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Charles Rufus Morey Book Award

The Charles Rufus Morey Book Award, named in honor of one of the founding members of CAA and first teachers of art history in the United States, was established in 1953. This award honors an especially distinguished book in the history of art, published in the English language. Preference is given to books, including catalogues raisonnés, by a single author, but major publications in the form of articles or group studies may be included. Publication of documents or inventories, unless specifically in the context of an exhibition, are also eligible. The 2017 award year covers books published between September 1, 2015, and August 31, 2016.

2016 Winner

Krista Thompson
Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice

In Shine: The Visual Economy of Light in African Diasporic Aesthetic Practice, Krista Thompson explores how the visual economy of light in black urban settings across the circum-Caribbean engages with the politics of visibility within the black diaspora. Through an analysis of lens-based cultural practices of urban youth in the U.S., Jamaica, and the Bahamas, Thompson makes a compelling argument for how diasporic subjects forge a sense of community through visual technologies that cross national boundaries as well as hierarchies of culture. Street photographers in the U.S., videographers and performers in Jamaica’s dance halls, and the elaborately choreographed prom-entrances of teenagers in the Bahamas are situated with respect to the “bling” aesthetics of commercial culture, as well as “high art” production ranging from Dutch still-lives to Seydou Keita’s studio photographs and Kehinde Wiley’s neo-baroque portraits. Thompson argues that the vernacular, commercial, and fine art practices of diasporic subjects both engage and refuse the historical and existing structures that enable and constrain the politics of visibility as a mechanism for emancipation and enfranchisement.

While situated within the growing sub-field of the art history of the black diaspora, Thompson’s book reveals the rich possibilities of visual cultural studies to address the blind-spots of the discipline. And through her focus on light and the aesthetic technologies of “shine” or “bling,” she contributes to the growing interest in photography’s “other histories” within diverse cultural and geographic contexts. Her work reorients the study of photography from an emphasis on the materiality and reproducibility of the image to questions about the immaterial and ephemeral qualities of image making as performative.

Jury: Alan Wallach, The College of William & Mary, chair; Mary Coffey, Dartmouth College; Anne D. Hedeman, The University of Kansas; Yukio Lippit, Harvard University; and David M. Sokol, University of Illinois at Chicago, emeritus.

Past Winners

The first Morey award went to H. W. Janson in 1956 for Apes and Ape Lore in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. He also received the award again in 1961 for Sculpture of Donatello. A three-time winner, Erwin Panofsky, was recognized for Early Netherlandish Painting (1957), Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (1964), and Tomb Sculpture (1968). Since then, a wide range of books covering all areas and periods of art history have been awarded, including, most recently, Anthony J. Barbieri-Lo’s Artisans in Early Imperial China (2009), Elizabeth C. Mansfield’s Too Beautiful to Picture: Zeuxis, Myth, and Mimesis (2008), and Peter Selz’s Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond (2007).

2015 Megan Holmes, The Miraculous Image in Renaissance Florence

Jury: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Zainab Bahrani, Columbia University; Mary Coffey, Dartmouth College; Anne D. Hedeman, Kansas University, and Kristina Wilson, Clark University.

2014 Yukio Lippit, Painting of the Realm: The Kano House of Painters in 17th-Century Japan (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012)

Jury: Alan Wallach, College of William and Mary, chair; Zainab Bahrani, Columbia University; Mary Coffey, Dartmouth College; Anne D. Hedeman, Kansas University; and Kristina Wilson, Clark University.

Mary K. Coffey, How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture (2012)

2013 Mary K. Coffey, How a Revolutionary Art Became Official Culture: Murals, Museums, and the Mexican State (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2012)

Jury: Cammy Brothers, University of Virginia, chair; Zainab Bahrani, Columbia University; Sarah Burns, Indiana University; Robert Randolf Coleman, University of Notre Dame; and Nina Rowe, Fordham University

2012 Alexander Nagel, The Controversy of Renaissance Art (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011)

Jury: Benjamin Withers, University of Kentucky, chair; Suzanne Blier, Harvard University; Cammy Brothers, University of Virginia; Sarah Burns, Indiana University; and Robert Randolf Coleman, University of Notre Dame

2011 Molly Emma Aitken, The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010)

Jury: Elizabeth Mansfield, New York University, chair; Suzanne Blier, Harvard University; Cammy Brothers, University of Virginia; Robert Randolf Coleman, University of Notre Dame; and Benjamin Withers, University of Kentucky

2010 Cammy Brothers, Michelangelo, Drawing, and the Invention of Architecture (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008)

Jury: David Sokol, University of Illinois, Chicago, chair; Suzanne Blier, Harvard University; Elizabeth Mansfield, New York University; Perri Lee Roberts, University of Miami; and Benjamin Withers, University of Kentucky

2009 Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, Artisans in Early Imperial China (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007)

