And the award goes to...
Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s MSA Awards! Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate these honorees at the MSA FORWARD VIRTUAL Membership Meeting & Awards Ceremony on April 29. We were proud to recognize and reward the many successes, achievements, and creations of our colleagues and friends.
A hearty round of applause for these MSA members who received Buyer’s Choice Awards, Recognition Awards, and the “M” Award for Excellence!
“M” Award for Excellence
The "M" Award is the highest award given by the MSA. To receive the “M” award, the recipient must have shown outstanding dedication and loyalty to the Association through his or her creativity, effectiveness, and spirit of volunteerism and support. This year, the award went to Susan Tudor, Director of Retail Operations at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and 2019-2020 President of the MSA Board of Directors.
From Blue Anderson, MSA’s 2020-21 President: “2020 brought many heroes and dedicated volunteers stepping up. One such volunteer, Susan Tudor, has been active in MSA for over 20 years - at the Chapter level, at conference, advocating for our community at every opportunity she saw. Her time on the National Board saw three management changes, and with each change she asked, "What do you need me to do?" – and she fulfilled it. Her year as a Director at Large, she was also tasked with organizing a new advocacy program called Museum Store Sunday. She was told she could start small, perhaps two or three hundred museums. But she didn't. She took that challenge and expanded it to over a thousand institutions across the globe. In everything she does, she is persistent, without hesitation, and without sitting back. All the extra hours and early mornings have made it possible for us to keep our eyes on the strategic plan, our eyes toward advocacy, and continue the mission of our Museum Store Association.”
The 2021 MSA Recognition Awards acknowledge the essential role that nonprofit retail professionals and museum store vendors play in the success of cultural institutions. The awards provide MSA members with an opportunity to be recognized, and awarded, for the extraordinary work they do. Winning an MSA Recognition Award can go a long way toward advocating for your store internally or for promoting your products to buyers.
MSA Best Visual Merchandising: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
This display was in support of the recently opened exhibit, Watercolors from Louis Comfort Tiffany's "Little Arcadia." The watercolor studies, examining plant species in detail by designers Alice C. Gouvy and Lillian A. Palmie, are works that were transformed into shimmering enamels, richly glazed pottery, and crisp bronze work.
MSA Best Product Development: Japanese American National Museum
These Hero Ornaments were created with MSA vendor Silk Road Bazaar. The task was to design Japanese American hero figures, and they designed two: civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, and Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi.
MSA Best Store Web Presence: The National WWII Museum
This Museum Store processes over 13,000 web orders annually, between their retail web store and Amazon Marketplace accounts. They engage with their customer base daily on both Instagram and Facebook with their Museum Store social media accounts.
MSA Best Marketing or Advertising: North Atlantic Chapter of MSA
The promotional campaign for the North Atlantic Chapter auction served to highlight the diversity of products and services of MSA institutional members and vendors from the North Atlantic.
MSA Best Pop-up Store or Special Event: Customs House Museum & Cultural Center
Noel Night is an annual store event that signified the beginning of the holiday season and included sales, free gift-wrapping, snacks, sweets and hot chocolate, an activity packet for children to take home and, of course, a special visit from Santa. The Museum was also open for guests to browse the galleries and exhibits.
MSA Best Museum Store Sunday Event at an Institution: Milwaukee Art Museum
The museum store asked each of the participating vendors to create a video that told their story, and an item customers could register to win. To enter, visitors had to find each item and put it in their cart to register to win. While no purchase was necessary, they did need to visit each page which encouraged them to shop.
MSA Vendor of the Year: Applewood Books (owner Phil Zuckerman)
Since 1976, Applewood Books has provided high-quality, American-manufactured books that help tell the stories of America—its places, its people, and its history.
Buyer’s Choice Awards
The Buyer’s Choice Awards recognize creativity and innovation in retail products among the exhibitors at MSA FORWARD.
Best Books & Multimedia: Birds in The Barnes Foundation by Schiffer Publishing Ltd
A playful room-by-room "bird-watching" guide to the Albert C. Barnes galleries by author Julie Steiner
Best Custom Design: MADE WITH YOUR ART by Kinzoku Custom
Give the gift of custom jewelry and accessories. A necklace for mom made with her child's art is a one-of-a-kind gift!
Best Eco-Friendly: Seed Planter Box - Morse Museum Watercolors by The Product of Design
Eco-friendly seed kit, packaged in a 100% biodegradable pop-top gift box with full color custom printed watercolor reproductions from the Morse Museum
Best Education & Games: Eidos Art Matching Card Game by The Unemployed Philosophers Guild
Eidos: Great Art is an image matching game discovering artwork from Ancient Egypt to 20th century Mexico.
Best Fashion: Willie Cole's Black Art Matters Hoodie & Tee by Popcorn Custom Products
BAM affirms the importance and presence of Black Art socially, academically, culturally, and institutionally. It teaches and celebrates the Black artist's contribution to the human experience.
Best Jewelry: "Sound" Collection by Chick Boss
A sculptural representation of the movement of sound. The artistic design is made for museum stores, and hand-made in Guatemala from recycled Albums, Aluminum and Swarovski Pearl
Best Paper Products: The Scream with Cats by Wizhead, Inc.
A masterpiece within a diorama greeting card. An all-occasion card with this iconic artwork photobombed by adorable cats.