One of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum's recent publications, Chance Aesthetics by assistant curator Meredith Malone, Ph.D., was selected as the winner of the Midwest Art History Society Award for Outstanding Catalogue for 2009.
The award, which is given on the basis of scholarly contributions to the field and the quality of writing and design, was announced at the MAHS 2010 Conference in Omaha, April 8-10.
The catalogue was published in Fall 2009 to accompany the Kemper Art Museum exhibition Chance Aesthetics, which embraced the role played by chance in modernist art from the beginning of the 20th century through the early 1970s.
The 160-page volume brings together a broad range of artistic practices that replace active decision-making with the unexpected possibilities inherent in accident and random influence. It includes essays by Malone, Susan Laxton, and Janine Mileaf that draw connections across media and disciplines. It also features extended entries on all works in the exhibition by Bradley Bailey and Emily Hage, which focus on the processes employed and rhetoric used to describe and theorize them.
The MAHS Awards Committee included Leesa Fanning, Ph.D. (MAHS Board of Directors/assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), Joseph Becherer (director, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park), and Tricia Paik (assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, Saint Louis Art Museum).