The College Art Association announces the 2010 Awards for Distinction

by Terry Smith

Frank Jewett Mather Award citation:

Terry Smith is that rare art and social historian able to write criticism at once alert to the forces that contextualize art and sensitive to the elements and qualities that inhere to the works of art themselves. His most recent book, What Is Contemporary Art? (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009), contains a series of interrelated essays that unpack a vast range of topics and issues and take the reader on a theoretical tour through some of the world’s most influential art museums, laying bare their conflicted missions and studying the heightening distinction, and dispute, between modern and contemporary art.
Details about the Mather Award.


The Frank Jewett Mather Award, first presented in 1963 for art journalism, is named in honor of the art critic, teacher, and scholar who was affiliated with Princeton University until his death in 1953. It is awarded for significant published art criticism that has appeared in publication in a one-year period; the 2010 award year is September 1, 2008–August 31, 2009. The Mather award may be given for work that originated before the indicated period provided that such work extends into the award period.

Past Winners

The Frank Jewett Mather Award has been presented to many well-known art critics and writers. In the 1960s, awards were presented to Max Kozloff, Barbara Rose, and Clement Greenberg, while Lawrence Alloway, Rosalind Krauss, and Lucy R. Lippard were recipients in the 1970s. The Mather awards of the 1980s were given to Robert Hughes, Leo Steinberg, and Douglas Crimp, among others, followed by Eleanor Heartney, Arthur C. Danto, and Christopher Knight in the 1990s. Most recently, Boris Groys was honored for his essays in Art Power, which address curatorship and criticism of modern and contemporary art in public venues.