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American Alliance of Museums Awards Top Prize to The Met and OK-RM in 2017 Publications Design Competition

Category: Press Release
Image of "Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone's Mad Here," designed by Mark Lawrence, Gil Shuler Graphic Design. It was awarded for excellence in design in the 2017 Publication Competition and is an Asian-inspired, abstract artwork with a vibrant, blue background that includes masks, dragons, and a kimono.
"Jiha Moon: Double Welcome, Most Everyone’s Mad Here" designed by Mark Lawrence, Gil Shuler Graphic Design. 2017 Publication Competition Honorable Mention Recipient.


November 7, 2017

ARLINGTON, VA–The exhibition catalogue for “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art has received the best-in-show award in the 2017 Museum Publications Design Competition of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  The winning design is by the London-based design studio OK-RM.  The competition recognized 60 publications from 40 different museums and other cultural institutions in 13 categories.

The top prize is called the “Franny,” short for the Frances Smyth-Ravenel Prize for Excellence in Publication Design.  Smyth-Ravenel, who died in 1999, was editor-in-chief at the National Gallery of Art and a long-time judge in the publications competition.

“When the 2004 Franny was awarded to “Goddess: The Classical Mode, we were thrilled to receive this honor named after our eminent colleague, Frances Smyth-Ravenel,” commented Mark Polizzotti, Publisher and Editor in Chief at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “We are again delighted to have another catalogue for a Costume Institute exhibition given this award, which celebrates extraordinary design and production.  ‘Manus x Machina:  Fashion in an Age of Technology’ is indeed a work of collective creativity and expertise, and we thank the AAM for recognizing this effort.”

“Print media still remains vital in advancing our museums’ missions in research, scholarship and education. This year’s AAM publication design competition attracted a remarkably strong array of museum print media ranging from exhibition catalogues and books to educational supplemental materials from all types and sizes of museums,” said Dean Phelus, AAM’s Senior Director of Leadership Programs & Special Events. “For more than 28 years, the Alliance has recognized museum publications for their overall design excellence, creativity, innovation and ability to express an institution’s personality, mission or special features.”

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Judges in the competition included:

  • Antonio Alcala, Owner,  Studio A
  • Bennett DeOlazo, Creative Director, Studio B
  • Nancy Hacskaylo, Senior Graphic Designer, Smithsonian Freer and  Sackler Galleries
  • Eileen Kessler, Consultant, OmniStudio
  • Karen Siatras, Publications Designer, Smithsonian American Art Museum
  • Wendy Schleicher, Design Manager, National Gallery of Art

Among museums with budgets less than $750,000, the David Winton Bell Gallery- Brown University in Providence, RI took first prize for exhibition catalogues for “Dead Animals or The Curious Occurrence of Taxidermy In Contemporary Art,” designed by Malcolm Grear Design.

Among museums with budgets greater than $750,000, first prize winners included:

Exhibition Catalogs

National Gallery of Art / Washington, DC
Dwan Gallery: Los Angeles to New York, 1959-1971
Designed by: Margaret Bauer


Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service / Washington, DC
A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History & Culture
Designed by: Jeanne Krohn

Annual Reports

Bard Graduate Center Gallery / New York, NY
Year in Review 2015-2016
Designed by: Kate Dewitt and Nicholas Law


Huntington Library, Art Collections & Botanical Gardens / San Marino, CA
Blue Boy & Co.: European Art at the Huntington
Designed by: Abbott Miller, Yoon-Young Chai, Jesse Kidwell, and Clara Scruggs of Pentagram

Boise Art Museum / Boise, ID
A Life Told Through Pictures
Designed by: Geoffrey Beard

Newsletters and Calendars of Events

Spencer Museum of Art / Lawrence, KS
Phase Spring 2017 Issue
Designed by: Spencer Museum of Art

Magazines/Scholarly Journals

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / Houston, TX
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine, Issue 7: “Dance”
Designed by: Pentagram Design and Phenon Finley-Smiley the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Invitations to Events

Peabody Essex Museum / Salem, MA
2016 Gala, Auction, and Dance Party
Designed by: Leeann Leftwich

Press Kits, Marketing and Public Relations Material

Guggenheim Museum / New York, NY
Subway Marketing Campaign: Tales of our Time Exhibition        \
Designed by: Lisa Naftolin

Fundraising and Membership Material

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service / Washington, DC
Destination Moon
Designed by: Catalone Design

Educational Resources

National Gallery of Victoria / Melbourne, Australia
Viktor & Rolf Fashion Artists: A Drawing Book for Kids
Designed by: Cally Bennett

Exhibition Collateral Materials

San Jose Museum of Art / San Jose, CATabaimo: Her Room
Designed by: Connie Hwang

Institutional Materials

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago  / Chicago, IL
The Architecture of Josef Paul Kleihues
Designed by: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Innovations in Print

Getty Publications / Los Angeles, CA
Explodity: Sound, Image, and Word in Russian Futurist Book Art
Designed by: Kurt Hauser

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston / Houston, TX
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Magazine, Issue 7: “Dance”
Designed by: Pentagram Design and Phenon Finley-Smiley the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

See a full listing of first prize, second prize, and honorable mention winners on AAM’s website.

About the American Alliance of Museums

The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community. For more information, visit


Media Contact:

Joseph Klem
Director, Public Relations
American Alliance of Museums

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