The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Melva J. Dwyer Award. 1920s Modernism in Montreal: The Beaver Hall Group (2015) was published through a partnership of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Black Dog Publishing in both an English and a French edition. The publication was edited by Jacques des Rochers, curator of Canadian and Quebec Art before 1945 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Brian Foss, Director of the School for Studies in Art and Culture at Carleton University in Ottawa, to accompany an exhibition of the same name, which they also curated. Contributors include Kristina Huneault, Concordia University, Hélène Sicotte, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and Esther Trépanier, UQAM.
This 352-page publication is the most comprehensive study of this group to date, featuring a series of six essays that deal with the social and artistic contexts in which the group was formed, interweaving their work within the broader narratives of the arts in the early 20th century, the rise of the metropolis, the intersection of economic progress with cultural development, and the impact of gender on critical approaches to both the artists and their work.
This exhibition will tour to four Canadian art museums, enabling a broad audience for these works. The awards committee recommends this essential exhibition catalogue not only for Canadian visual arts libraries, but for all libraries with an interest in urban and cultural history.
This award was established in recognition of the contribution made to the field of art librarianship by Melva J. Dwyer, former head of the Fine Arts Library, University of British Columbia. It is given annually to the creators of exceptional reference or research tools relating to Canadian art and architecture. The 2016 award was presented at the convocation ceremony of the 44th Annual ARLIS/NA Conference in Seattle, Washington, on March 11, 2016. The members of the 2016 Melva J. Dwyer Award Committee are: Sylvia Roberts, Simon Fraser University (chair); Jennifer Garland, McGill University; Philip Dombowsky, National Gallery of Canada; and Daniel Payne, OCAD University.