Randall C. Griffin Receives DMA Vasari Award

Dallas Museum of Art Presents 20th Annual Vasari Award to Randal C. Griffin

The Dallas Museum of Art named Randall C. Griffin winner of the 2005 Vasari Award for his book Homer, Eakins & Anshutz: The Search for American Identity in the Gilded Age (Pennsylvania State University Press).

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Vasari Award, which is given to an author working in Texas whose book provides insight into works of art or aspects of art history and theory that enriches the understanding of visual arts. Criteria for the award include originality and depth of scholarship, quality of book production and visual presentation of material, as well as significance for the field of specialization and the literature of art history. The Dallas Museum of Art’s Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library sponsors the Vasari Award which recognizes an outstanding scholarly publication by an art historian in Texas.

An expanded presentation of the Museum’s essential Charles L. and Faith P. Bybee Collection of American Furniture and Paintings, along with works by Eakins himself, his wife Susan MacDowell Eakins, and 19th-century contemporaries including Henry Ossawa Tanner, Cecilia Beaux, and Edmund C. Tarbell, will charm lovers of American art.

Dr. Griffin will give a gallery talk in the newly installed spaces on the subject of his book on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 at 12:15 p.m., which is free with paid admission to the Museum.

Dr. Griffin’s book studies the ways in which artists and critics sought to create a new identity for America during a time of change and growth that is called the “Gilded Age” due to its leaders’ penchant for lavishness. Artists Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins and Thomas Anshutz searched for unconventional American themes and styles, but believed that European art was superior and continued to look to the Old World for legitimacy. Griffin traces the relationships between nationalism, class and gender in American culture, with shrewd analysis of key paintings by the artists.

Judges for the 2005 award were: Dr. Anne Bromberg, Head Juror, Vasari Award jury, and The Cecil and Ida Green Curator of Ancient and South Asian Art of the Dallas Museum of Art; Dr. Deborah Stott, Associate Professor of Art History, The University of Texas at Dallas; and the winner of the 2004 award, Dr. John R. Clarke, the Annie Laurie Howard Regents Professor of History of Art, The University of Texas at Austin.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
The 23,000 works of art in the Museum’s encyclopedic collections span 5,000 years of history and represent all media with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia, and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.

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