The 2020 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award Committee of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) welcomes submissions of notable art publications released by a North American publisher during 2020. This prestigious award is presented annually to publications demonstrating excellence in art publishing.

Established by ARLIS/NA in 1980, the award honors the memory of George Wittenborn (1905-1974), a premier New York art book dealer and publisher who was a strong supporter of ARLIS/NA in its formative years. One exemplary publication will be chosen to receive the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award to be presented and announced at the annual ARLIS/NA conference.



For more information, please contact David Greene or John Latour, Co-Chairs, 2021 Wittenborn Awards Committee.




Titles eligible for consideration include books, exhibition catalogues, and new periodical titles in any language, published in print or in digital format in 2020, and originating from a North American publisher. Publications submitted by foreign publishers with North American offices must have been authored or edited in North America.

Selection Criteria and Guidelines

The Wittenborn Committee will judge publishers' submissions for excellence in standards of content, documentation, format and layout. Titles are evaluated on the following points:

    • Significance to the literature of the field
    • Originality
    • Scholarly excellence
    • Notes and bibliography
    • Indexes
    • Credits and acknowledgements
    • Lists of abbreviations
    • Concordances
Format and Layout:
    • Overall aesthetic quality of the publication as a whole
    • Illustrations with high clarity, color fidelity, and suitability to the work, adequately captioned and credited
    • Legible typography and composition suitable to content
    • Logical juxtaposition of text to illustrations

Additional Format and Layout Considerations for Print Publications:

    • Paper quality: weight/opacity (print on the verso should not show on the recto)
    • Binding: visual design suitable to content; sewn signatures; board weight and thickness proportionate to size and weight of book
    • Images: avoidance of bleeding into the gutter or fore-edge; details clearly discernable

Additional Format and Layout Considerations For Digital Publications (e-born books, catalogues, journals):

    • Indication of authority: to allow the work to be evaluated and cited it should include the creator, publisher, etc.
    • Statement of currency, and plans for updating
    • Digital image quality
    • Information architecture
    • Navigation between parts of the publication and links to outside information
    • Quality and appropriateness of multimedia elements such as animation and video