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One for the Books! New $5,000 Prize Will Honor ‘Registrar of the Year’

The first annual Registrar of the Year award will be presented at Artists Space in New York on December 11.

COURTESY ATELIER 4

Record-keeping junkies, rejoice.

The fine-art logistics company Atelier 4 has announced a new annual competition for “Registrar of the Year.” The first recipient will be named on December 11. The title comes with a $5,000 cash prize that will be presented at a private event held at New York nonprofit gallery Artists Space. 

Registrars at museums and galleries are typically charged with keeping track of artworks—making sure that everything is in its right place, whether on a wall, in storage, or in transit. Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Atelier 4, told ARTnews over the phone that the ideal registrar is capable of maintaining “grace under pressure.” He explained, “When exhibitions come around, they’re the ones that have to make it all happen while they’re working under very last-minute conditions. The registrar is the one who actually carries the standards for how things are supposed to happen.”

Nominations for the prize open on October 1, and can be made through the website registraroftheyear.art. Coworkers and supervisors of registrars are being asked to throw their colleagues’ hats in the ring. Nominations close on October 16, at which point a pool of 20 registrars will be selected through voting on the website and finally presented to guest judge Clynton Lowry, who is the editor-in-chief of Art Handler Magazine and founder of jobs.art.

The award comes into being as Atelier 4 marks its 30th year in business, and as many museum workers have been undertaking efforts to unionize, Schwartz noted. “The back end of the art industry is starting to get a lot more exposure now.”

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