Museum curators laud ‘Cool,’ ‘WACK!’

Times Staff Writer

Two Southern California museums are represented in this year’s awards for excellence in the categories of museum catalogues, articles and exhibitions from New York City’s Assn. of Art Museum Curators.

For exhibition catalogues, Elizabeth Armstrong took the top award for “Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury,” for the Orange County Museum of Art’s survey of the progressive cultural zeitgeist in Southern California that emerged after World War II. (The title comes from a celebrated Miles Davis jazz album recorded for Capitol Records in 1949-50.)

The award for outstanding exhibition or installation in the Pacific Time Zone went to “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution,” curated by Cornelia Butler and organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles in cooperation with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York’s P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Other major awardees included Walter Liedtke, for outstanding catalogue based on a permanent collection for “Dutch Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” and Frederick Ilchman for outstanding essay for “Tintoretto as a Painter of Religious Narrative” in “Tintoretto” for the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.