Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards announcement

25 January 2019 – Launched today 25th January 2019, excellence in the world’s English-language arts publishing scene will be celebrated through eight new awards for books on art, architecture and design. In an innovative collaboration, Whitechapel Gallery and the Authors’ Club are delighted to announce the Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards – now open for submissions, with the shortlist due to be revealed in June 2019.

The Awards are named after influential arts publisher, Richard Schlagman, whose vision and drive transformed and revived Phaidon Press as a world class publisher, revolutionising the sector of arts publishing for modern and contemporary art. This new initiative highlights the fertile relationship between the art world and publishing, recognising a diverse genre that encompasses art, architecture and design. It celebrates the importance of books in the dissemination of knowledge and learning about art around the world, addressing a vital need to champion the visual arts publishing sector. The Award also celebrates the innovation and verve of contemporary graphic design and print production.

Chaired by Richard Schlagman, the panel of judges for the 2019 awards will comprise Iwona Blazwick, former Director at Whitechapel Gallery; architect Adam Caruso; freelance art critic and Authors’ Club member Sue Hubbard; Turner Prize nominee artist Dexter Dalwood; art historian, curator and co-director of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art Maja Fowkes; and London-based art historian Emily King. The visual identity for the new awards has been designed by Astrid Stavro (Pentagram).

Free to enter, there are eight awards in total, seven of which will be open to submission:

  • Best contribution to art history
  • Best book on contemporary art
  • Best contribution to architectural history
  • Best book on contemporary architecture
  • Best contribution to design history
  • Best book on contemporary design
  • Best book design

The final award will be nominated by the jury: 

  • Book of the Year

Winners will be announced in September during Whitechapel Gallery’s London Art Book Fair which draws crowds of over 10,000 visitors. Winners in all categories will receive a specially designed trophy.

These awards mark an evolution of the renowned Banister Fletcher Art and Architecture Book of the Year founded in 1955, and administered by the Authors’ Club.

The Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards 2019 are now open for submissions. Entry is free and open to publishers worldwide in academic, commercial, museum and gallery publishing as well as small independent presses. Publications must be in English or with full English translations. There is no limit to the number of submissions. The deadline for submissions will be in March 2019, with shortlisting taking place in May. Full terms and how to apply can be found on the Gallery’s website.

Notes to Editors

  • Richard Schlagman Art Book Awards are hosted by Whitechapel Gallery and administered by the Authors’ Club.
  • Titles published by Whitechapel Gallery are not eligible to enter

Judges’ biographies

Richard Schlagman

Until October 2012, Richard Schlagman was the proprietor and Publisher of Phaidon Press, the world’s foremost publisher of books on the visual arts and culture. He acquired the Press in 1990 taking over the responsibility for resuscitating this eminent house that had, at that time, been in decline for a number of years. He collaborated with many of the world’s leading artists, architects, photographers, designers, chefs and authors. Prior to that, he started a consumer electronics business, while in his teens, and subsequently floated it on the London Stock Exchange. In 2009, he acquired Cahiers du cinéma, a French publication of legendary status.

Iwona Blazwick

Director of the Whitechapel Gallery 2001-2022, Iwona Blazwick is a curator, critic and lecturer. She was formerly at Tate Modern and London’s ICA as well as working as an independent curator in Europe and Japan.  Blazwick is series editor of Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Documents of Contemporary Art. She has written monographs and articles on many contemporary artists and published extensively on themes and movements in modern and contemporary art, exhibition histories and art institutions.

Sue Hubbard

Sue Hubbard is a freelance art critic, novelist, award-winning poet, lecturer and broadcaster. Her poems have been read on Radio 3 and Radio 4 and she has contributed to many arts programmes including Kaleidoscope, Poetry Please, Night Waves and The Verb. Sue Hubbard’s latest novel Rainsongs, published by Duckworth and Overlook Press NY. She is a longstanding member of the Authors’ Club.


