The Iris Awards celebrate individuals from around the world who have made a lasting and substantial contribution to the study and/or exhibition of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture. The Awards recognize outstanding achievement among patrons, dealers, and mid-career scholars, as well as lifetime achievement in scholarship. Bard Graduate Center’s board of directors and faculty select awardees each year from a pool of nominees and present the awards at a ceremony in New York City each spring. Proceeds from the luncheon support scholarships for degree candidates at Bard Graduate Center.

2019 Iris Honorees:

Marina Kellen French, Outstanding Patron
Jeffrey Munger, Outstanding Lifetime Achievement
Dr. Laurie Wilkie, Outstanding Mid-Career Scholar
Alessandra Di Castro, Outstanding Dealer



Bard Graduate Center accepts nominations for the Iris Awards year-round. Send letters of recommendation to support@bgc.bard.edu. Please include ‘Iris Award Nomination’ in the subject of the email.

Bard Graduate Center Founder and Director Susan Weber created the Iris Foundation Awards in 1997 to recognize scholars, patrons, and professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the study and appreciation of the decorative arts, design history, and material culture.

Past Awardees
Award Recipients 1997–2019

1997

Harold M. Williams*
Sir Geoffrey de Bellaigue*

1998

Jayne Wrightsman
Graham Hood
Pamela Robertson

1999

Lord Rothschild
Peter Thornton*
Ellen Lupton

2000

James Biddle*
Anne L. Poulet
Edward S. Cooke, Jr.

2001

The Dowager Duchess of Devonshire*
Jules David Prown
Craig Clunas

2002

James R. Houghton
Geoffrey Beard*
Valerie Steele

2003

Hélène David-Weill
Simon Jervis
Thomas P. Campbell

2004

Lily Safra
Hugh Honour*
Paola Antonelli

2005

Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.
Jane C. Nylander
Evelyn Welch

2006

John H. Bryan*
Jonathan Fairbanks
Dianne Harris
The Fine Art Society

2007

Liliane M. Stewart*
Henry Hawley
Barry Bergdoll
Eric N. Shrubsole*

2008

Phyllis Lambert
Robert Hillenbrand
David Crowley
Philippe de Montebello

2009

Dr. Mortimer Sackler* and Dame Theresa Sackler
Sir Hugh Roberts
Daniel Miller
Alexis Kugel and Nicolas Kugel

2010

Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Neil Harris
John Styles

2011

Shelley and Donald Rubin
John Harris
Juliet Kinchin
Bernard Dragesco

2012

The Koç Family
Hans Ottomeyer
Alisa LaGamma
Mark McDonald

2013

Richard Jenrette*
Morrison H. Heckscher
Glenn Adamson
Adrian Sassoon

2014

Iris Cantor
Dame Rosalind J. Savill
Finbarr Barry Flood
Martin Levy

2015

Barbro S. Osher
Sir Mark Jones
Nicholas Thomas
Deedee Wigmore

2016

Sir Paul Ruddock
Harold Koda
Giorgio Riello
Michele Beiny-Harkins

2017

Sir Nicholas Goodison
Alvar González-Palacios
Marie-Louise Bech Nosch
Titi Halle

2018

John C. Waddell
Dr. Aileen Ribeiro
Dr. Jason Sun
Benoist F. Drut


*Deceased