Illinois Association of Museums awards given again to NIU Museum Studies, Art Museum

IAM President David Becker (left) and Peter Van Ael

IAM President David Becker (left) and Peter Van Ael

NIU’s Interdisciplinary Certificate of Graduate Study in Museum Studies continues to receive awards from the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM).

The latest recognition came at the IAM’s annual conference, held from Wednesday, Nov.3, through Friday, Nov. 5, in Naperville, when the organization announced the winners of its 2010 awards for the state’s museums.

An IAM Award of Excellence in the Exhibits Category went to the NIU Art Museum for “Coming of Age: The WPA/FAP Graphic Arts Division & the American Print.”

The exhibition was the fourth in an ongoing annual collaborative effort between the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Museum Studies Program and Peter Van Ael’s ART 656 Museum Exhibitions and Interpretation class. It is also the third year in a row that the Museum Studies/NIU Art Museum exhibition earns an IAM award.

Winners of the Award of Excellence present work of excellent quality that uses available resources well, is creative and meets professional standards. The awards committee indicated it was duly impressed with the exhibit design. Committee members also were pleased with the attention given to exhibition evaluation. The exhibition design and installation afforded several museum studies students valuable hands-on experience.

NIU’s Art Museum also received an IAM Award of Merit in the Scholarly Publications Category for the exhibition catalog Coming of Age: The WPA/FAP Graphic Arts Division & the American Print. IAM defines the Award of Merit as recognizing a project that makes a significant contribution in its category and meets professional standards.

The exhibition catalog afforded students the opportunity to see their research published. The ambitious publication contains essays by Danielle Barton, David Malhosky, Liz Rex, Michael Rossow, Cherie Tymkiw, Peter Van Ael, Rachel Walters and Melinda Weaver. Olson Gallery assistant Ashley Klockenga designed the catalog. The awards committee commented on the ambitious scope of the project and the innovative use of an on-demand publisher.

IAM is the independent, non-profit, statewide organization of museums and historical societies. Through its awards, the association celebrates and draws attention to the highest accomplishments within the museum profession in the state of Illinois.

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