William MB Berger Prize for British Art History 2020
2020 Berger Prize - watch the video below
The life and work of Thomas Gainsborough (1727 – 1788) was explored during a free, online event celebrating Thomas Gainsborough. The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters by Hugh Belsey winning the 18th annual William MB Berger Prize for British Art History.
The event was broadcast live from Lowell Libson and Jonny Yarker Gallery in London. Hosted by Jonny Yarker, the event centred on an ‘in conversation’ between Professor Robin Simon, Editor of The British Art Journal, and Hugh Belsey.
Contributors included Mark Bills (Director of Gainsborough’s House) with an update on its ongoing transformation into a major regional centre.
There was an opportunity for viewers to ask questions.
The annual prize created to recognize excellence in the field of British art history was created in 2001 by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) and The British Art Journal, in honour of the late American collector and patron William MB Berger. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most respected in the field.
Usually the winner is announced at an event in London during December, but the global pandemic means that is not possible in 2020, and so this year the Berger Prize has gone online.
Katherine MB Berger, daughter of William MB Berger and Trustee of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, said before the event,
“Although it is disappointing we cannot hold a physical prizegiving this year, our online event means we can take a much deeper look at our winning title and share this experience with anyone globally. It’s an exciting chance to connect even more people with the Berger Prize and the work of Gainsborough.”
Thomas Gainsborough. The Portraits, Fancy Pictures and Copies after Old Masters
Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
ISBN 978-0-300232097 20 vols pp1112 hb
£150 bw & col 1300
A magnificent book, a magnum opus. It brings to life so many female sitters, who have now been given their place in history for the first time. Magisterial
Studio Lives: Architect, Art and Artist in 20th-Century Britain
Thought-provoking and elegantly written. Absorbing on such matters as the relationship between living and studio spaces. Ambitious and rewarding
Roger Fry and Italian Art
Ad Ilissum /The Burlington Magazine, distributed by Paul Holberton
A sumptuous book to look at and to read. The best kind of art history. So good on Fry’s influence upon art and taste in the UK, and all those fallings-out and fallings-in
Nicholas Hilliard: Life of an Artist
Yale University Press for The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
Brilliant, showing that the life and art of an artist are inseparable. A mass of reading and research brings Hilliard to life. Outstanding in placing Hilliard in his international context
Carol Jacobi, ed
The EY exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain
Van Gogh comes alive in this book, and we hear his voice. Two parts, his early life in England, and then the impact of his art in Britain, and both convincing. So original in an area that one thought had been well trodden
Inventing Edward Lear
Harvard University Press
Intensely analytical, confirming that Lear was indeed a genius. Highly original, even including links to his music. A profoundly rewarding book to read, in prose worthy of its subject. Situates Lear so well in the context of his Pre-Raphaelite friends
William Merriam Bart Berger (1925-1999) was born in Denver, a fourth-generation Coloradan. Following family tradition, he built a career in finance, for which he was nationally recognized. Bernadette Joan Johnson Berger (1940-2015), also a Denver native, grew up in western Colorado and owned farms in Kansas She raised three daughters and worked as a securities trader and stockbroker.
The Berger Collection is currently on view at the Denver Art Museum. Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection showcases more than 60 paintings gifted to the museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET).
THE BERGER PRIZE
In 2001, the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) and The British Art Journal established a prize for excellence in the field of British art history, in honor of the late William M. B. Berger. The prize was created to recognize that some of the very finest work in art history is being carried out in the field of British art, and that much of it is being published by The British Art Journal. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most prestigious in the field.
The William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History awards £5,000 annually, chosen by The British Art Journal in association with the BCET of Denver, Colorado.
The Berger Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding book, exhibition, or exhibition catalog (in any language) on the subject of British art history appearing during the preceding calendar year (January–December).
A panel of no fewer than five and no more than seven assessors selects the recipient. The assessors committee includes the editor of The British Art Journal.
Institutions and publishers are welcome to nominate individuals they believe will fulfill the criteria set for the prize. Other nominations should be supported by the names of two individual scholars of good standing, together with their contact information.
Nominations should be made to:
William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History
The British Art Journal
46 Grove Lane
London SE5 8ST, UK
Upon the assessors’ acceptance of a nomination, copies of the work must be submitted for further consideration.
William MB Berger Prize for British Art History Prize winners and presenters
2019: Nicholas Savage, Burlington House: Home of the Royal Academy of Arts. Royal Academy of Arts. Presented by Rachel Campbell Johnston.
2018: David Hansen, Dempsey’s People: A Folio of British Street Portraits 1824-1844. National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Presented by Dr. Bendor Grosvenor.
2017: Sacha Llewellyn, Winifred Knights 1899–1947. Lund Humphries in association with Dulwich Picture Gallery.
2016: Giles Waterfield, The People’s Galleries. Art Museums and Exhibitions in Britain 1800–1914. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Professor Frances Spalding.
2015: William L Pressly, James Barry’s Murals at the Royal Society of Arts: Envisioning a New Public Art. Cork University Press. Presented by Loyd Grossman.
2014: Alex Bremner, Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire 1840–1870. Yale University Press. Presented by Professor Gavin Stamp.
2013: Emily Howe, Henrietta McBurney, David Park, Stephen Rickerby, and Lisa Shekede, Wall Paintings of Eton. Scala. Presented by Professor Mark Hallett.
2012: Terry Friedman, The Eighteenth Century Church in Britain. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Sir Timothy Clifford.
2011: Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe, Jewellery in the Age of Queen Victoria: A Mirror to the World. British Museum Press. Presented by A. N. Wilson.
2010: Diana Donald and Jane Munro, eds., Endless Forms: Charles Darwin, Natural Science and the Visual Arts. Yale Center for British Art/ Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge in association with Yale University Press. Presented by The Hon. Lady Roberts, Royal Librarian.
2008: Thomas P. Campbell, Henry VIII and the Art of Majesty. Tapestries at the Tudor Court. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Robin Simon.
2007: John Harris, OBE, Moving Rooms: The Trade in Architectural Salvages. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Tim Knox.
2006: Judith Bronkhurst, William Holman Hunt: A Catalogue Raisonné. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre. Presented by Desmond Shawe-Taylor.
2005: Paula Henderson, The Tudor House and Garden. Yale University Press for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. Presented by Michael Palin.
2004: Derek Keene, Arthur Burns, and Andrew Saint, St Paul’s: The Cathedral Church of London 604-2004. Yale University Press. Presented by Professor Brian Allen.
2003: Brian Andrews, Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes (exhibition catalogue). Presented by Sir Andrew Lloyd-Webber.
2002: David H Solkin, Art on The Line. The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780 –1836 (exhibition). Courtauld Institute/Yale University Press. Presented by Sir Roy Strong.