FRAME’s Mourners exhibition wins prestigious award

“The Mourners” exhibition wins an Association of Art Museum Curators annual award for excellence. These are the only prizes given to curators by their peers in North America. Co-organized by the Dallas Museum of Art with the French Regional & American Museum Exchange (FRAME), the forty individual sculptures from 15th Century Ducal Tomb continue - their first and only U.S. tour begun in 2010.

The Dallas Museum of Art announced today that it is the recipient of the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) annual Award for Excellence in the category of museum exhibitions for The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy. Awarded the prize in the category of Outstanding Small Exhibition, the critically acclaimed exhibition was organized by the Dallas Museum of Art and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, in association with FRAME (French Regional American Museum Exchange) and curated by Heather MacDonald, the DMA’s Lillian and James H. Clark Associate Curator of European Art, and Sophie Jugie, the Director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon. This marks the first time that the DMA has been honored by the AAMC for one of its exhibitions.

The awards will formally be announced today at the AAMC 10th Anniversary Annual Meeting at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Members of the AAMC are eligible for nomination, and awards are determined by the organization’s membership. “Each year our awards stand as the high-water mark for acknowledging the exemplary work of curators from across North America,” says Sally Block, Executive Director of the Association of Art Museum Curators. “What is most impressive is that these are the only awards given to curators by their peers.”

This is a proud moment for us and a great honor, said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. This singular exhibition exemplifies the DMA's firm and ongoing commitment to curatorial excellence, to institutional partnerships, and to community engagement, all with the primary goal of connecting Dallas residents and visitors with extraordinary art and cultural treasures from around the globe.

Never before presented together outside of France, this group of forty of the greatest masterpieces of medieval sculpture represent incredibly beautiful works that are as powerful and meaningful today as they were the day they were created, added MacDonald. The Mourners seven-city exhibition tour is the first and only in the United States. Carved by Jean de la Huerta and Antoine le Moiturier between 1443 and 1456/57, the unique devotional figures, known as mourners, were commissioned for the elaborate tomb of the second duke of Burgundy. Crafted with astonishing detail, the alabaster sculptures exemplify some of the most important artistic innovations of the late Middle Ages.

The Mourners premiered on March 2, 2010, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before traveling to six additional museums throughout the United States. The exhibition was on view at the Dallas Museum of Art from October 3, 2010, through January 2, 2011. Prior to reinstallation in Dijon, The Mourners will continue its tour in Paris at the Musée National du Moyen Âge.