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VMFA and Library of Virginia Announce Art in Literature Award

First recipient to be honored at 2013 Virginia Literary Awards

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Library of Virginia are pleased to announce Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award. This award recognizes an outstanding book in fiction or nonfiction that demonstrates the highest literary merit as a creative or scholarly work on the theme of visual artists or art. Categories include works of journalism, poetry, fiction, biography, history, and museum exhibition catalogs.

This year’s finalists for the Art in Literature Award are: Alex Danchev for Cezanne, A Life; Sheila Hale for Titian, His Life; Veronica Kavass for Artists in Love; Sarah McPhee for Bernini’s Beloved and Orhan Pamuk for The Innocence of Objects.

The judges selected The Innocence of Objects by Orhan Pamuk as this year’s winner. The winner will be recognized on Friday, October 18, 2013, at VMFA and on Saturday, October 19, 2013, at the Library of Virginia’s annual Virginia Literary Awards Gala.

“We have known for years that there is indeed an undying love affair between authors and the art that inspires their writing,” Librarian of Virginia Sandra G. Treadway said. “This fitting partnership with VMFA gives us the perfect opportunity to launch an award that rewards a new genre of art-inspired literature.”

The Art in Literature Award is named in honor of author and journalist Mary Lynn Kotz, a longtime contributing editor for ARTnews magazine, whobuilt a career interviewing, researching, writing, and lecturing about art and artists, including Georgia O’Keeffe and John Cage. Her critically acclaimed book Rauschenberg/Art and Life (Abrams) balances deft observations of craft with a biographer’s chronicle of the American artist. Through her service to cultural institutions and initiatives, including many in Virginia, Kotz has shown a lifelong commitment to making the arts a vital presence in society.

Since the days of the Italian Renaissance author Giorgio Vasari, art and writing have been irrevocably linked. VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said, “We are delighted to partner with the Library of Virginia on this innovative award that celebrates the best of new international writing on the fine arts and we are particularly pleased that it is named in honor of a great Virginian writer.”

An eligible book, which may be in a variety of genres of prose or poetry, must have been published in the previous calendar year and in the United States. Each year a panel of judges composed of authorities in the fields of the visual arts and literature will examine the nominated works and select the finalists and the award winner.

For more information about the Art in Literature Award, or the Virginia Literary Awards, visit

Friday, October 18, 2013
Art in Literature: An Undying Love Affair
VMFA, Leslie Cheek Theatre, 6–7:30 p.m., followed by a book signing and reception
This event will feature a presentation by the award recipient, Orhan Pamuk.

Saturday, October 19, 2013
The Library of Virginia Literary Awards Celebration
Library of Virginia, 6–10:30 p.m.
The Library of Virginia Literary Awards are given to outstanding Virginia authors in the areas of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year marks the inaugural Art in Literature: The Mary Lynn Kotz Award, an international award, which will be presented by Alex Nyerges, director of VMFA.

Visit to purchase tickets for either event.

About the Library of Virginia
The Library of Virginia (, located in historic downtown Richmond at 800 East Broad Street, holds the world’s most extensive collection of material about the Old Dominion and has been a steward of the commonwealth’s documentary and printed heritage since 1823. The story of Virginia and Virginians has been told in many ways since 1607. At the Library of Virginia it is told through more than 116 million manuscripts, more than 350,000 photographs and images, and more than 1.9 million books, serials, bound periodicals, microfilm reels, newspapers, and state and federal documents, each an individual tile in the vast and colorful mosaic of Virginia’s experience.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
VMFA’s permanent collection encompasses more than 33,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of world history. Its collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, English silver, Fabergé, and the art of South Asia are among the finest in the nation. With acclaimed holdings in American, British Sporting, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist, and Modern and Contemporary art – and additional strengths in African, Ancient, East Asian, and European – VMFA ranks as one of the top comprehensive art museums in the United States. Programs include educational activities and studio classes for all ages, plus lively after-hours events. VMFA’s Statewide Partnership program includes traveling exhibitions, artist and teacher workshops, and lectures across the Commonwealth. VMFA is open 365 days a year and general admission is always free. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit