Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Competition

Created by Brian Peterson in 2002 and revived and led by John Russick and Emily Nordstrom since 2008, the competition has recognized outstanding and innovative label writing in museums, zoos, aquariums, universities and libraries. 

The Curators Committee (CurCom) sponsors this competition in cooperation with EdCom and NAME. A panel of label experts, selected by the committees and the competition organizers, determines the work to recognize.

Each year, the competition inspires a gathering of writers and editors to discuss technique, style, and process at the Alliance annual meeting’s Marketplace of Ideas. It has also generated an archive for current and aspiring museum professionals to use as they strive to write and edit exhibition label copy.

The 2015 Competition

Our panel for the 2015 competition includes Benjamin Filene (CurCom), Deborah L. Mack (NAME), Eileen Campbell (EdCom) and Amy Schleser, whose label for the Bunky Echo-Hawk: Modern Warrior exhibit at The Field Museum was honored in the 2014 competition.

2015 marks the third year of the collaboration between AAM’s Curators Committee and the Museology Graduate program at the University of Washington in Seattle. The partnership makes the competition not only an outlet to celebrate excellent writing but an opportunity for the next generation of museum professionals to gain experience in professional communication, management and leadership.

As the contest grows each year, so does the amount of time and effort required from the jurors. We thank our panel for their dedication and expertise. We also extend our gratitude to AAM for supporting the competition and to CurCom for sponsoring it in cooperation with EdCom and NAME.

The 2015 competition is organized and directed by John Russick, Director of Curatorial Affairs at the Chicago History Museum, and is managed by Elizabeth Rudrud, Museology Graduate Student at the University of Washington.