Association of Art Museum Curators and AAMC Foundation 2017 Awards for Excellence

portraits of Massumeh Farhad and Simon RettigMassumeh Farhad, chief curator and the Ebrahimi Family Curator of Persian, Arab, and Turkish Art, and Simon Rettig, assistant curator of Islamic art, received 2017 AAMC Awards for Excellence for their work on the exhibition The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. The awards are presented annually in recognition of groundbreaking new scholarship across disciplines.


Secretary’s Research Prize, 2016

The Secretary’s Research Prize recognizes Smithsonian employees who have demonstrated exemplary work in publications, exhibitions, or other research. Ten prizes are awarded each year. Freer│Sackler is proud to announce two staff members were recognized with awards in 2016.

James T. UlakJames T. Ulak
Senior Curator of Japanese Art
James Ulak was honored for his work on the exhibition catalogue Sōtatsu: Making Waves. The exhibition and its catalogue introduced to American audiences the life, artistic techniques, and legacy of Tawaraya Sōtatsu (active circa 1600–40), one of Japan’s most innovative painters.

Lee Glazer
Lee GlazerAssociate Curator of American Art
Lee Glazer received the award for her exhibition Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre. Complementary installations explored aspects of Waterston’s immersive installation, which reimagines James McNeill Whistler’s famed Peacock Room as a decadent ruin that plays upon tensions between art and money.

 


Debra Diamond Receives Secretary’s Research Prize

Debra DiamondFreer|Sackler Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art Debra Diamond received the 2014 Secretary’s Research Prize for her exhibition and catalogue Yoga: The Art of Transformation. The prizes are awarded annually to Smithsonian employees for exemplary work in publications, exhibitions, and research, and reflect both excellence and diversity in research across the institution.

 


Director Julian Raby Awarded Order of the Rising Sun

Julian RabyJulian Raby, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, one of Japan’s most prestigious civilian honors. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe presented the honor in conjunction with a $1 million award to the Freer|Sackler, recognizing the museum’s promotion of Japanese art and culture, as exemplified by the landmark exhibition of art by Tawaraya Sōtatsu. The award also honors the Freer|Sackler’s longstanding leadership role in fostering collaboration between cultural institutions. Raby is one of eighty-five individuals worldwide to receive the order in 2015, and he is the only sitting US art museum director to earn this recognition.


Julian Raby Received the Distinguished Turkish Order of Merit Medal

Julian RabyJulian Raby, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, was awarded the Order of Merit from the Republic of Turkey for his notable studies on Ottoman culture and arts. Raby received the medal in person from Serdar Kılıç, the Turkish ambassador to the United States, on August 13, 2014, in Washington, D.C.

The Order of Merit is given to foreign scientists, academics, artists, and intellectuals in recognition of their contributions to the international promotion and glorification of the Republic of Turkey in science and the arts.

Raby has supervised more than forty special exhibitions, such as Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey (2005) and Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin (2009). He has served as curator, concept designer, and consultant for numerous exhibitions in the United States and abroad, including the landmark Iznik: The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey at the Turkish and Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul (1989) and Portraits of the Sultan: Picturing the House of Osman at the Topkapı Palace Museum in Istanbul (2000), and he has long been a renowned intellectual in Turkish arts and heritage.


Debra Diamond, associate curator of South and Southeast Asian art

Debra DiamondDebra Diamond, associate curator of South and Southeast Asian art
Debra Diamond has been awarded two first-prize awards from the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) for her work on Yoga: The Art of Transformation. The exhibition received the 2013 first-place award of excellence for an exhibition. In addition, the Yoga: The Art of Transformation catalogue was recognized with the first-place award of excellence for an exhibition catalogue. The AAMC Awards of Excellence celebrate curatorial achievements with non-cash awards and are given to curators working in a wide array of fields and media, in settings ranging from university museums to the digital realm.


Louise Belvedere and Richard Skinner Honored as Smithsonian Unsung Heroes

Louise Belvedere

Louise Belvedere Caldi, Administrative Assistant.
As an administrative assistant in the curatorial and scholarly programs departments at the Freer and Sackler, Louise Caldi provides support to the heads of those two departments as well as to one of the curators, and leads the team of curatorial assistants.  While her responsibilities are wide-ranging and important for the smooth function of the museum, just as importantly, she is unfailingly professional, courteous and creative in everything she does.  She is a wonderful mentor for new staff and a trusted advisor to the senior staff with whom she works.  She is always willing to volunteer at special events or to come in on weekends if necessary.  This is a wonderful time to recognize her many contributions as an unsung hero.

