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detail of golden peacock painting from the Peacock Room

Staff Awards and Honors


Louise Cort

Louise Cort Receives the 2012 Secretary’s Distinguished Research Lecture Award

Freer|Sackler Curator of Ceramics Louise Allison Cort has been named the 12th recipient of the Distinguished Research Lecture Award. This honor recognizes a scholar’s sustained achievement in research, longstanding investment in the Smithsonian, outstanding contribution to a field, and ability to communicate research to a non-specialist audience. In this instance, it celebrates how Cort has shared knowledge gained through scholarly research.

In this spirit, on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, Cort presents a lecture titled People Making Pots: Connecting Present and Past in Japan, India, and Mainland Southeast Asia at 2 pm in the Freer’s Meyer Auditorium. A reception follows.

With the Smithsonian since 1981, Cort’s interests include historical and contemporary ceramics in Japan and South and Southeast Asia, Japanese baskets and textiles, and the Japanese tea ceremony. Since 1989—in collaboration with cultural anthropologist Leedom Lefferts, research associate in the National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology—Cort has documented present-day village-based production of earthenware and stoneware ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia. The project received major support from the Nishida Memorial Foundation for Research in Asian Ceramic History and a Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Studies grant.

Cort is the author of Shigaraki, Potters’ Valley, published in 1979 and reprinted in 2000. In 2008 she prepared (with George Ashley Williams IV and David P. Rehfuss) the online catalogue Ceramics in Mainland Southeast Asia: Collections in the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Her study on Indian earthenware, Temple Potters of Puri, was published in 2012, the same year that Cort received the 33rd Koyama Fujio Memorial Prize for her research on historical Japanese ceramics.

For the Distinguished Research Lecture Award, Cort was selected from finalists recommended by a committee representing research areas across the spectrum of Smithsonian scholarship. This year’s committee included Adrienne Kaeppler (NMNH); Bert Drake (SERC); Cynthia Mills (SAAM); David DeVorkin, chair (NASM); Giovanni Fazio (SAO); Jason Stieber (AAA); Katherine Ott (NMAH); Kenneth Slowik (NMAH); Tom Crouch (NASM); and William Wcislo (STRI).


Smithsonian Spotlight: Secretary’s research Prize, 2011

Massumeh Farhad, Chief Curator and Curator of Islamic Art
John Winter, Conservation and Scientific Research

The Secretary’s Research Prize is awarded to Smithsonian employees who have done exemplary work in publications, exhibitions, or other research. Ten prizes are awarded every year. The Freer and Sackler Galleries are proud to announce that two staff members were awarded the 2011 prize. Massumeh Farhad has been honored for her extraordinary work on the exhibition Falnama: The Book of Omens (2009–2010), which she curated along with guest curator Serpìl Bağci. The exhibition illuminated the mysteries of the Falnama: 16th- and 17th-century Iranian and Turkish manuscripts that were used to tell fortunes and gaze into the unknown. John Winter has been posthumously awarded the prize for his book East Asian Paintings: Materials, Structures and Deterioration Mechanisms. His research focuses on the historical techniques of painting in Japan, China, and Korea.


Smithsonian Spotlight: Peacock Room Wins Cine Award

The Smithsonian Channel film on the Freer Gallery’s Peacock Room, featuring an interview with associate curator of American art Lee Glazer, won the fall 2011 Cine Golden Eagle Award. Recognized as a mark of excellence throughout the film and television industry for over 50 years, this award is given biannually to films that are innovative in structure and that demonstrate overall distinction.


James Ulak

James T. Ulak, senior curator of Japanese art

James T. Ulak has been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Japanese government. The honor recognizes Ulak's significant contributions toward strengthening bilateral relations and building collaboration between public and private fine arts institutions in Japan and the United States, resulting in the sophisticated presentation of Japanese visual culture in both countries. The award was conferred in a private ceremony at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Washington, D.C., on July 6, 2010.
Press Release
The Torch article


Debra Diamond

Debra Diamond, associate curator of South and Southeast Asian art

Debra Diamond was recognized with two major awards for her work on the exhibition catalogue Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur. In February 2010 she was awarded the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award from the College Art Association, the professional organization for faculty and museum curators in art history and the visual arts. This award, established in 1980 in honor of the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, is presented to the author(s) of an especially distinguished catalogue in the history of art, and is CAA's highest award for museum scholarship.

