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Amsterdam-based publisher wins NGV art and design book prize

Amsterdam-based publisher Van Zoetendaal Publishers has won the 2019 Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing for its book STUFF: Catalogue Archaeological Finds Amsterdam’s North/South Metro Line, written by Jerzy Gawronski and Peter Kranendonk.

The award, which honours excellence and innovation in art and design publishing from around the world, was announced at the Melbourne Art Book Fair at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).

The book features photographs by Harold Strak of 15,000 of the most intriguing objects found in 2003 when the city of Amsterdam uncovered 700,000 objects while draining and excavating one of its canal’s riverbeds for a new metro line. Objects discovered during this archaeological exploration include pottery shards and nails from the Middle Ages, fish hooks, coins, old tobacco pipes and mobile phones, with some objects dating back as far as 4200 to 2000BCE. STUFF groups recognisable objects together based on the roles they play in society, inviting readers to explore their own associations with the material history of a city.

NGV director Tony Ellwood said the winning book ‘reveals a city’s fascinating urban history and provides an avenue for these rare archaeological finds to be shared across the globe.’

Van Zoetendaal receives $15,000, while five finalists also receive $1000. They are:

  • The Spots That Never Went (Roelof Bakker, Negative Press London) (highly commended)
  • Polly Borland: Morph (Polly Borland & Sibylla Phipps, Perimeter Editions)
  • The Architecture of Closed Worlds: Or, What is the Power of Shit? (Lydia Kallipoliti, Lars Müller Publishers & Storefront for Art and Architecture)
  • Mutual Assured Destruction: Tony Garifalakis (ed by Brad Haylock & Stuart Geddes, Surpllus)
  • Gemma Smith: Found Ground (Mark Gowing, Formist).

The winner and finalists were chosen from more than 90 entries from around the world.

The Melbourne Art Book Fair ran from 15-17 March.

 

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