The 2019 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 2019. 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 in April 2020 at the annual ARLIS/NA conference in St. Louis.



Titles eligible for consideration include books, exhibition catalogues, and new periodical titles in any language, published in print or in digital format in 2019, 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


The winning publisher and author(s) will be personally notified in advance, and the award will be first presented in April 2020 at the convocation of the ARLIS/NA 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis. Public announcement of the award will immediately follow the conference presentation. Award-winning titles and the individuals associated with them can expect to receive wide recognition in newspapers and journals of the library and publishing professions via press release announcements by ARLIS/NA.


To have a title considered for the 2019 Wittenborn Award, send a completed copy of the Entry Form for Submissions along with one copy of each print title for review to:

The 2019 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award Committee
ATTN: Jon Evans 
Chief of the Library & Archives
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
1001 Bissonnet St.
Houston, TX 77005 USA

Email a completed copy of the Entry Form for Submissions along with the permalink or other access details for each digital title for review to:


The submission deadline is January 1, 2020. To be considered for the award, entries must be postmarked or emailed by this date. There is no limit to the number of submissions, but please note we are unable to return items submitted for review. Shipping is the responsibility of the applicant.

For questions, contact:

Jon Evans
2019 Wittenborn Committee Chair
Phone: +1 713-639-7393