Press Release  November 9, 2017

Museum of Arts and Design announces Burke Prize

New York, NY (November 7, 2017)

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) announces the establishment of the Burke Prize, a new annual award that reinforces MAD’s commitment to celebrating the next generation of artists working in and advancing the disciplines that shaped the American studio craft movement. The announcement was made at MAD Ball 2017, the Museum’s annual fundraising gala, and was the highlight of the evening’s festivities.

The Burke Prize is an unrestricted $50,000 award made to a professional artist under the age of forty-five working in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood. Named for Marian and Russell Burke, two passionate collectors of craft and longtime supporters of MAD, the Burke Prize will be determined by an annual jury of professionals in the fields of art, craft, and design following an open application process.

“The Burke Prize will elevate the profile of craft, while encouraging talented young makers to pursue their artistic vision in full force,” said Marian Burke, who serves on the MAD Board of Trustees.

“We are so pleased to be inaugurating this landmark prize in our 60th Anniversary year,” said Board Chair Michele Cohen. “The Burke Prize reaffirms MAD as a champion for the future of craft and the next generation of artists.”

“The Burke Prize is an important and remarkable gift to American craft,” noted Shannon R. Stratton, MAD’s William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator. “Not only does an unrestricted prize of this magnitude help sustain an artist’s practice, allowing for experimentation and growth, but it also makes a powerful statement about the continued importance of these artistic disciplines.”

Jerome Chazen, Chairman Emeritus of MAD, said, “I have had the pleasure to serve on the board of MAD with Marian, and I extend my most heartfelt thanks to these two pioneering supporters of craft for their dedication in encouraging and fostering the next generation of great American makers.”

Eligible applicants are professional artists under the age of forty-five working in glass, fiber, clay, metals, or wood. Applicants must be American citizens or permanent residents, living or working within the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the US Virgin Islands.

The applications will be reviewed by a jury led by Shannon Stratton, Chief Curator at MAD, and available starting February 2018. The first winner of the Burke Prize will be announced in the fall of 2018. For more information, please visit


Marian Culbertson Burke has been interested in the traditional fine arts since her time as a young student of Renaissance art in Florence, Italy. It was not until she attended an Art to Wear fashion show organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in the 1980s that she discovered the excitement of craft and MAD. She was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2013 and has since underwritten acquisitions for MAD’s permanent collection, supporting the Museum in bringing her interests forward into the twenty-first century.

Her husband, Russell Ely Burke, has been a professional in the fine arts field for forty-eight years, focusing on historic paintings and sculpture. He is delighted that Marian has broadened his field of vision with her enthusiasm for work produced in our own time and is proud to be associated with her gift to MAD.

As collectors of contemporary art and jewelry, the Burkes interact with the artists they collect and appreciate the many new talents in all fields. Long committed to supporting MAD’s programs, they are grateful to be able to endow the Burke Prize, which will enable and encourage artists in all areas of craft celebrated by the Museum of Arts and Design.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

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