SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (October 4, 2016) — The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College has been honored with a first prize award in the 2018 American Alliance of Museums Publications Design Competition for Accelerate: Access & Inclusion at The Tang Teaching Museum (No.1).
The Accelerate publication, which won in the Magazines/Scholarly Journals category, combines cutting-edge design, new scholarship, and vibrant photography of artwork in the Tang Teaching Museum’s growing collection and of students, artists, performers, and scholars who have been inspired by those objects. It was designed by Linked by Air, a New York City-based firm run by the principals Dan Michaelson and Tamara Maletic, with Christopher Roeleveld the publication’s lead designer, and edited by Dayton Director Ian Berry and Mellon Collections Curator Rebecca McNamara.
The Accelerate publication shares the first prize award in the category with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Metropolitan Museum Journal, Volume 52/2017. Second prize went to The Studio Museum in Harlem’s Studio Magazine. Honorable mentions went to The New York Botanical Garden, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Montana Historical Society and Montana’s Museum, and Hennepin History Museum in Minneapolis.
Adam Tinkle, a Skidmore professor of media studies and documentary studies, who responds to the archive of legendary musician, poet, and philosopher Sun Ra, widely credited for inaugurating Afrofuturism
Barbara Black, a Skidmore professor of English, writing on British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE’s Dorian Gray, a series of twelve photographs that reimagines Oscar Wilde’s Picture of Dorian Gray with Shonibare as the central character
Hannah Traore ’17, a Skidmore student, writing about curating an exhibition, Africa Pop Studio, which explored the rich traditions and variations of studio portraiture in Africa and the diaspora and was her senior art history thesis
Guest artists Fatou Kandé Senghor, on filmmaking in Senegal; Willie Cole on lawn jockeys and spiritual icons from African traditions; and Jeffrey Gibson on Sister Corita Kent’s influence on his own art practice.
“This award is a tremendous honor for the Tang and Skidmore College, bringing national recognition to our great faculty, students, and guest scholars and artists,” said Tang Teaching Museum Dayton Director Ian Berry. "I’m so pleased to share this award with the Tang staff, designers, photographers, and all those who contributed to the publication, especially Rebecca McNamara, who plays a vital role in managing this project.”
Accelerate: Access & Inclusion at The Tang Teaching Museum (No.1), published in 2017, is the first of three volumes and serves as a document of the first year of a three-year project called Accelerate: Access & Inclusion at The Tang Teaching. The project aims to use the Tang collection to support academic research, build broader and more diverse museum audiences, commission fresh interpretations of artwork to enhance scholarship, and strengthen an appreciation of, and facility for, humanistic inquiry. The project is supported by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The second issue of Accelerate will be published in fall 2018; the third, fall 2019.
Other contributors include Skidmore faculty members Amber W. Wiley, Ana-Joel Falcón-Wiebe, Joseph Underwood, Beau Breslin, Bernardo Ramirez Rios, and Sarah Sweeney; Skidmore students Paris Baillie ’17, Lisa Moran ’17, Taina Cotto ’20, Katie Coggins ’20, Sophie Heath ’18, Sami Israel ’19, and Teague Costello ’19; visiting artists and scholars Silvia Forni, Matthew Cooke, Treva Lindsay, Dara Silverman, Caridad Svich, John Corbett, Ephraim Asili, Chris Corsano, Joe McPhee, Kamau Amu Patton, Matana Roberts, Hassan Hajjaj, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Richard Mosse, and Tanya Selvaratnam; and Tang staff members Berry, McNamara, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs and Malloy Curator Rachel Seligman, Curator-at-Large Isolde Brielmaier, and former Museum Educator for K-12 and Community Programs Ginger Ertz.
This year’s AAM award continues the Tang’s impressive record of publication honors. In addition to the 2016 award for A teaching museum is…, which was also designed by Linked by Air, the Tang won the 2016 Innovation in Print Design award for Everything is Connected, the first book to document the history of the Tang Teaching Museum. Other AAM awards include a first prize for Fred Tomaselli (2010); a second prize for Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress (2003); and honorable mentions for Nancy Grossman: Tough Life Diary (2013); Twice Drawn: Modern and Contemporary Drawings in Context (2012), Dario Robleto: Alloy of Love (2009), Hair: Untangling a Social History (2004), and Work: Shaker Design and Recent Art (2001). In 2013, the Tang also earned an honorable mention for its first-ever entry in the posters category for a series of posters related to the 2012 exhibition We the People.
Linked by Air is an internationally renowned graphic design studio specializing in the creation of design systems and technological platforms that grow with institutions. The studio specializes in the production of public spaces and other networked structures, both online and in the world. In 2015, Linked by Air designed the Tang’s new website at http://tang.skidmore.edu.
The American Association of Museums (AAM), established in 1906, represents nearly 3,000 institutions spanning the full spectrum of museum activity—from art, history, and science to zoos, botanical gardens, arboretums, and historic sites. The AAM helps to develop standards and best practices, gathers and shares knowledge, and provides advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. The annual Museum Publications Design Competition is the only national, juried competition of its kind.
The Tang Teaching Museum is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning. A cultural anchor of New York’s Capital Region, the institution’s approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics. The Tang has one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar, and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution’s reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum’s building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the institution catalyzes. Admission to the museum is free (donation suggested). Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. http://tang.skidmore.edu.