Alphawood Foundation Wins Prestigious Publishing Award for Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece

  • CHICAGO, Illinois
  • /
  • September 19, 2022

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Chirag G. Badlani, Executive Director of Alphawood Foundation Chicago, is pleased to announce that the Foundation has won the 2022 Alice Award for its publication, Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece (Alphawood Foundation Chicago, 2021). The lavishly illustrated, 352-page book was edited by John Vinci with Tim Samuelson, Eric Nordstrom, and Chris Ware, and designed by Chris Ware. The Alice Award, created in 2013, is administered by the New Yorkbased Furthermore grants in publishing, and is given to a book that represents excellence in all aspects of the work—from idea to design to quality of production.

“I am thrilled that Reconstructing the Garrick has received this well-earned recognition from the Alice Award Jury,” said Badlani. “This award is a testament to the incredible efforts of John Vinci, Tim Samuelson, Eric Nordstrom, and Chris Ware to bring to the public a greater appreciation of Adler & Sullivan’s ‘Lost Masterpiece,’ both through the visually stunning book and related exhibition on the Garrick Theater at Wrightwood 659 in Chicago. We are proud to have served as publisher.”

Joan K. Davidson, founder and president of Furthermore and the Alice, commented, “The Alice recognizes and encourages the well-made illustrated book in which word and image carry equal weight. The illustrations clarify, illuminate, enhance, and are essential to the book’s aspiration and achievement. In Reconstructing the Garrick, the Alice Jury recognized a publication that had achieved all the aspirations that define the Alice and result in a book that is truly exemplary.”

Reconstructing the Garrick documents the enormous salvaging job undertaken to preserve elements of the Garrick Theater, Adler & Sullivan’s magnificent architectural masterpiece in Chicago’s theater district. It presents the full life story of the Garrick, featuring history and architectural photographs, essays by prominent architectural and art historians, interviews, drawings, ephemera from throughout its lively history, and details of its remarkable ornamentation – a significant resource and compelling tribute to one of Chicago’s finest lost buildings.

Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece accompanied Alphawood Foundation’s landmark exhibition, Romanticism to Ruin: Two Lost Works of Sullivan and Wright, that was on view at Wrightwood 659 in fall/winter 2021.

“On behalf of my genius collaborators, Chicago cultural historian emeritus Tim Samuelson, graphic artist Chris Ware, and Urban Remains founder Eric Nordstrom, we are so appreciative that our labor of love is being recognized. This catalogue not only accompanied the expansive exhibition at Wrightwood 659 but also serves to document and shed light on the social history of the theater and the then nascent preservation movement here,” said Chicago architect and preservationist John Vinci. “Chris, in particular, is to be commended for his eye-catching illustrations and use of photography that brings the Garrick to life for a new generation.” 

Reconstructing the Garrick: Adler & Sullivan’s Lost Masterpiece was among five publications shortlisted for
the 2022 Alice Award which also included: Pòtoprens: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince (Pioneer Works
Press); Private Lives: Home and Family in the Art of the Nabis, Paris, 1889-1900 (Cleveland Museum of Art);
Ray Johnson c/o (Art Institute of Chicago in 2021); and Sophie Taeuber-Arp: Living Abstraction (Museum of
Modern Art, New York, and Kunstmuseum Basel).

The 2022 Alice Award Jury included: Ian Wardropper, Director, The Frick Collection (Jury Chair); Jock
Reynolds, Former Director, Yale University Art Gallery (Chair Emeritus); R. O. Blechman, Illustrator; Teresa A.
Carbone, Program Director for American Art, Henry Luce Foundation; David R. Godine, Publisher; William P.
Kelly, Andrew W. Mellon Director Emeritus, Research Libraries, New York Public Library; Max Rudin,
President & Publisher, The Library of America; and Pauline Willis, Director and CEO, American Federation of

The $25,000 Alice Award will be presented to Alphawood on Monday, October 24, in the Rare Book Room at
the Strand Book Store in New York. This is the tenth anniversary of the Alice and since the award was first
presented at the Morgan Library in 2013, $340,000 has been given to Alice recipients and short-listed books.

About Alphawood Foundation
Alphawood Foundation is a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just,
and humane society. Each year it awards grants to organizations, primarily in the areas of advocacy,
architecture and preservation, the arts and arts education, promotion, and protection of the rights of LGBTQ
persons and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights.

About the Alice Award

The $25,000 Alice award is given annually to a richly illustrated book that makes a valuable contribution to its
field and demonstrates high standards of production. Books selected by the award jury for the Alice Short List
each receive $5,000. The award is intended to buttress the kind of slow reading movement that recognizes
and cherishes the lasting values of the well-made illustrated book, and the special sense of intimacy it
affords. Fields considered include the fine arts and the natural and built environments and related public

About Furthermore grants in publishing
Furthermore, founded in 1995, is a unique form of philanthropic support for nonfiction publishing that has
given grants to over 1300 publication projects—for writing, research, illustrations, editing, indexing, printing
and binding, and more—totaling nearly $8 million. In establishing the Alice, Furthermore celebrates the
program’s history of honoring outstanding book publishing and furthering its goal to provide significant
support for the continuing creation of timeless and beautiful books. Furthermore is a program of the J. M.
Kaplan Fund which was founded in 1945 by Jacob M. Kaplan.

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