Museum Honored with Two Awards at Annual GAMG Meeting
Late last month, the Georgia Museum of Art received two awards at the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries (GAMG) annual conference for outstanding achievements in the categories of Museum Professional and Patron. The awards ceremony took place in Atlanta, Georgia, at the end of a three-day conference that museum staff members both attended and presented at.
Dale Couch, curator of decorative arts, was awarded Museum Professional of the Year. Couch was given well-earned praise on his accomplishments at the museum by Christy Crisp, chair of the GAMG awards committee. During the awards luncheon, she recounted Couch’s praises from fellow members of the museum staff, declaring:
Since joining the Georgia Museum of Art in 2009 as part-time curator of decorative arts, Dale Couch has reinvigorated and solidified that program at the museum. He has accomplished more as a half-time staff member than many other museum professionals accomplish in a lifetime: mentorship, collections growth, study, broadening the field and much more.
Larry and Brenda Thompson were honored as Patrons of the museum. Like Couch, the Thompsons have contributed much to the museum and truly deserve the recognition they received. In January 2012, they completed a major gift to the museum that has had a swiftly transformative effect, donating 100 works of art by African American artists and establishing an endowed curatorial position to study works by African American and African diasporic artists. The result has been a strong push toward a new, more inclusive art history.
Shawnya Harris, the museum’s first Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art, was ecstatic that the Thompsons received this award. She said, “Larry and Brenda Thompson are especially deserving of the 2019 Patron Award from GAMG. The Thompsons’ dedication to the museum through their endowment of my curatorial position in African diasporic art and their continuous generosity to both the museum’s collection and programming initiatives has been transformative.”
Couch and the Thompsons are shining examples of our museum at its best, and we are thrilled that they were honored in this way after years of dedication and hard work.