0892800518

Incalmo glass is made from two blown bubbles of glass melted together. Large color bands of glass cross the entire page. The simplicity and breathtaking beauty of the art glass is showcased with stunning photography. One s eye revels in the jewel like color used in this book. A treat is the jacket of silvery translucent paper with a cut out silhouette of a finished art piece. An interview with the artist and pictures of the creation of the glass complete the book. (Gail Novak, New College of Florida)