AAANZ Prizes

Our annual prizes recognise the best in arts writing and research across Australia and New Zealand. The awards cover a broad spectrum of arts publishing and acknowledge the contribution of both emerging and established scholars and artists. The categories include prizes for books, catalogues, artist books, Indigenous art writing, and an award for recently completed PhD graduates. The prizes are sponsored by a number of universities, art museums, associations and publishing bodies around Australia and New Zealand.

The prizes recognise the following.

  • Originality and rigour of scholarship.
  • Contribution to knowledge in the area and impact on scholarly debate in the field.
  • Significance of the topic to the field and to adjacent disciplines.
  • Significance and originality of arts research.
  • Quality of the design and production values of the publication.
  • Ability to convey complex ideas to wider audiences.

Please note people who wish to nominate publications for a prize must be a member of AAANZ. Staff affiliated with museums that have a AAANZ institutional membership are also eligible to nominate publications.

The AAANZ prizes are awarded each year at our annual conference. Deadlines for the 2016 prize-round will be announced in early 2016. Please join our mailing list to be notified when entries for prizes are open.

2015 AAANZ prize winners

See the full details of the prize winners here.

Best Book | Andrea Bubenik, Reframing Albrecht Durer: the appropriation of art, 1528-1700, (Farnham, Surrey, United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2013)

Best Anthology | Christina Barton and Robert Leonard, The Critic’s Part: Wyston Curnow Art Writings 1971-2013 (Brisbane: IMA and Wellington: Victoria University, 2014) & Ian McLean, Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous Art (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars, 2014)

Best Large Exhibition Catalogue | Pop to Popism, edited by Wayne Tunnicliffe and Anneke Jaspers (Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2014) (Runner Up – Mid-Century Modern (Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2014) edited by Kirsty Grant)

Best Small Exhibition Catalogue | Madonna Staunton, catalogue essay by Peter McKay (Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 2014).

Best Scholarly Article in the ANZ Journal of Art | Daniel Palmer, ‘Photography as Social Encounter: Three Works by Mickey Allan, Sophie Calle, and Simryn Gill’, (ANZJA, vol.14, issue 2, 2014)

Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian | Julie Gough,‘Honouring the past / making a future – The Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace tradition’ and ‘Lola Greeno: Cultural Caretaker’ in Lola Greeno: Cultural Jewels, (Sydney: Object Gallery, NSW, 2014) pp.108-116, 159.

Best Art Writing by a New Zealand Maori or Pacific Islander | Not awarded in 2015

Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue | Maudie Palmer AO, Samantha Littley, Danie Mellor, Danie Mellor: Exotic Lies and Sacred Ties (Brisbane: UQ, 2014)

Best Artist Book | Nicholas Mangan, Some Kinds of Duration (Melbourne: 3-Ply Press, 2012)

PhD Prize | Chari Larrson, Didi-Huberman’s Ghosts.

See previous prize winners 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

Best Book

($500 supported by The University of Sydney)

The AAANZ Best Book Prize is the only art historical book prize awarded annually in Australasia. It is designed to honour significant and original art historical scholarship from all periods of art history, while also acting as a benchmark for excellence in academic publishing.

Best Anthology

($500 supported by The University of Sydney)

The AAANZ Best Anthology Prize is awarded annually to the best collected edition of relevant to writing on art, art theory and historical research. These publications are often conference proceedings or editorial initiatives organised around a theme.

Best Large Exhibition Catalogue

($500 supported by The University of Melbourne)

The AAANZ Best Large Exhibition Catalogue Prize honours originality and intellectual rigour, as well as excellence in the quality of the catalogue design, layout and reproduction of high-quality images. This prize is awarded annually and exhibition catalogues  (from monographic surveys to broad thematic publications) issued by major Australian and New Zealand art museums, and those published by art institutions across the South Pacific are eligible.

Best Small Exhibition Catalogue

($100 supported by The University of Western Australia)

The AAANZ Best Small Exhibition Catalogue Prize is awarded annually to catalogue publications that usually feature only one essay and a smaller scale of art institutional catalogue publication. Small exhibition catalogues demonstrating the breadth possible within the category are particularly encouraged.

Best Scholarly Article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art

($500 supported by The University of Sydney)

The Best Scholarly Article in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art Prize is awarded for the best article published in the AAANZ journal in its biannual editions for the preceding year.

Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian

($1000 supported by Art Monthly Australia)

With limited publishing opportunities or resources currently available for Indigenous Australian writers, the Best Art Writing by an Indigenous Australian Prize recognises recent achievement, but also provides scope for ongoing personal development. This Prize offers the winning writer two valuable future pathways for publication within the pages of Art Monthly Australia: first, for an edited excerpt of their winning text, whether it a book, article or essay; and second, for a specially commissioned essay text, also to be published in Art Monthly Australia within a year of the prize’s announcement.

Best Art Writing by a New Zealand Maori or Pacific Islander

($500 supported by Christchurch Art Gallery)

This prize will be awarded to the best art writing, whether in the form of a book, article or essay, by a New Zealand Maori or Pacific Islander. The Best Art Writing by a  New Zealand Maori or Pacific Islander Prize is sponsored by the Christchurch Art Gallery in New Zealand.

Best Artist Book

($500 supported by Massey University)

The AAANZ’s Best Artist Book Prize defines an artist book as a discrete artwork in the form of a book  (generally exhibition catalogues do not qualify as artist books). The prize invites submissions of artist books from the 5 years preceding the annual awarding of the prize, books published between 2010 – 2014 are eligible. Artists may only submit their book once for consideration.

Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue

($1000 supported by the University Art Museums Association)

The AAANZ Best University Art Museums Exhibition Catalogue Prize invites submissions from art museums on campus throughout the Australasian and South Pacific region. The award recognises an exhibition catalogue that demonstrates originality and intellectual rigour, as well as excellence in the quality of the catalogue design, layout and reproduction of high-quality images.

PhD Prize

($1000 supported by Taylor and Francis)

The AAANZ Best PhD Graduate Prize was initiated in 2013 and is awarded annually. Eligible candidates should have been awarded their PhD in the previous three years. Candidates may only enter once.