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American Sublime wins Art Newspaper/AXA Art prize

Tate Publishing shines in first year of competition for £5000 award

American Sublime: landscape painting in the United States 1820-80 (Tate Publishing, 2002), the catalogue of the eponymous exhibition at Tate Britain, has won The Art Newspaper/AXA Art Exhibition Catalogue Award. This is worth £5000 and a full-page advertisement in The Art Newspaper to the institution which has created the exhibition

The prize was awarded last month by Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, at a reception in the Wallace Collection. The winner was chosen from among 158 entries by a distinguished panel of judges: Charles Saumarez Smith, director of the National Gallery; Teresa Gleadowe, Head of the Department in the Course of Curating Contemporary Art, Royal College of Art; Christopher Wilk, Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion, Victoria and Albert Museum; Craig Clunas, Professor of Art History, University of Sussex; Christopher Woodward, director of the Holburne Museum of Art, Bath; Clare Pardy, Development Director in charge of the Arts Sponsorship programme at AXA Art in the UK, with Anna Somers Cocks, editor of The Art Newspaper in the chair. She said, “American Sublime was chosen because its text is so good that it is bound to be a vital reference work for many years to come. The quality of its illustrations is also outstanding. The experience of judging this award has shown us all how much rigorous work is being done. We were also especially impressed by the creativity shown by some of the small museums and galleries with correspondingly small budgets”.

A shortlist of 20 finalists contained nine catalogues from regional institutions and 11 nationals from London. Among these, Tate Britain secured three places and Tate modern, two.

Four catalogues received an honourable mention: Keith Tyson, Super Collider (South London Gallery); Taking Positions: figurative sculpture and the Third Reich, (Henry Moore Institute); Anatomy of the House (Lighthouse, Glasgow); and Richard Wentworth/Eugene Atget: faux amis (Photographers’ Gallery); London.

Clare Pardy of AXA Art said, “Our initial idea of recognising and encouraging achievement in this often neglected aspect of the art world has succeeded beyond our expectations and we are delighted that we and The Art Newspaper will be working together to add even more success and encouragement to art institutions in the future”.

Non-profit institutions in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland are eligible. Nominations for the new period, from 29 June 2002 to 30 June 2003, must be made on the official entry form, which can be obtained, together with a copy of the rules, from AXA Art, 106 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 5JE, tel. 0207 265 4600 or email: info@axa-art.co.uk