Guggenheim Publications Receive Honors


The first-ever in-depth exploration of the process behind one of the greatest modern buildings in America, The Guggenheim: Frank Lloyd Wright and the Making of the Modern Museum has won First Prize in the Book category in the 2009 American Association of Museums (AAM) Publications Design Competition. Designed by Abbott Miller and Susan Brzozowski, of the design firm Pentagram, the book examines the history, design, and construction of Wright’s masterwork, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The annual AAM Museum Publications Design Competition recognizes excellence in the graphic design of museum publications and is the only national, juried competition of its kind. According to AAM, “Winners are chosen for their overall design excellence, creativity and ability to express an institution’s personality, mission, or special features.”

Fully illustrated with preliminary drawings, models, and photographs, the book includes three major essays and several shorter texts that discuss the obstacles Wright faced in getting the Guggenheim built as well as the impact the building has had on museum architecture and influence on future architects. Through archival letters and a richly illustrated time line, the book also traces the relationship between the architect and his clients during the sixteen-year construction process.

On May 17, another Guggenheim publication, The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860–1989 was recognized by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) as part of their annual Awards for Excellence, receiving an Honorable Mention in the Outstanding Exhibition Catalogue category. Designed by Joseph Cho and Sefanie Lew of Binocular, The Third Mind catalogue accompanied a major exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 2009, and explores the dynamic and complex impact of Asian art, literary texts, and philosophical concepts on American artistic practices from the late 19th-century through the present.

Sally Block, Executive Director of the AAMC, said of the distinction, “We had nearly one-hundred nominations for prizes this year, all of which were distinguished by their quality, variety, and standard of excellence. . . . Across the board, the catalogues, essays, and exhibitions showed a consistent engagement with current scholarship—often breaking new ground—and yet, were also thoughtfully designed or installed.”


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