A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana was recently chosen as the Mary Ellen LoPresti Award Winner for excellence in art publishing. The award is given by the Southeast Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America.
A Unique Slant of Light, awarded the Best Monograph Prize, is a handsome, unprecedented, commemorative hardcover edition limited to only 3,000 copies. This large-format volume encompasses 375 color pages featuring approximately 275 artists and photographers. For art collectors and enthusiasts, for followers of Louisiana history, and for keepers of Louisiana pride, this dazzling book is testimony to the state's vibrant artistic culture.
Co-editors of the book are Michael Sartisky, PhD, president of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and J. Richard Gruber, PhD, director emeritus of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; John R. Kemp, former deputy director of the LEH, is serving as associate editor. Written by scholars from around the country, the entries include all genres (painting, sculpture, photography, folk art, decorative art, furniture) and periods, from colonial to contemporary. Private collections and major archives such as the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Louisiana State Museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection, and the Louisiana State University Museum of Art, among others, contribute a comprehensive library of images.
Every entry in the book is linked to fully articulated entries on each artist and genre in KnowLA: The Digital Encyclopedia of Louisiana History and Culture, which also will have the capacity to include a much more extensive image gallery for each artist and genre.
The award committee had the following comments:
This ambitious publication, the cornerstone of a three-part project celebrating the bicentennial of Louisiana statehood in 2012, impressively commemorates and contextualizes Louisiana art and visual history. Three hundred full color reproductions from museums, private collections, and archives around the state compliment an impressive range of scholarship outlining historical periods, artistic production, and evolving styles, from nineteenth century Carnival design to a deeply rooted folk craft tradition.
The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is the largest international professional organization devoted to art librarianship. The Southeast Chapter of ARLIS/NA established the LoPresti Publication Award Competition in 1985 to recognize and encourage excellence in art publications issued in the Southeastern United States. The publication awards are named for Mary Ellen LoPresti, who was the Design Librarian at the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library, North Carolina State University, until her death in 1985.