Richard SkinnerRichard Skinner, Lighting Designer.
Richard Skinner is a true Smithsonian professional whose focus is on the artifacts we strive to preserve, protect and display as well as the building they reside in, the people who work with them and those who come to visit them.  His job description as the Freer|Sackler lighting designer wouldn’t seem to cover all these responsibilities, but his willingness to take on extra duties has expanded his influence to an amazing degree.   Richard has worked at the Freer|Sackler for more than two decades, and he is the unofficial keeper of our institutional knowledge.  He oversees construction projects and contractors with a microscopic attention to detail in order to insure the safety of our collection, staff and visitors, all while showcasing our exhibitions in the best of all possible lights—literally.  His work is the “icing on the cake,” culminating a long process of selection and installing works of art—but without his amazing lighting skills, all those efforts would be worthless.  He is the Freer|Sackler’s Unsung Hero Extraordinare!


Louise CortLouise Cort Receives the 2012 Secretary’s Distinguished Research Lecture Award

Freer|Sackler Curator of Ceramics Louise Allison Cort has been named the 12th recipient of the Distinguished Research Lecture Award. This honor recognizes a scholar’s sustained achievement in research, longstanding investment in the Smithsonian, outstanding contribution to a field, and ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience. In this instance, it celebrates how Cort has shared knowledge gained through scholarly research.

In this spirit, on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Cort presents a lecture titled People Making Pots: Connecting Present and Past in Japan, India, and Mainland Southeast Asia at 2 pm in the Freer’s Meyer Auditorium. A reception follows.

With the Smithsonian since 1981, Cort’s interests include historical and contemporary ceramics in Japan and South and Southeast Asia, Japanese baskets and textiles, and the Japanese tea ceremony. Since 1989—in collaboration with cultural anthropologist Leedom Lefferts, research associate in the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology—Cort has documented present-day village-based production of earthenware and stoneware ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia. The project received major support from the Nishida Memorial Foundation for Research in Asian Ceramic History and a Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Studies grant.

Cort is the author of Shigaraki, Potters’ Valley, published in 1979 and reprinted in 2000. In 2008 she prepared (with George Ashley Williams IV and David P. Rehfuss) the online catalogue Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia: Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Her study on Indian earthenware, Temple Potters of Puri, was published in 2012, the same year that Cort received the 33rd Koyama Fujio Memorial Prize for her research on historical Japanese ceramics.

For the Distinguished Research Lecture Award, Cort was selected from finalists recommended by a committee representing research areas across the spectrum of Smithsonian scholarship. This year’s committee included Adrienne Kaeppler (NMNH); Bert Drake (SERC); Cynthia Mills (SAAM); David DeVorkin, chair (NASM); Giovanni Fazio (SAO); Jason Stieber (AAA); Katherine Ott (NMAH); Kenneth Slowik (NMAH); Tom Crouch (NASM); and William Wcislo (STRI).


Smithsonian Spotlight: Secretary’s research Prize, 2011

Massumeh Farhad, Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art
John Winter, Conservation and Scientific Research

The Secretary’s Research Prize is awarded to Smithsonian employees who have done exemplary work in publications, exhibitions, or other research. Ten prizes are awarded every year. The Freer and Sackler Galleries are proud to announce that two staff members were awarded the 2011 prize. Massumeh Farhad has been honored for her extraordinary work on the exhibition Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009–2010), which she curated along with guest curator Serpìl Bağci. The exhibition illuminated the mysteries of the Falnama: 16th- and 17th-century Iranian and Turkish manuscripts that were used to tell fortunes and gaze into the unknown. John Winter has been posthumously awarded the prize for his book East Asian Paintings: Materials, Structures and Deterioration Mechanisms. His research focuses on the historical techniques of painting in Japan, China, and Korea.


Smithsonian Spotlight: Peacock Room Wins Cine Award

The Smithsonian Channel film on the Freer Gallery’s Peacock Room, featuring an interview with associate curator of American art Lee Glazer, won the fall 2011 Cine Golden Eagle Award. Recognized as a mark of excellence throughout the film and television industry for over 50 years, this award is given biannually to films that are innovative in structure and that demonstrate overall distinction.


