'The Meaning of Pictures' nominated for prestigious book prize

Posted on 26 March 2010

The University of Wales Press is delighted that its publication, ‘The Meaning of Pictures,’ by Peter Lord has been long listed for the prestigious Berger Prize for British Art History 2010.  

The William MB Berger Prize for British Art History is awarded annually to a scholarly publication that demonstrates outstanding achievement in the field of British Art History. Awarded jointly by The British Art Journal and the Berger Collection Educational Trust, the Berger prize is recognized as the most prestigious award in its field.

This attractive publication has already garnered glowing reviews and is ideal for Art lovers and culture vultures alike:

 ‘…a handsome book…well-written and attractively produced.’

(David Moore, Planet Issue 197)

 ‘…This book will be a must-buy for those who know of Lord’s stunning contributions to Welsh culture…illuminating and readable, enlivened by the breadth of his research and scholarship.’

(The Western Mail, Sept 2009)

‘The Meaning of Pictures’ looks at Welsh paintings from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, and why they are still relevant to us today. Refreshingly, the book explores how these pictures are understood and interpreted by the consumer– patrons, museum curators, and the general public – rather than focusing on the painters’ agenda alone.

Consisting of a series of chapters on different aspects of painting, which are unified by a common theme, Peter Lord takes the reader on a Welsh Art whistle-stop tour. Here’s your opportunity to learn more about eighteenth-century artworks, nineteenth-century art genres and our significant twentieth century artists. Peter also looks at how these pictures are valued by museums and the art market and how, since the 1980s, the Welsh art establishment has fought a reactionary battle against the New Art History movement.    

The chapters are unified by their concern with the question of how a tradition of art is created, what effect a tradition has on how a nation sees itself and how it’s seen by others. The pictures and painters are discussed in the context of contemporary literature and the social and political circumstances of their period. Comparisons are made with the experience of other cultures, notably the United States and Ireland.

Commenting on the inclusion of ‘The Meaning of Pictures’ in the Berger Prize long list, Helgard Krause, Head of the University Press, said:

“We are thrilled that another University of Wales Press publication has been acknowledged on an international level. Peter Lord is a fantastic author and we are delighted that ‘The Meaning of Pictures’ has been selected for the Berger Prize. It’s a great platform to showcase our publication and we hope it reaches an even wider audience as a result.”

The winner of the Berger Prize will be announced in July 2010.


For more information about the University of Wales Press, please visit: www.wales.ac.uk/press or email: press@press.wales.ac.uk

For press and media information, please contact Joanna Davies, Head of Communications, University of Wales: j.davies@wales.ac.uk   tel: 02920 376999

 Notes to Editors:

 About the Author:

 Peter Lord is an established author and authority on Welsh art, and was a research fellow at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, 1996 – 2003. He currently holds a part-time research fellowship at Swansea University.

 About the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History:

In 2001 the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal established a prize for excellence in the field of British art history, in honor of the memory of the late William M. B. Berger. The prize was created to recognize that some of the very finest work in art history is being carried out in the field of British art, and that much of it is being published by The British Art Journal. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most prestigious in the field. It celebrates outstanding achievement in the history of British art and is administered by The British Art Journal, the leading research journal, and awarded jointly with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.

The Award:

The prize of £5,000 is awarded annually by The British Art Journal in association with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.


The Berger Prize was created to recognize excellence in the history of British art. It will be awarded annually, during July, to an outstanding book, exhibition, or exhibition catalogue (in any language) appearing during the preceding twelve-month period between 1 September and 31 August.

For enquiries regarding the Berger Prize, please contact Robin Simon at the British Art Journal by email at editor@britishartjournal.co.uk or visit: http://www.bergercollection.org/


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