OMA Award Spotlight - Toledo Museum of Art

Recognizing excellence in Ohio museums during Arts and Humanities Month

To help celebrate October as Arts and Humanities Month, and to kick-off the call for nominations for this year's OMA awards, we'll be highlighting our 2019 OMA Award of Achievement winners throughout the month with our OMA Award Spotlight. We are featuring these Award Winner Spotlights during Arts and Humanities Month to help champion the amazing projects, programs and professionals that make Ohio's museum community strong.

The Awards of Achievement are presented to reflect the outstanding quality and caliber of work by Ohio museums and their professionals in two categories: Institutional Achievement Awards and Individual Achievement Awards.

Nominations for these awards are incredibly detailed. This in-depth process helps to illustrate how these institutions and individuals have gone “above and beyond” the normal call of duty to support their institution, serve their public and advance the cause of the museum community.

Each year, the review panel is overwhelmed by the outstanding projects, innovative programming and dedication to our field as exhibited in each of the institutional and individual nominations. Congratulations again to each of our 2019 award winners! 

Today, we'll be featuring our winner for the 2019 award for Best Exhibition Catalog.

Toledo Museum of Art - Life is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture

The thought-provoking catalog for Life is a Highway: Art and American Car Culture, an exhibition from the Toledo Museum of Art, uses American car culture to address issues of identity, gender, politics, technology, and wealth inequality.

The companion book to this 150-piece exhibition has preserved and detailed the content of the exhibit, which explored the variety of artistic imagery inspired by the automobile as an evolving symbol of American identity. The catalog makes is clear to the reader the exhibition was not about cars, but about the complicated and ever-shifting American relationship with the car.

In 120 pages of beautifully-reproduced works of art and well-crafted narrative, the catalog explores the car's image as a symbol of newness, freedom, and mobility, and the high price sometimes exacted for these benefits on our society.

As one reviewer noted, “this catalogue adds so much to the exhibit in a way that can’t always fit into exhibit labels. From the colors to how the artwork is curated, the catalogue is a beautiful companion to the exhibit.”

Did your museum have a fabulous exhibit catalog that was released during the 2020 season? Be sure to nominate it for the 2020 award for Best Exhibition Catalog! Learn more here.