Cincinnati Art Museum wins award for excellence for digital exhibit


CINCINNATI — A digital exhibit created by the Cincinnati Art Museum has been named a 2023 Awards for Excellence recipient by the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC).

After judges combed through nearly 175 nominations, they determined the Cincinnati Art Museum’s digital exhibition “Joseph Urban: Unlocking an Art Deco Bedroom” was among the best. Importance in judging was placed on “how each entry reflected AAMC’s core values of inclusion, access, dialogue and engagement,” according to a press release from AAMC.

The lead curator on the exhibit was Amy Deham, curator of decorative arts and design for the Cincinnati Art Museum. Also involved as project leads were Emily Holthrop, CAM’s director of learning and interpretation, Doug Hovekamp, executive creative director of MOJO PSG and Talia Shiroma, curatorial assistant of arts of the Americas and Europe at the Brooklyn Museum.

The digital exhibit allows users to step inside a re-creation of an art deco bedroom designed by modern artist Joseph Urban for a “modern young woman,” the museum’s exhibit page says. That woman was Elaine Wormser and that room was her actual bedroom inside the Wormser’s apartment in the Drake Tower in Chicago.

The exhibit provides a clickable walking tour of the inside of the spaces, highlighting items chosen throughout the room and their historical significance. It also provides accounts and information about Urban, the Wormser family and a behind-the-scenes component that shows how Cincinnati Art Museum was able to reproduce some items and reclaim others to bring Elaine’s bedroom space to life.

Urban was born in Vienna, Austria and studied architecture before moving to the United States in 1911. Over two decades, his work incorporated European modernist styles that positioned him to become one of the most influential designers in the early 20th century, according to the exhibit.

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