To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2020 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.
The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.
Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.
Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2020 award winners!
Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2020 award for Best Exhibition Catalog.
When Aminah Robinson passed away in 2015 and entrusted her estate to the Columbus Museum of Art, the museum realized the rich opportunity to create an exhibition and catalogue that would allow the public to experience the wonder of the artists’ life and work based on the contents of her home.
Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals invites viewers to “enter” the artist’s home studio of forty years and explore her art and journals. Through more than 200 artworks, journals, personal letters, and ephemera the exhibit and accompanying catalog invite readers to discover the artist’s intent of “filling the blank pages of African American history.”
In conjunction with developing the exhibition, scholars were engaged to contribute new research to the catalogue focusing on the themes of the exhibition. The catalogue doesn’t just document the items included in the exhibit, but explores how the artist created a sacred place in which to work, and examines the prose and drawings from her journals. Additionally, specialists in African and African-American art and culture were invited to explore the many themes presented in Aminah’s body of work.
The portfolio section of this 236-page book contains nearly 200 full-color plates, including two fold-out, scroll-like paintings from Robinson’s majestic work from the Themba series. The illustrated chronology and detailed index serve as a welcome resource those researching the artist’s life and work.
Skillfully written to be used by scholars as well as at a level of understanding for the common visitor, the catalogue encapsulates the concept of “raggin’ on” – that Robinson’s life and work to acknowledge systemic racism and try to combat racial injustice never end because the next viewer or reader of her work adds their own, new perspectives.
As Congresswoman Joyce Beatty wrote, “(Robinson’s) work honors ordinary people…She used her talent as an artist and her literary skills to tell particular stories about African American life and history in Columbus, and she also told universal stories about people, places, and events around the globe. This project will insure that Robinson and her work will inspire audiences around the country for generations to come.”
Did your museum have a fabulous exhibit catalog that was released during the 2021 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2021 award for Best Exhibition Catalog! Learn more here.
One of the fun features of OMA's 2021 Virtual Awards Ceremony was being able to recognize our honorees "accepting" their award via video message. See below for the Columbus Museum of Art's award acceptance video.