The New Years Honours list has again been very thin on the ground for the Visual Arts, but on the upshot women in the arts have faired well. The List for 2015 has not reflected the contribution the Visual Arts sector has undertaken, despite considerable cultural accomplishments. It was truly astounding that not one noted British visual artist was presented with an order of chivalry in the spring/summer List. On the other hand, regional museums seemed to fair well.
The New Year Honours List is a British tradition marked by naming new members of orders of chivalry and recipients of other official British honours. A number of other Commonwealth realms also mark this day in this way. The awards are presented by or in the name of the reigning monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II or her vice-regal representative. The selection is made up from names nominated by government officials and now the public are also allowed to nominate. Honours have been awarded at New Year since at least 1890, the year a list of Queen Victoria’s awards was published.
This year our good friend Anita Zabludowicz, who this year celebrated 20 years of innovative excellence at the Zabludowicz Collection, in Camden Town, was awarded an OBE for Philanthropist. For services to the arts. (London) Anita said she was “delighted and surprised” to be given an OBE.
An Order of the Companions of Honour has been awarded to former V&A head Sir Roy Colin Strong, for services to culture. (Herefordshire)
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) Prof Phyllida Barlow. Sculptor. For services to art. (London) The only Artist mentioned in this year’s list. Phyllida Barlow (born 1944) studied at Chelsea School of Art, London (1960-63) and then the Slade School of Fine Art, London(1963-66) where she later became a Professor. Recent international major exhibitions include Venice Bienniale (2013), Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2013), Des Moines Art Centre, Des Moines (2013), Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2013), New Museum, New York (2012), Ludwig Forum Aachen, Germany (2012), Kunstverein Nurnberg, Germany (2011), BAWAG Contemporary Vienna, Austria (2010), and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art (2004). She became a Royal Academician in 2011 and lives and works in London.
An OBE has gone to Godfrey Worsdale the former director and chief executive, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, now the director at The Henry Moore Foundation, in Leeds. For services to visual arts in the north-east. (Durham)
Other Awards have been granted to:
Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Clive Blackmore Barda. Photographer. For services to photography. (London)
Pamela Jane Baxter. Deputy director, National Portrait Gallery. For services to the arts.
Juliana Beattie. Founder, The Art Room. For services to education. (Oxfordshire)
Prof Maurice Howard. Professor of art history, University of Sussex. For services to higher education and architectural heritage. (Brighton, East Sussex)
Prof Irene Helen McAra-McWilliam. Head, School of Design, and director, design innovation, Glasgow School of Art. For services to art and design. (Glasgow)
Photo: Left to Right Anita Zabludowicz and Phyllida Barlow