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Nevada Museum of Art, Bartlett Design Garner Top Prize in Alliance 2018 Publications Design Competition

Category: Press Release
Exhibition catalog cover for "Unsettled" exhibition at Nevada Museum of Art.
Cover of the Nevada Museum of Art exhibition catalog "Unsettled," designed by Brad Bartlett and published by Hirmer Verlag


ARLINGTON, VA – “Unsettled,” the exhibition catalog from the Nevada Museum of Art, has been honored with the best-in-show award in the 2018 Museum Publications Design Competition of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  From more than 400 submissions from museums in a wide range of disciplines and budgets, judges recognized 84 publications in 12 print categories from 60 different museums and other cultural institutions in the US and internationally.

Published by Munich-based Hirmer Verlag and designed by Brad Bartlett, Unsettled comprises 224 pages and features 110 color images.

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 for the competition.

“In the way that an architect isn’t simply making a building, but asking us to think about the possibilities of what a building can be, the same holds true for  design,” said Bartlett. “Great design should introduce us to the new ways of thinking, new ways of form-making, new ways of story-telling and new ways of pushing the medium itself.”

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Learn more from Brad Bartlett on his design approach for this project on the Alliance blog.

“This coveted award recognizes our shared belief in the importance and unique potential of printed publications,” said David B. Walker, Chief Executive Officer of the Nevada Museum of Art.

“Print media remains vital in advancing museums’ missions in research, scholarship and education. This year’s AAM publication design competition attracted an astounding array of museum print media ranging from exhibition catalogs and books to educational supplemental materials from all types and sizes of museums,” said Dean Phelus, AAM’s Senior Director of Leadership Programs. “For more than 30 years, the Alliance has recognized print media for its overall design excellence, that through creativity, innovation, and ingenuity capture the spirit of museums.”

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, Graphic Design Consultant
  • Selena Robleto, Principal, Red Velvet Creative
  • Karen Siatras, Publications Designer, Smithsonian American Art Museum

The following is the list of first prize winners; smaller museums (with annual operating budgets less than $1 million) are noted with an asterisk.

Exhibition Catalogs

National Gallery of Victoria / Melbourne, Australia
NGV Triennial
Designed by: Dirk Hiscock

The Center for Art in Wood / Philadelphia, PA*
Emil Milan: Midcentury Master
Designed by: Erika Brask and Dan Saal/Wonderfull Design

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries / Los Angeles, CA*
Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.
Designed by: Kimberly Varella, Content Object


Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service / Washington, DC
World War I: Lessons & Legacies
Designed by: Jillian Columbus, Explorers Studio LLC

Annual Reports

The New York Botanical Garden / Bronx, NY
NYBG Annual Report
Designed by: The New York Botanical Garden Marketing & Communications Department

National Bonsai Foundation for the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum / Washington, DC*
The National Bonsai Foundation Annual Report/2016
Designed by: Polygraph Creative, Inc.


Dia Art Foundation / New York, NY
Walter De Maria: The Lightning Field
Designed by: Don Quaintance, Public Address Design

Harvard Art Museums / Cambridge, MA
An Album of Artists’ Drawings from Qajar Iran
Designed by: Harvard Art Museums Design Department

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures / Kansas City, MO
Miniature Masterworks
Designed by: Design Ranch

Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum / Hamden, CT*
Famine Folios: Series 4
Designed by: Rachel Foley

Newsletters and Calendar of Events

Spencer Museum of Art / Lawrence, KS
View Spring 2018 Issue
Designed by: Jeffrey McKee; Editor: Elizabeth Kanost; Photographer: Ryan Waggoner

Pulitzer Arts Foundation / St. Louis, MO
Fall 2017 Program Guide
Designed by: Athletics

Bard Graduate Center Gallery / New York, NY*
Bard Graduate Center Program Calendars
Designed by: Art Direction: Kate DeWitt; Designer: Jocelyn Lau

Magazines/Scholarly Journals

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College / Saratoga Springs, NY
Accelerate: Access & Inclusion at The Tang Teaching Museum (no.1)
Designed by: Linked by Air

The Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum Journal, volume 52 / 2017
Designed by: Tina Henderson, based on original design by Lucinda Hitchcock

Invitations to Events

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / San Francisco, CA
Walker Evans Exhibition Invitation
Designed by: Creative Direction: Bosco Hernández; Art Direction: Meghan Berckes; Designer: Jody Hanson

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / San Francisco, CA
Edvard Munch Exhibition Invitation
Designed by:Creative Direction: Bosco Hernández; Art Direction: Meghan Berckes; Designer: Sunny SunDuck Oh

Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site / Indianapolis, IN*
Mary Tucker Jasper Speaker Series Invitation
Designed by: Commercial Artisan

Press Kits, Marketing and Public Relations Material

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services / Washington, DC
Robert Blackburn & Modern American Printmaking
Designed by: Jodi Bloom, Designfarm

Fundraising and Membership Material

Hammer Museum at UCLA  / Los Angeles, CA
Hammer Museum Capital Campaign Book
Designed by: Kim Baer/KBDA

National Public Housing Museum / Chicago, IL*
Power of Place: Campaign for the National Public Housing Museum
Designed by: Designers: Emma Magidson and Tuan Pham; Creative Director: Cheryl Towler Weese; Image Separation: Prographics; Print Broker: Lowitz and Sons

Educational Resources

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art / Bentonville, AR
Crystal Bridges Family Guide Series
Designed by: Justin Seymore

Exhibition Collateral Materials

Peabody Essex Museum / Salem, MA
“Ocean Liners: Glamour, Speed, and Style” Exhibition Collateral Materials
Designed by: Julie Diewald, Peabody Essex Museum

Yale Center for British Art / New Haven, CT*
Things of Beauty Growing
Designed by: Lyn Bell Rose

Institutional Materials

Museum of Science, Boston / Boston, MA
Museum of Science View Book
Designed by: Corey, McPherson and Nash

Innovations in Print

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / San Francisco, CA
PlaySFMOMA Invitation
Designed by:Creative Direction: Jennifer Sonderby; Art Direction: Bosco Hernández; Designer: Jody Hanson

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art / San Francisco, CA
Birthday Bash Invitation
Designed by: Creative Direction: Jennifer Sonderby; Art Direction: Bosco Hernández; Designer: James Provenza

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago / Chicago, IL
50th Anniversary Promotional Materials
Designed by: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

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, Marketing & Communications
American Alliance of Museums

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