Jury: Carol Mattusch, George Mason University, chair; Elizabeth C. Mansfield, National Humanities Center and New York University; Susan Platt, independent scholar, Seattle; Perri Lee Roberts, Florida State University; Marianna Shreve Simpson, independent scholar, Baltimore; and David Sokol, University of Illinois, Chicago

Too Beautiful to Picture

Elizabeth C. Mansfield, Too Beautiful to Picture: Zeuxis, Myth, and Mimesis (2007)

2008 Elizabeth C. Mansfield, Too Beautiful to Picture: Zeuxis, Myth, and Mimesis (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007)

Jury: Carol Mattusch, George Mason University, chair; Susan Platt, independent scholar, Seattle; Perri Lee Roberts, University of Miami; Marianna Shreve Simpson, Johns Hopkins University; and David M. Sokol, University of Illinois, Chicago

2007 Peter Selz, Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond (Berkeley: University of California Press, in association with San Jose Art Museum, 2006)

Jury: William E. Wallace, Washington University in St. Louis, chair; Carol Mattusch, George Mason University; D. Fairchild Ruggles, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Susan Platt, independent scholar, Seattle

2006 Carol Mattusch, with Henry Lie, The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum: Life and Afterlife of a Sculpture Collection (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2005)

Jury: Jonathan M. Bloom, Boston College, chair; Anne Dunlop, Yale University; Nancy G. Heller, University of the Arts; and Benjamin C. Withers, University of Kentucky

2005 Sarah Burns, Painting the Dark Side: Art and the Gothic Imagination in Nineteenth-Century America (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004)

Committee: Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University, chair; Jonathan M. Bloom, Boston College; Edward J. Sullivan, New York University; and Benjamin C. Withers, Indiana University, South Bend

Architecture for the Shroud

John Beldon Scott, Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin (2003)

2004 John Beldon Scott, In Architecture for the Shroud: Relic and Ritual in Turin (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003)

Committee: Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University, chair; Jonathan M. Bloom, Boston College; Edward J. Sullivan, New York University; and Benjamin C. Withers, Indiana University, South Bend

2003 Jonathan M. Bloom, Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001)

Committee: Fred S. Kleiner, Boston University, chair; Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University; Faya Causey, National Gallery of Art; and Edward J. Sullivan, New York University

2002 Dale Kent, Cosimo de’ Medici and the Florentine Renaissance: The Patron’s Oeuvre (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)

Committee: Fred S. Kleiner, Boston University, chair; Catherine B. Asher, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Babette Bohn, Texas Christian University; and Richard Shiff, University of Texas at Austin

2001 Leonard Barkan, Unearthing the Past: Archaeology and Aesthetics in the Making of Renaissance Culture

Committee: Linda C. Hults, College of Wooster, chair; Catherine Asher, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Fred Kleiner, Boston University; and Richard Shiff, University of Texas at Austin

2000 Jeffrey F. Hamburger, The Visual and the Visionary: Art and Female Spirituality in Late Medieval Germany

Committee: Susan L. Huntington, Ohio State University, chair; Linda Hults, College of Wooster; Fred Kleiner, Boston University; Richard Shiff, and University of Texas at Austin

1999 Marvin Trachtenberg, Dominion of the Eye: Urbanism, Art, and Power in Early Modern Florence

Committee: Susan Huntington, Ohio State University, chair; Linda Hults, College of Wooster; John Pinto, Princeton University; and Martica Sawin, independent scholar

1998 Elizabeth Cropper and Charles Dempsey, Nicolas Poussin: Friendship and Love of Painting

Committee: Larry Silver, University of Pennsylvania, chair; Susan Huntington, Ohio State University; John Pinto, Princeton University; and Martica Sawin, independent scholar

1997 Suzanne Preston Blier, African Vodun: Art, Psychology, and Power

Committee: Larry A. Silver, Northwestern University, chair; André Hayum, Fordham University; and Renata Holod, University of Pennsylvania

1996 W. J. T. Mitchell, Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation

Committee: Larry A. Silver, Northwestern University, chair; Anne Markham Schultz, Brown University; Margaret Olin, Art Institute of Chicago; and Stephanie Barron, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1995 Jeanette Favrot Peterson, The Paradise Garden Murals of Malinalco: Utopia and Empire in Sixteenth-Century Mexico (University of Texas Press)

Committee: Whitney Davis, Northwestern University, chair; Stephanie Barron, Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Margaret Olin, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Anne Markham Schulz, Brown University

1994 John Shearman, Only Connect: Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance (Princeton University Press)

Committee: Whitney Davis, Northwestern University, chair; Jack Brown, Art Institute of Chicago; Margaret Olin, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and Anne Markham Schulz, Brown University