In September 2010 Debra was awarded the Smithsonian Secretary's Research Prize for Garden and Cosmos. This prize recognizes excellence across the Smithsonian; just ten are awarded each year.


Freer | Sackler Publications

Freer and Sackler publications have won an impressive number of awards, examples of which are listed below.

2013

Masters of Mercy exhibition brochure
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
First prize, supplementary materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

2012 monthly calendar of events
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
Second prize, calendar of events, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

The Imperial Image: Paintings for the Mughal Court catalogue
Designed by Antonio Alcalá, Studio A
Honorable mention, books, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Ars Orientalis, volume 42
Designed by Edna Jamandre
Honorable mention, scholarly journals, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Sackler 25th anniversary gala program
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, fundraising/membership materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Roads of Arabia exhibition brochure
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
Honorable mention, supplementary materials, 2013 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2012

Asiatica annual report
Edited by Howard Kaplan
Designed by Kelly Doe
First prize, magazines, 2012 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

“An Evening in Whistler’s Peacock Room” invitation
Designed by Adina Brosnan McGee
2012 Silver Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 63rd Annual Show
Second prize, invitations to events, 2012 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Freer and Sackler Galleries stationery and letterhead
Designed by Reid Hoffman
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 63rd Annual Show


2011

Dancing Dragon Roaring Tiger benefit gala invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Printing and Graphics Association Mid-Atlantic Excellence in Print Awards

Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia exhibition catalogue
Designed by Adina Brosnan-McGee
First place, books, 2011 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

In the Realm of the Buddha Metro poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Second prize, marketing/public relations materials, 2011 AAM Museum Publications Design
Competition


2010

Asiatica annual report
Edited by Howard Kaplan
Designed by Kelly Doe
Annual reports, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Forbes symposium cover
Designed by Reid Hoffman
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 61st Annual Show

Falnama cover Falnama: The Book of Omens exhibition catalogue
Authors: Massumeh Farhad and Serpil Bagci
Designed by Robert Wiser
Publication date: 2009
Named one of the best art books of 2010 by Art Newspaper
First place, exhibition catalogues, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 61st Annual Show
Third place, small/medium nonprofit publishers, illustrated text, Washington Book Publishers

Falnama: The Book of Omens marketing campaign
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, marketing/public relations materials, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Asia After Dark poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, posters, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Asia After Dark postcard
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, marketing/public relations materials, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2009

Tsars and the East cover The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Iraq and Turkey in the Moscow Kremlin exhibition catalogue
Authors: Elena Yurievna Gagarina, Rudi Matthee, and the curators of the Moscow Kremlin
Designed by Marty Ittner
Publication date: 2009
First prize, hardcover and paperback books, 2010 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Calendar of events
Designed by Adina Brosnan-McGee
First place, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition
2009 Silver Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition graphics
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Gold Light Bulb Award, Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur gala invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show
First prize, invitations to events, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition signage
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 60th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur Metro poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition


2008

Design Leadership Award
To the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery for its longstanding commitment to excellence in design reflecting the highest standards in the graphic arts
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 59th Annual Show

Garden and Cosmos cover Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur exhibition catalogue
Authors: Debra Diamond, Catherine Glynn, and Karni Singh Jasol
Designed by Kelly Webb
Publication date: 2008
Smithsonian Institution Secretary’s Research Prize, September 2010
2010 Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award, College Art Association

Edo Masters from the Price Collection invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington 59th Annual Show

Edo Masters from the Price Collection poster
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Honorable mention, posters, 2008 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Edo Masters from the Price Collection invitation
Designed by Nancy Hacskaylo
Second prize, marketing/public relations materials, 2008 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition

Awards and Prizes

James Cahill, eminent historian of Chinese art history, to receive Freer Medal
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The Shimada Prize

Established in 1992, the Shimada Prize is awarded for distinguished scholarship in the history of East Asian art.
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