2013 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award

Published 5/8/2014

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers (App for iPad), published by Yale University Press in 2013, was awarded the 35th Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award at the Society's annual conference held in Washington, D.C., May 1-5, 2014. Established in 1980 to honor the memory of premier New York City art book dealer and publisher George Wittenborn, the award is given each year to North American art publications which represent the highest standards of content, documentation, layout and format in art publishing.

Interaction of Color was created by Josef Albers fifty years ago as a classroom teaching tool and it continues to be used in color courses. This app provides a new way explore color and Josef Albers’ ideas. The Wittenborn Award Committee members described this publication as ‘transformational,’ an excellent model for present-day art publishing that takes advantage of interactive media. The archival and documentary videos serve to explicate the artist's ideas and place the original publication in a scholarly context. In addition, the format appropriately and aptly builds on the Interaction of Color’s teaching mission, bringing it to a contemporary audience.

“It is exciting that for the 35th year of presenting the George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award, the Art Libraries Society of North America has selected its first electronic publication as the winner,” said Gregory P. J. Most, President of ARLIS/NA. “The transformation of Josef Albers’ classic Interaction of Color from a printed book into a mobile, multimedia app that maintains the intellectual exploration of color theory will appeal to a new and wide-ranging audience.”

John Donatich, Director of Yale University Press says that “Yale University Press is honored to receive this prestigious award from the Art Libraries Society of North America which recognizes our innovation in art publishing. In particular, we are pleased to receive its first recognition of a digitally enhanced artbook! We hope this project serves as a guide for future art publications that seek to inspire, inform and delight artists, designers, students and scholars.” 

The members of the 2013 Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award Committee are Janine Henri, UCLA (chair); Leslie Abrams, University of California at San Diego; Laurel Bliss, San Diego State University; Lisa Schattman, Design Institute of San Diego; and Ruth Wallach, University of Southern California.