Museum exhibits can show visitors new perspectives, challenge commonly held notions, and bring people into new worlds. While museums have many important functions in their communities, the exhibits are the centerpieces of their educational work.
Do you know of an exhibit in 2014–2015 that challenged perceptions or progressed the scholarship of the American West? Nominate it for the 2015 Charles Redd Award honoring excellence for an exhibition. The Award is funded by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University, and supports furthering the study and understanding of the American West.
The competition recognizes outstanding achievement of a temporary exhibition (i.e., one with a specific closing date) from all types of museums, without regard to geographical location, size, budget, discipline or age. A representative designated by the honored institution will be presented with an award at the Annual Meeting.
The deadline for 2015 Redd Award Nominations is July 15, 2015
The winner of the 2014 Charles Redd Award was the Oakland Museum of California’s Above Below. WMA Board Member and Redd Award Chair, Adam Mikos, explains:
Occasionally an exhibition comes along that delivers on so many different aspects of what it means to be a great exhibition. As professionals in the field, we all recognize there are many choices that must be made when developing exhibits that will affect the overall outcome. Generally these are in response to overall program requirements or institutional duties; be it budgets, staffing, scheduling, etc. Having said that, the stars can sometimes align in such a way that a concept can grow and blossom in the best way imaginable.
Immersed within the flyover looking above San Francisco’s marina heading towards Fisherman’s Wharf. A couple sits nestled in their beanbags for the three-hour tour.
Within the Above section looking towards the story about the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. In the foreground is a large floor map of the entire Bay, which draws visitors to find familiar sites such as their house.
You can read more about Above Below in this blog post.
In order to qualify for the award, nominees must meet the following criteria:
- Eligibility is not limited by geographical location, size, budget, discipline, or age.
- The exhibition for which the museum is nominated must be a temporary exhibition (i.e., with a defined closing date) opening between July 15, 2014 and July 15, 2015. The exhibit must have as its primary display and interpretive emphasis some aspect of the American West: i.e., west of the Rocky Mountains, including Alaska and Hawaii. Subjects include, but are not limited to, the arts and humanities, social/historical studies, ethnic/native studies, and natural/ecological studies.
- Preference will be given to those exhibits that foster the American West as a legitimate study for museums and the general public, that utilize innovative exhibition and public programming possibilities, that result from creative collaboration with communities or organizations (including museums and universities) beyond the sponsoring institution, and that engage audiences in the subject of the exhibition in compelling ways.
- The exhibition must have a physical location open to the general public. The exhibition may be supplemented by film, website, and publications, however, at this time, these alternative media do not qualify as “exhibition” on their own for the purposes of this award.