Wall Paintings of Eton, Co-authored by The Courtauld Institute of Art Academics, Wins Prestigious Berger Prize

The 2013 William MB Berger Prize for British Art History was awarded to Wall Paintings of Eton, published by Scala Arts & Heritage Publishers Ltd in 2012, at an evening reception on 4 July, held at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London.  The prize of £5,000 will be shared among the authors: Emily Howe, Henrietta McBurney, David Park, Stephen Rickerby, and Lisa Shekede, all Courtauld academics.  It was presented by Professor Mark Hallett, Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre, also an alumnus of The Courtauld Institute of Art.

Professor Deborah Swallow, Märit Rausing Director of The Courtauld, commented: “I am delighted that the Wall Paintings of Eton has won the Berger Prize.  It represents a significant collaborative art historical and conservation project, which draws on the expertise of both Eton-based scholars and current and past members of the Department of Conservation of Wall Painting and The Courtauld’s National Survey of Medieval English Wall Paintings”.

In 2001 the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal established the prize in memory of the late William MB Berger, an American Fund Manager and renowned collector of British Art.  Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognised as the most prestigious in the field of art history.

The assessors committee said “the Wall Paintings of Eton is a very exciting, major project on the most important surviving 15th-century wall decoration of the north of the Alps.  It also features a major discovery of a 16th-century mural of a school scene that came to light in 2005 in the Head Master’s Chambers.  The production was perfect, the scholarship outstanding, the international context explored; the book combines, in the most successful manner, conservation and technical reports with history of great clarity and authority.  There was also the romance of the story of the involvement of M.R. James in the preservation of these very important paintings.  Congratulations are also due to those who encouraged the project, including the Provost of Eton, Lord Waldegrave, and to the publisher and designer for creating such an attractive, beautifully produced book."

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