Awards of Merit

New York’s museums and heritage organizations are many and diverse. These institutions collect and interpret art, history, natural history, science, technology and culture. These valuable organizations provide opportunities for inquiry, engagement, inspiration and education about the state’s cultural and natural heritage.

The Awards of Merit program acknowledges outstanding programs and individuals who have made the state’s museum community richer and more relevant. They reward the innovative efforts of staff and volunteers and they provide encouragement for the development of new and remarkable projects.

Each year nominations are submitted in December and reviewed by a panel of professionals who work in the museum field. MANY announces the award winners at the annual Museums in Action Conference.

Do you have any questions about the Museumwise: The Museum Association of New York Award of Merit program, eligibility, judging criteria or nomination procedures? Please contact Devin Lander, Executive Director, at (518) 273-3400 or by email at with any questions that you may have.

2013 Award of Merit Winners

The Museum Association of New York recently announced the winners of its 2013 Award of Merit. A special ceremony will take place at our annual conference. MANY grants these awards annually to recognize outstanding work in the museum community, reward staff and volunteers, and provide encouragement for development of new and innovative projects. A total of 15 projects, ranging from exhibitions to educational programs, received recognition. Eight of these received an Award of Merit, the highest honor, given to institutions or individuals whose projects represent outstanding contributions to the field and overall innovation and excellence. The remaining seven projects received a Certificate of Commendation for excellence within the context of available means and regional standards.

The following projects received an Award of Merit:

  • A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk

            The Museum at FIT, New York, NY

            Category: Engaging Commnunities

  • Tuesdays on the Towpath

Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum, Chittenango, NY & Erie Canal Museum, Syracuse, NY

Category: Engaging Communities

  • Hudson River Trading Game & Navigating the Seas

Historic Cherry Hill & Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Albany, NY

Category: Innovation in Interpretation

  • Whiteface Mountain: The Exhibit

The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY

Category: Innovation in Interpretation

  • Roof Raisers Curatorial Brigade

Historic House Trust of New York City & Greater Hudson Heritage Network, New York, NY

Category: Innovation in Collection Access

  • Nomi Dayan: Rising Star Award

Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Category: Rising Star

  • Liselle LaFrance: Brilliant Leader at a Moment of Crisis

Historic Cherry Hill, Albany, NY

Category: Individual Achievement

  • Beverly Bridger

           Great Camp Sagamore, Raquette Lake, NY

           Category: Anne Ackerson Innovation in Leadership


The following projects received a Certificate of Commendation:

  • GE Presents: The Mystery of the Albany Mummies

Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY

Category: Engaging Communities

  • 'Til Death Do Us Part: Wedding and Funeral Traditions in Chemung County

Chemung County Historical Society, Elmira, NY

Category: Engaging Communities

  • Framing the Viewshed: Groundswell

The Olana Partnership & Wave Farm's WGXC 90.7 FM

Category: Innovation in Interpretation

  • Interpretation at Fort Ticonderoga

Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, NY

Category: Innovation in Interpretation

  • Automated Color Correction for Collection Object Imaging: A System of Verifiable Quality

            The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

            Category: Innovation in Collection Access

  • Timothy Ryan, Curator at Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion

            Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion, Canandaigua, NY

            Category: Rising Star

  • Elizabeth Callahan

             Hanford Mills Museum, East Meredith, NY

             Category: Individual Achievement         

Congratulations to all!