Charles Redd Award

Redd Award Banner-WEB.jpg
The 2019 Charles Redd Award was presented to Dana Whitelaw (right-center) for
the High Desert Museum's Desert Reflections: Water Shapes the West 2019 exhibition.
Pictured here with (L-R) WMA Executive Director Jason B. Jones, WMA Board President Anne Rowe,
and WMA Board Secretary Michael Fiegenschuh.


The Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence

The Western Museums Association (WMA) is pleased to consider applications for this annual award honoring excellence for an exhibition that furthers the study and understanding of the American West. The award is funded by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University. The competition recognizes outstanding achievement of a temporary exhibition (i.e., one with a specific closing date) from all types of museums as defined by the American Alliance 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.


With the continued impact of the global pandemic and the spread of COVID-19, WMA is postponing the 2021 Annual Meeting, which had been scheduled for Pasadena, California, and we are actively planning a return to Pasadena in a future year.
Therefore, we are not accepting award applications this year.

For now, please to focus on yourself, your museum, and your community.


Eligibility Requirements

  1. Eligibility is not limited by geographical location, size, budget, or discipline
  2. The exhibition must be a temporary exhibition with a defined closing date
  3. The exhibition must be open sometime during the period of July 19, 2019 to July 17, 2020
  4. The primary emphasis of the exhibition must be an aspect of the American West: i.e., West of the Rocky Mountains, including Alaska and Hawaii. Subjects may include the arts and humanities, social/historical studies, ethnic/native studies, and/or natural/ecological studies
  5. The exhibition must have a physical location open to the general public. The exhibition may be supplemented by a film, website, and/or publications; however, at this time, these alternative media do not qualify as an “exhibition” on their own for the purposes of this award
  6. Preference will be given to an exhibition that expands collective understandings of the American West; and to an exhibition that promotes collaboration with communities or organizations beyond the sponsoring institution


Entry Criteria


  1. A brief narrative (500 words or less) that defines the following:
  •  The “big idea,” scope and purpose of the exhibition (please address the eligibility criteria outlined above)
  • The exhibition’s target audience
  • Total number of objects (if any) included in the exhibition
  1. In 500 words or less, describe any associated programs, activities, media, or publications created specifically for the exhibition
  2. Interpretive text samples (if any). Include no more than five (5) major concept texts, and no more than five (5) secondary labels or captions
  3. A budget summary stating the total project cost and cost of major subcategories. Do not include staff time


  1. All entries must include ten (10) images of the exhibition installation
  2. OPTIONAL: A video of the exhibition (only 1 video required). Digital video files must be less than 3 minutes, and depict a sense of the exhibition as a whole. Providing a link to an online video is preferred.

NOTE: Video or image links may be utilized as an alternative to submitting individual image files.


Previous Charles Redd Award Recipients

2018: Presidio Trust, Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in WWII Japanese American Incarceration
2017: Boise Art Museum, Minidoka: Artist as Witness 
2016: Oakland Museum of California, Altered State: Marijuana in California
2015: Museum of Anthropology (MOA), Museum of Vancouver (MOV), and Musqueam Cultural Education Resource Center (MCERC), c̓əsnaʔəm, The City Before the City.
2014: Oakland Museum of California, Above Below: Stories of Our Chaning Bay
2013: J. Paul Getty Museum, Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990!
2012: Utah State University, Museum of Anthropology, Through the Looking Glass: Obsidian Travel and Trade in the Great Basin
2011: Bainbridge Island Historical Society (Washington State), Ansel Adams: A Portrait of Manzanar
2010: Mission Mill Museum, Facing Statehood
2008: Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, Cahuilla Cowboys - Making Our Marks
2007: Oakland Museum of California, Aftershock—Voices from the 1906 Earthquake and Fire
2006:  Anchorage Museum, Quonset: Metal Living for a Modern Age
2005: San Diego Natural History Museum, Earth, Wind, & WILDFIRE


Please contact WMA at (707) 433-4701 or for more information, questions, or comments about the Charles Redd Award.