1993 Carol Armstrong, Odd Man Out: Readings of the Work and Reputation of Edgar Degas (University of Chicago Press)

Committee: Whitney Davis, Northwestern University, chair; Jack Brown, Art Institute of Chicago; and James Marrow, Princeton University

1992 Richard R. Brettell, Pissaro and Pontoise: The Painter in a Landscape (Yale University Press)

Committee: Paula Harper, University of Miami, chair; Jack Brown, Art Institute of Chicago; and Andrée Hayum, University of Delaware, Newark

1991 Andrée Hayum, The Isenheim Altarpiece: God’s Medicine and the Painter’s Vision (Princeton University Press); and Kenneth Silver, Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1914–1925 (Princeton University Press)

Committee: Debra Pincus, University of British Columbia, chair; Patricia Mainardi, Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York; and Gary Radke, Syracuse University

1990 Svetlana Alpers, Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market

Committee: Richard Brilliant, Columbia University, chair; Irene Bierman, University of California, Los Angeles; and Susan Nelson, University of Indiana, Bloomington

1989 Patricia Mainardi, Art and Politics of the Second Empire: The Universal Expositions of 1855 and 1867

Committee: Kathryn Linduff, University of Pittsburgh, chair; David Cast, Bryn Mawr College; and Jack Flam, Graduate Center, City University of New York

1988 Jack Flam, Matisse: The Man and His Art, 1869–1918

Committee: Alessandra Comini, Southern Methodist University, chair; Svetlana Alpers, University of California, Berkeley; and Charles Parkhurst, Williams College

1987 Thomas E. Crow, Painters and Public Life in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Committee: Linda Seidel, University of Chicago; and Linda Henderson, University of Texas at Austin

1986 Peter Fergusson, Architecture of Solitude: Cistercian Abbeys in Twelfth-Century England

Committee: Ilene Forsyth, chair; Marianne Martin; and Juergen Schulz

1985 Lorenz E. A. Eitner, Gericault: His Life and Work

Committee: Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, chair; Jaroslav Folda; and Irene Winter

1984 James Cahill, The Compelling Image: Nature and Style in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Painting

Committee: Meredith Lillich, chair; Herschel Chipp; and John Walsh Jr.

1983 Lucy Freeman Sandler and Moshe Barash, eds., Art, the Ape of Nature: Studies in Honor of H. W. Janson

Committee: A. Richard Turner, chair; Carol F. Lewine; and Richard Shiff

1982 Richard Krautheimer, Rome: The Profile of a City

Committee: John Shearman, chair; Svetlana Alpers; and Tom Mathews

1981 Fred Licht, Goya: The Origins of the Modern Temper in Art

Committee: John Wilmerding, chair; Harrie A. Vanderstappen; Gillian Wilson; and Henri Zerner

1980 Award not presented

Committee: Alessandra Comini, chair; Wayne Dynes; and John R. Martin

1979 Anne Coffin Hanson, Manet and the Modern Tradition

Committee: Alessandra Comini, chair; Wayne Dynes; and John R. Martin

1978 Kurt Weitzmann, The Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mt. Sinai, the Icons, Volume I: From the Sixth to the Tenth Century

Committee: Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, chair; Alessandra Comini; Leopold Ettlinger; and Egon Verheyan

1977 Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, Seventeenth Century Barberini Documents and Inventories

Committee: Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann, chair; Alessandra Comini; Leopold Ettlinger; and Egon Verheyan

1976 Alessandra Comini, Egon Schiele’s Portraits; and Millard Meiss, The Limbourges and Their Contemporaries

Committee: Oleg Grabar, chair; James Cahill; and Egbert Haverkamp-Begemann

1975 Award not presented

1974 Ilene H. Forsyth, The Throne of Wisdom; and John Rupert Martin, The Decorations for the Pompa Introitus Ferdinandi

Committee: Donald Posner, chair; Jean Boggs, and Millard Meiss

1973 Donald Posner, Annibale Caracci

Committee: Phyllis Bober; Lorenz Eitner; and Walter Cahn

1972 Seymour Slive, Frans Hals

1971 Germaine Seligman, Roger de la Fresnaye

1970 Paul A. Underwood, The Kariye Djami

1969 Richard Offner, The Corpus of the Florentine Paintings

1968 Erwin Panofsky, Tomb Sculpture

1967 Sydney J. Freedberg, Andrea Del Sarto

1966 George Kubler, The Art and Architecture of Ancient America

1965 James S. Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo

1964 Erwin Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art

1963 No information available

1962 Henry Russell Hitchcock, Architecture, 19th and 20th Centuries

1961 H. W. Janson, Sculpture of Donatello

1960 Richard Kutheim, Lorenzo Ghiberti

1959 Vincent Scully, The Shingle Style

1958 Henry Russell Hitchcock, Early Victorian Architecture

1957 Erwin Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting

1956 H. W. Janson, Apes and Ape Lore in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance