Congratulations to Svetlana Alpers, who has been awarded the 2023 Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art, awarded by the College Art Association of America (CAA).
Alpers is an esteemed art historian, with expertise in the Northern Renaissance and Dutch Golden Age, professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley; co-founder of the journal Representations; and the recipient of numerous honors, including being named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the British Academy, and an officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letres, presented by the French Minister of Culture.
Alpers is the author of several books, including The Art of Describing, The Vexations of Art, Roof Life, and with Princeton University Press, her most recent book, Walker Evans: Starting From Scratch, a magisterial account of the celebrated photographer. Uncovering rich parallels between Evans’s creative approach and those of numerous literary and cultural figures, Alpers locates him within the wide context of a truly international circle. Reviewing the book for the Times Literary Supplement, Joyce Carol Oates praised it as “warm and sympathetic…really a wonderful biography” with a “brilliant and, indeed, thrilling final chapter.” In Artforum, Richard Meyer hailed Walker Evans as “a superb book.”
The CAA’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art, “celebrates the career of an author of note….who, among other distinctions, has demonstrated particular commitment to their work throughout a long career and has had an impact, nationally and internationally, on the field.” Art historian Wu Hung—author of A Story of Ruins: Presence and Absence in Chines Art and Visual Culture (Princeton) and Chinese Art and Dynastic Time (Princeton), among other titles—was honored with the Award in 2022.