Robert Motherwell
Book Award

The Robert Motherwell Book Award is given annually and carries a prize of $10,000 awarded to the author of an outstanding publication in the history and criticism of modernism in the arts – including the visual arts, literature, music and the performing arts. Nominations are made by publishers, and the winner is chosen by a panel of distinguished scholars and writers.

Nomination Criteria

To qualify for the 2021 Robert Motherwell Book Award, a book must have been first published in 2020, in English. (Our definition of modernism is broad and we will consider books that deal with art created between the mid-nineteenth century and the present.) Typically, an eligible book will have been written by a single author; but volumes with co-authors are eligible if the tenor of the books is that of a coherent work with a recognizably unified voice. Anthologies and collections of essays are therefore not eligible.

Nomination Timeline & Procedure

Publishers may nominate any books on their 2020 list that they believe merit the jury’s consideration. Nominations may be sent to starting November 2, 2020 and will be accepted until December 17, 2020. Nominations should include the book’s title, name of its author, and a 50 word précis.

Publishers of books that the jury wishes to further consider will be contacted in February 2021, and asked to ship review copies directly to each of the three members of the jury.




Picasso’s Demoiselles: The Untold Origins of a Modern Masterpiece

Suzanne Preston Blier

Duke University Press