Yale University Press / Terra Foundation for American Art

Terra Foundation for American Art

American Art in Translation Book Prize


Yale

March 2016
 
Hélène Valance’s Nuits américaines: L’art du nocturne aux États-Unis, 1890–1917 (American Nights: The Art of the Nocturne in the United States, 1890–1917) is the first winner of the American Art in Translation Book Prize co-founded by Yale University Press and the Terra Foundation for American Art. The Prize is awarded to a non-U.S. author whose book-length manuscript written in a language other than English contributes significantly to scholarship on historical American art. The grant awards the winner a $5,000 cash prize; the Terra Foundation will fund production of the book, which will be published in English by Yale University Press.
 
Nuits américaines, which was published in French by Presses de l’université Paris-Sorbonne, examines the night landscapes and nocturnes popular in artistic circles at the turn of the 20th century in the United States.  Described by jurors as elegantly written and original, the book is expansive and ambitious, but cohesive and well-framed.  Featuring artwork by James McNeill Whistler, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Edward Steichen, and Winslow Homer, among many others, the book considers artists who have rarely been viewed together, putting the fashion for nocturnes in perspective with larger cultural trends, scientific and technological developments, and social issues that dominated the period.  Hélène Valance is an assistant professor at the Université de Franche-Comté.
 
“The author’s examination of the nocturne, and particularly how it related to race and the American frontier, is a new and important contribution to the field, and one that we will be proud to publish,” says Patricia Fidler, Publisher, Art and Architecture, at Yale University Press.  
 
The Terra Foundation-Yale University Press American Art in Translation Book Prize is awarded every three years to a non-U.S. author whose work contributes significantly to scholarship on historical American art (c. 1500-1980). Single-author, book-length academic manuscripts originally written in a language other than English—previously unpublished or published within the previous five calendar years—in the field of American art history are eligible. Topics of interest include paintings, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, decorative arts, craft, and folk art. The next round of applications for the award will be opened in 2018. More information will be posted closer to the formal submission date.
 
Established in 1978, the Terra Foundation for American Art is dedicated to fostering the exploration, understanding, and enjoyment of the visual arts of the United States. With financial resources of more than $350 million, an exceptional collection of American art from the colonial era to 1945, and an expansive grant program, it is one of the leading foundations focused on American art, supporting exhibitions, academic programs, and research worldwide. Read more about the American Art in Translation Book Prize on the Terra Foundation for American Art website.