Adam Caruso

Adam Caruso was born in Montreal, studied architecture at McGill University and established his practice with Peter St John in 1990. Caruso St John Architects has offices in London and Zurich and has built throughout Europe, undertaking projects that range in scale from major urban developments and cultural projects to intricate interventions in complex historic settings. The practice first rose to prominence after winning the competition for the New Art Gallery Walsall (2000) and was awarded the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize, the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, for the Newport Street Gallery. Alongside it’s cultural work, the practice has assembled a portfolio of projects that intervene in a city’s fabric at the scale of an urban quarter. Projects recently completed include the Lycée Hôtelier de Lille and the headquarters for the Bremer Landesbank in Bremen, with work underway on substantial development in London, Antwerp, Cologne, Hamburg, Munich and Zurich. Since 2011 Adam Caruso has been Professor of Architecture and Construction at the ETH Zurich.

Dexter Dalwood

Dexter Dalwood lives and works in London. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2010 for his first major solo survey exhibition at Tate St Ives, which travelled to FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France and CAC Malaga, Spain. Recent solo exhibitions include: Propaganda Painting, Simon Lee Gallery, Hong Kong 2016; London Paintings, Simon Lee Gallery, London 2015 and Kunsthaus Centre d’art Centre PasquArt, Biel, Switzerland (2013). His work was recently featured in The Painting Show, presented by British Council Touring CAC Vilnius Lithuania; Fighting History, Tate Britain, London, UK (2015); The Venice Syndrome – The Grandeur and Fall in the Art of Venice, Gammel Holtegaard, Denmark (2014) and Not Being Attentive I Notice Everything: Robert Walser and the Visual Arts, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2014). He is currently also a research Professor in contemporary art at Bath Spa University. In February 2019 he will have a solo show at Simon Lee Gallery titled What is Really Happening.

Maja Fowkes

Maja Fowkes is an art historian, curator and co-director of the Translocal Institute for Contemporary Art (an independent research centre focussing on the art history of Central Europe and contemporary ecological practices) and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies UCL. Her curatorial projects include the Anthropocene Experimental Reading Room, the Danube River School, the conference on Vegetal Mediations, as well as the exhibition Walking without Footprints. Recent and forthcoming publications include The Green Bloc: Neo-Avant-Garde and Ecology under Socialism, a book on Central and Eastern European Art Since 1950, as well as numerous chapters and journal articles on topics such as performative re-enactments, de-schooling the art curriculum and the ecological entanglements of deviant democracy. She is a regular contributor to magazines and artist publications, has given numerous guest lectures and conference papers and is a founding member of the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative at Central European University. She is the joint head of the Getty Foundation funded collective research project Confrontations: Sessions in East European Art History.

Emily King

Emily King is a London-based design historian who concentrates on writing and curating. Her recent projects include co-conceiving the conference Design and Empire (working title) with Prem Krishnamurthy, which took place in Liverpool in November 2017, and chairing Bauhaus – 100 years on, an event exploring the legacy of the Bauhaus hosted by Frieze Academy in June this year. Her books include Robert Brownjohn: Sex and Typography (2005) and M to M to M/M Paris (2012), a monograph of the French graphic design team, which she is currently updating to coincide with their major retrospective next year. Alongside her more substantial writing and curating projects, Emily contributes to an eclectic selection of international magazines including Frieze, Apartamento and the Harvard Design Review.

The Authors’ Club

Founded in 1891 to provide a place where writers could meet and talk, the Authors’ Club is one of Britain’s oldest literary institutions, and at the same time one of its most modern, inclusive and welcoming. Within the magnificent premises of the National Liberal Club in Whitehall, we provide a home from home for writers, editors, agents and all those professionally engaged with literature and the publishing industry. The Club is a space where members can gather for informal drinks, dinner, and to socialise, work or study.

About Whitechapel Gallery

For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am – 9pm
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