James T. UlakJames T. Ulak, senior curator of Japanese art

James T. Ulak has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. The honor recognizes Ulak’s significant contributions toward strengthening bilateral relations and building collaboration between public and private fine arts institutions in Japan and the United States, resulting in the sophisticated presentation of Japanese visual culture in both countries. The award was conferred in a private ceremony at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., on July 6, 2010.
Press Release
The Torch article


Debra DiamondDebra Diamond, associate curator of South and Southeast Asian art

Debra Diamond was recognized with two major awards for her work on the exhibition catalogue Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur. In February 2010 she was awarded the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award from the College Art Association, the professional organization for faculty and museum curators in art history and the visual arts. This award, established in 1980 in honor of the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, is presented to the author(s) of an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, and is CAA’s highest award for museum scholarship.

In September 2010 Debra was awarded the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize for Garden and Cosmos. This prize recognizes excellence across the Smithsonian; just ten are awarded each year.


Freer|Sackler Publications

Freer|Sackler publications have won an impressive number of awards, examples of which are listed below.

2014

Yoga: Transofmations exhibition catalog coverYoga: The Art of Transformation exhibition catalogue
Designed by Studio A, Alexandria, VA
Fifty best designs in DC, 2014 AIGA 50

Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibition catalogue
Designed by Studio A, Alexandria, VA
Honorable mention, exhibition catalogues, 2014 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Freer|Sackler calendar (12-month series)
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
First prize, newsletters and calendars of events, 2014 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Some Enlightened Evening invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, invitations, 2014 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2013

Masters of Mercy exhibition brochure
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
First prize, supplementary materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

2012 monthly calendar of events
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
Second prize, calendar of events, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court catalogue
Designed by Antonio Alcalá, Studio A
Honorable mention, books, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Ars Orientalis, volume 42
Designed by Edna Jamandre
Honorable mention, scholarly journals, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Sackler 25th anniversary gala program
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, fundraising/membership materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Roads of Arabia exhibition brochure
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
Honorable mention, supplementary materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2012

Asiatica annual report
Edited by Howard Kaplan
Designed by Kelly Doe
First prize, magazines, 2012 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

“An Evening in Whistler’s Peacock Room” invitation
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
2012 Silver Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 63rd Annual Show
Second prize, invitations to events, 2012 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Freer and Sackler Galleries stationery and letterhead
Designed by Reid Hoffman
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 63rd Annual Show


2011

Dancing Dragon Roaring Tiger benefit gala invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Printing and Graphics Association Mid-Atlantic Excellence in Print Awards

Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia exhibition catalogue
Designed by Adina Brosnan-McGee
First place, books, 2011 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

In the Realm of the Buddha Metro poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Second prize, marketing/public relations materials, 2011 AAM Museum Publications Design
Competition


2010

Asiatica annual report
Edited by Howard Kaplan
Designed by Kelly Doe
Annual reports, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Forbes symposium cover
Designed by Reid Hoffman
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 61st Annual Show

Falnama: Book of Omens exhibition catalog coverFalnama: The Book of Omens exhibition catalogue
Authors: Massumeh Farhad and Serpil Bagci
Designed by Robert Wiser
Publication date: 2009
Named one of the best art books of 2010 by Art Newspaper
First place, exhibition catalogues, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 61st Annual Show
Third place, small/medium nonprofit publishers, illustrated text, Washington Book Publishers

Falnama: The Book of Omens marketing campaign
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, marketing/public relations materials, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Asia After Dark poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, posters, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Asia After Dark postcard
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, marketing/public relations materials, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2009

The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Iraq and Turkey in the Moscow Kremlin exhibition catalogue coverThe Tsars and the East: Gifts from Iraq and Turkey in the Moscow Kremlin exhibition catalogue
Authors: Elena Yurievna Gagarina, Rudi Matthee, and the curators of the Moscow Kremlin
Designed by Marty Ittner
Publication date: 2009
First prize, hardcover and paperback books, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Calendar of events
Designed by Adina Brosnan-McGee
First place, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition
2009 Silver Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition graphics
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Gold Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur gala invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show
First prize, invitations to events, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition signage
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur Metro poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2008

Design Leadership Award
To the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery for its longstanding commitment to excellence in design reflecting the highest standards in the graphic arts
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 59th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition catalogueGarden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition catalogue
Authors: Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn, and Karni Singh Jasol
Designed by Kelly Webb
Publication date: 2008
Smithsonian Institution Secretary’s Research Prize, September 2010
2010 Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award, College Art Association

Edo Masters from the Price Collection invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 59th Annual Show

Edo Masters from the Price Collection poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, posters, 2008 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Edo Masters from the Price Collection invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Second prize, marketing/public relations materials, 2008 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition