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Georgia Museum of Art publications win national awards

By Andrea Beatriz Giordano/UGA

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia received two awards from the American Alliance of Museums’ (AAM) 2019 Museum Publications Design Competition for its stellar work in publications: an honorable mention each for “Clinton Hill” by museum director William U. Eiland and “Vernacular Modernism: The Photography of Doris Ulmann” by former curator of American art Sarah Kate Gillespie. 

In the very competitive process this year, the only other museum to win two awards for exhibition catalogue design is the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. Additionally, the Georgia Museum of Art was one of only four university museums in the country to win one of these awards. 

“We at the Georgia Museum of Art have been extraordinarily pleased to have our exhibitions and publications receive awards from peer professional organizations. It is certainly satisfying to be recognized for the quality of our work, but it is especially encouraging to have our regional and national colleagues award our efforts. These honors are reflections of the dedication, the hard work and the high standards of the staff in developing and presenting our projects. Their commitment to our mission inspires me, as do these awards,” said Eiland.

Eiland’s book “Clinton Hill” and the exhibition it accompanied at the Georgia Museum of Art thoroughly study the career of the multitalented abstract artist. Hill never stuck to one medium or one style of art, instead dabbling in crafts from printmaking to painting and combining many styles of art into abstractionist masterpieces. 

The publication’s designer Nathan Sprehe, president and CEO of Brand Almanac, in St. Louis, shares “We were very excited to receive an honorable mention from the American Alliance of Museums for our work on the Clinton Hill execution catalogue! The unique format — exposed spine, die-cut cover, mid-century typography and uncoated paper selections — helped support and showcase the wide scope of work for this multi-talented artist. It was a pleasure to help the museum fulfill its mission by ensuring Clinton Hill’s work lives on long after the exhibition has concluded.” 

“Vernacular Modernism: The Photography of Doris Ulmann” analyzes the often-overlooked work of this 20th-century documentary photographer. Ulmann was a native New Yorker who spent years of her life traveling to rural areas of the southeastern United States to photograph life in these regions. Gillespie’s thorough analysis shows how Ulmann’s work was ahead of its time and shed light on the lives of an unseen population. 

The publication’s designer, Nathan Moehlmann of Goosepen Studio & Press, says, “The Georgia Museum of Art has set a high standard for many years in its operations, exhibitions and publications, so I was thrilled that Hillary Brown, director of communications, trusted me with the Ulmann book. I’m proud of the AAM award and that the book’s design has complemented — if not increased, as a good book design strives to — the clarity of curator Sarah Kate Gillespie’s vision.”

The American Alliance of Museums advocates for museums and encourages excellence within its group of allies and members. Since its founding in 1906, AAM has focused on providing a variety of opportunities to museum staff and volunteers and cultivating high standards within the whole museum community. 

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Gloria Clark
Gloria Clark
Nov 04, 2019

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