The Berger Collection

Berger Prize

The William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History

In 2001 the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal established a prize for excellence in the field of British art history, in honor of the memory of the late William M. B. Berger. The prize was created to recognize that some of the very finest work in art history is being carried out in the field of British art, and that much of it is being published by The British Art Journal. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most prestigious in the field. It celebrates outstanding achievement in the history of British art and is administered by The British Art Journal, the leading research journal, and awarded jointly with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.

Award

The prize of £5,000 will be awarded annually by The British Art Journal in association with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.

Criteria

The Berger Prize was created to recognize excellence in the history of British art. It will be awarded annually, during July, to an outstanding book, exhibition, or exhibition catalogue (in any language) appearing during the preceding calendar year (January-December).

Assessors

A panel of no fewer than five and no more than seven assessors selects the recipient. The assessors committee includes the editor of The British Art Journal (Mr. Robin Simon), and is chaired by Dr. Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Denver Art Museum, and Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust.

Nominations

Institutions and publishers are welcome to nominate individuals they believe will fulfill the criteria set for the prize. Other nominations should be supported by the names of two individual scholars of good standing, together with their addresses and telephone numbers/email addresses.

Nominations should be made to:
      The Secretary
      William MB Berger Prize for British Art History
      The British Art Journal
      46 Grove Lane
      London SE5 8ST, UK
      or via email: editor@britishartjournal.co.uk
Upon the assessors' acceptance of a nomination, copies of the work in question must be submitted for further consideration.

Berger Prize 2013

The winner of the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History 2013 (books published 1 January – 31 December 2012) is Wall Paintings of Eton by Emily Howe, Henrietta McBurney, David Park, Stephen Rickerby, and Lisa Shekede (Scala, 2012). The award was presented by Professor Mark Hallett of the  Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, at a reception on the evening of 4 July 2013 at the Paul Mellon Centre.

In the assessors’ words, “This is a very exciting [and] major project on the the most important surviving 15th-century wall decoration … north of the Alps. It also features a major discovery of a 16th-century mural of a school scene that came to light in 2005 in the Head Master’s Chambers. The production was perfect, the scholarship outstanding, the international context explored; the book combines, in the most successful manner, conservation and technical reports with history of great clarity and authority. There was also the romance of the story of the involvement of M. R. James in the preservation of these very important paintings. Congratulations are also due to those who encouraged the project, including the Provost of Eton, Lord Waldegrave, and to the publisher and designer for creating such an attractive, beautifully produced book.”

The assessors for the 2013 award:
  • Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting & Sculpture, Denver Art Museum
  • Dr. John Wilson, Director, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego
  • Dr. Rosemary Hill
  • Andrew Wilton
  • Dr. James Hamilton
  • Professor Robin Simon, Editor, The British Art Journal

The short list:

  • Louise Campbell, Miles Glendinning and Jane Thomas, eds., Basil Spence, Buildings and Projects (RIBA Publishing).
  • Yvonne Jones, Japanned Papier Mâché and Tinware c. 1740–1940 (The Antique Collectors Club).
  • Todd Longstaff-Gowan, The London Square (Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art).
  • John Martin Robinson, James Wyatt, Architect to George III (Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art).
  • Herbert W. Rott, ed., George Stubbs, 1724–1806: Science into Art (Prestel Publishing Ltd.).