Press Release: 2024 Newman Awards

The American Historical Print Collectors Society Announces 2024 Publication Awards and December 1, 2024, deadline for new submissions 

For more than thirty years, the American Historical Print Collectors Society (AHPCS) has recognized significant scholarship in the field of American historical prints with its Ewell L. Newman Book Award. In 2023 the AHPCS added two new awards to recognize shorter works published in journals and edited volumes, including exhibition catalogues and digital formats. The Essay award is named in honor of Lois W. Newman, a founding member of the Society, who continued as a generous supporter of the publication awards after her husband’s death.

Each annual cycle typically results in one book award in the amount of $2,000 and two essay or article awards in the amount of $750 each. One of the essay awards will be designated for the best article published in the AHPCS journal Imprint, as selected by the Newman Award Committee. Awards are not necessarily presented each year but are determined by the quality of available submissions. Occasionally, there may be multiple winners in an individual year.

A list of all Newman Book Award winners to date can be found at https://ahpcs.org/newman-award-winners/

2024 Ewell L. Newman Book Award 

Two strong contenders received the book award this year. These works represent significant scholarly achievement in the field of American historical prints. 

Allison M. Stagg, Prints of a New Kind: Political Caricature in the United States, 1789-1828 (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2023), 247 pp. Cloth. 

Stagg’s work focuses on the first generation of American caricaturists, artists who are rarely examined in the history of American art. It adds important new information about their prints and their audiences, and by reconstituting overlooked context, it offers a significant contribution to the field. After introducing the state of caricature in the early Republic, Stagg devotes much of the book to detailing the careers of James Akin and William Charles, two of the best-known and most prolific of the men working at the time. She explores the business side of caricature production and takes the reader through the technical aspects involving both copper engraving and the introduction of lithography, where she ends her narrative. Her archival research skills are the foundation of this rich historical account and lay the groundwork for future scholarship. The book includes 125 illustrations which appear throughout and are itemized in an appendix that serves as a catalogue of caricatures published in the U.S. between 1780 and 1828.

 

Ron Tyler, Texas Lithographs: A Century of History in Images (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2023), 518 pp. Cloth. 

This is a large and impressive volume with some 460 illustrations in color. The images Tyler describes present the chronology of the state’s political changes from its Hispanic and Mexican beginnings through its days as a republic and its longer status as part of the US, with brief mention of its Confederate period. He located some truly remarkable images representing this history, richer in the early years than might have been expected, given that the lithographers who pictured Texas were not always based there, especially in the period before the Civil War. Many were in Europe or the northern US, but usually the imagery was centered on experiences and episodes related to this territory. Tyler emphasizes the agency of these prints in many aspects of Texan life from recording its natural history to promoting the expansion of the railroad with maps and views. This focus on local or regional topics in the history of American printmaking creates a bridge to a larger historical context. It is a major achievement which documents the visual culture and multifaceted history of a location which was so important in American history and the national imagination. Texas lithographs and lithography were part of a national phenomenon. 

 

2024 Lois W. Newman Essay Awards 

Richard M. Candee, “‘One of the coming artists of America,’ Rollin Caughey, Artist-Illustrator, 1880-1884,” Imprint, Volume 47:1 (Spring 2022), pp. 7-21. 

Michael P. Conzen, “Rollin Caughey: County History View Sketcher to Metropolitan Newspaper Artist, 1884-1921,” Imprint, Volume 47:1 (Spring 2022), pp. 22-42.

Having received no submissions of other essays that conformed to the guidelines, the committee selected two authors of related articles published in a single issue of Imprint, the journal of the AHPCS. Richard M. Candee and Michael P. Conzen collaborated to research, identify, and expand on the life and work of a single individual, Rollin Caughey (1851-1925), whose long and varied career took him literally across the entire country. A short joint introduction covered his early years as a sketch artist for atlases and county histories, in which his work was mostly issued as lithographs. Candee’s contribution described his ventures in Ohio, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, which included some single-sheet prints as well as illustrations in publications. Conzen picked up the story as Caughey moved from Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, and Wyoming to the West Coast. Beyond his former genres, he worked extensively on newspaper illustrations, supplements, and large birds-eye views, some major graphic designs for the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland, Oregon, in 1905 and the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle in 1909. This versatile artist was involved the production of historical prints in multiple media and formats, and upon his death he was recognized for his regional prominence within his profession. These articles presented not only the itinerant nature of his career, but also how the work he produced changed with respect to regional (and national) trends as it was impacted by technological developments. The images are studied and seen throughout both articles in the context of his life, career, and changing conditions of production for commercial artists at the turn of the 19th to early 20th century. 

Other submissions received this year were excellent examples of research and scholarship, however they were not centered on American historical prints. In calling for future submissions, the AHPCS wishes to emphasize that our focus is on American historical prints and their imagery as visual culture, not print culture such as texts and printing history. We acknowledge, however, that our field would benefit from a better synthesis of visual and print culture approaches just as print culture scholars might consider integrating images in their analysis.

Submissions – Deadline December 1, 2024

The purpose of the book and essay awards is to recognize and encourage outstanding scholarship in the field, as defined in our mission statement: prints depicting or reflecting North American history and culture, made either in America or elsewhere. Original research, fresh assessments, and the fluent synthesis of known material will be taken into account. The emphasis is on quality and on making an outstanding contribution to the subject.

Essays between 3,000 and 10,000 words will be considered. Works should be submitted in published form as a hard copy or digital attachment. The Society’s Newman Award Committee will serve as the jury to evaluate both books and article submissions. Jurors are all AHPCS members and include collectors, curators, and scholars of American prints. 

Publications remain eligible from the year of publication through the following year, a period of approximately two years. Once a work has been reviewed by the jury, it will not be considered in a subsequent cycle except in a substantially revised edition. Submissions received by December 1st will be considered for the award announced the following spring. 

Contact information

To submit material to the committee for consideration, please mail a copy to:

Helena E. Wright, 4628 49th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016

For additional information, please contact the Committee chair at:

wrighthelena16@gmail.com

Publishers and authors, please note: if it is possible to provide multiple copies, it would facilitate distribution of the publications among the Committee and speed their work. Please contact the Committee chair for individual addresses. Thank you.

The AHPCS is a non-profit corporation that encourages the collection, preservation, study, and exhibition of prints depicting or reflecting North American history and culture, made either in America or elsewhere. For further information about the Society, please visit the website at https://ahpcs.org.