Delaware Art Museum receives an unexpected national award - Delaware


Jun. 11, 2019 5:18 pm

Delaware Art Museum receives an unexpected national award

Two community-contributed labels in the "Wilmington 1968" exhibition have been recognized by the American Alliance of Museums.
Two “Wilmington 1968” labels have won national recognition.

Two "Wilmington 1968" labels have won national recognition.

(Courtesy photo)

The Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington is known for many things: its American Illustration collection, its pre-Raphaelite exhibit, its state-of-the-art lighting.

Now, the museum has been nationally recognized by the American Alliance of Museums in an area you may not have known even has awards — label writing.

The award-winning labels were written by Melva Lawson Ware, a Delaware Historical Society trustee, and TAHIRA, a storyteller and musician based in Delaware, as part of a series of community contributions written by African American leaders in greater Wilmington.

The labels were in response to photographs in the 2018 exhibition “Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.” Their contributions were displayed as wall labels next to photographs in the Danny Lyon exhibition as part of the “Wilmington 1968” project.

“By inviting me to write a label for one of the photographs in the Danny Lyons’ exhibit, the Delaware Art Museum allowed me to lend my voice to a piece capturing a pivotal part of history and a deeply personal and impactful experience in my life,” says TAHIRA of her award-winning label. “This award is evidence of what can be achieved when a museum not only opens its doors to the community but also creates a space for the community’s voice.”

Amelia Wiggins, the Museum’s manager of gallery learning and interpretation, edited the labels.

“The powerful personal memories that Melva Lawson Ware and TAHIRA shared opened up new insights into Lyon’s photographs,” says Wiggins. “These labels highlight the value of community members’ uniquely personal interpretations of art and encourage visitors to learn from each other in creating their own meanings.”


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