Grants, Awards & Honors


Adele Filene Student Presenter Grant

College and University Collection Care Grant

CSA Travel Research Grant

Stella Blum Student Research Grant

Small Museum Collection Care Grant

Angels Project

Awards &

Award of Excellence in Costume Design/Technology

CSA Fellow Award

Millia Davenport Publication Award

Richard Martin Exhibition Award

Scholars' Roundtable Honor




Richard Martin Exhibition Awards


Richard Martin Exhibition Awards recognize outstanding costume exhibitions presented by both small and large institutions. Award-winning exhibitions demonstrate excellence and innovation in the interpretation and presentation of costume, providing a transforming experience to both students of costume and the public. Up to two awards are given annually to exhibitions of differing sizes and funding. A representative of each award-winning exhibition is invited to speak at the CSA National Symposium the following year, and receives a certificate and a $500 honorarium, funded by the CSA Endowment, to help defray travel and symposium expenses.


Richard Martin Exhibition Awards, first given in 2002, are named for Richard Martin (1947-1999), curator of costumes at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. An outstanding scholar, lecturer, author, and the curator of many critically acclaimed costume exhibitions, Richard Martin was a Fellow of the Costume Society of America, and served on its Board of Directors, as editor of CSA’s scholarly journal Dress, and as president of the Mid-Atlantic Region.


To be eligible for an award an exhibition must:

  • be mounted at a museum, historical society, historic house, academic department within an institution of higher learning, or at a site where museum standards are applied
  • at least sixty percent of the objects on display must be costume
  • have at least one person on the exhibition team who is a CSA member
  • have been presented in the fifteen months prior to the January 31 entry deadline
  • not have received the award in the past three years
  • Entry Deadline

    Completed entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2016.

    Selection Criteria

    The Costume Society of America recognizes that exhibition size is not necessarily an indicator of excellence. It also acknowledges that large institutions with large exhibition budgets may have an unfair advantage over smaller institutions with less funding. In order to balance competition between exhibitions of differing sizes and budgets, up to two Richard Martin Exhibition Awards may be given each year.

    Exhibitions will be evaluated on:

  • excellent and innovative exhibition concept and design
  • quality of research, scholarship, and interpretation presented in the exhibition
  • innovative, appropriate, and engaging use of objects, media, and design elements
  • adherence to good conservation standards for mounts, light levels, climate control, etc.
  • overall excellence, encompassing the ability to serve as a model for other exhibitions and to evoke a transformative response from viewers
  • Awards Schedule

    Entrants will be notified of the results by March 15. Award results will be announced at the CSA National Symposium. A designated representative of each award-winning exhibition is invited present an overview of the exhibition at the following year’s CSA National Symposium, and will receive a $500 honorarium to help defray travel and symposium expenses.

    Entry Procedure

    Completed applications may be submitted electronically (as a single folder using a free large file sharing application such as Dropbox or Google Drive), on six (6) DVDs, or in six (6) clearly labeled 3-ring binders or folders. Electronic submissions are encouraged.

    Questions? Contact Petra Slinkard, Richard Martin Exhibition Awards Committee Chair, at

    Richard Martin Exhibition Award Entry Form

    Institution's name ______________________________________________________
    Institution's address ____________________________________________________
    Contact's name ________________________________________________________
    Title _____________________________________ Telephone __________________
    E-mail _______________________________________________________________
    Name and title of CSA Member on the exhibition team
    Exhibition title _________________________________________________________
    Exhibition dates _______________________________________________________
    Exhibition location _____________________________________________________

    Include the following:
    1) Briefly state the concept for the exhibition, including goals and expectations.
    2) Briefly describe the institution that presented the costume exhibition. Include the annual budget for the institution, or if the institution is a museum, college, or university with many departments, the annual budget for the department that generated the exhibition.
    3) Briefly outline the exhibition budget.
    4) Briefly describe the physical exhibition space, and include a floor plan to scale.
    5) Briefly detail the conservation methods used in the exhibition.
    6) Provide a walk-through of the exhibition, including no more than 20 images or photographs that give a sense of the exhibition as a whole.
    7) Provide label text, including all text if possible, but at least the major concept labels, subordinate labels, and several examples of object labels.
    8) Include other material as desired, such as examples of catalogues, gallery guides, brochures, videos, or handouts, or information about related public programs and online content.

    Submit the material electronically or submit six (6) copies, either as DVDs or in clearly labeled 3-ring binders or folders. If you want the binders returned, include six (6) self-addressed, pre-paid return envelopes, or for submissions from outside of the United States, UPS or Fed-Ex prepaid return envelopes.

    Send electronic submissions to:

    Send DVDs or hard copies to:
    Petra Slinkard, Richard Martin Exhibition Awards Committee Chair
    Chicago History Museum
    1601 N. Clark Street
    Chicago, IL 60614

    Receipt of entries will be acknowledged within one week.


    Richard Martin Exhibition Award Recipients

    Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair
    Co-curators: Joy Bivins and Virginia Heaven
    Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois

    Certificates of Commendation:
    60 Years Designing the Ballet
    Curator: Caroline O’Brien
    The Design Exchange, Toronto, Canada

    Tying the Knot: Cleveland’s Wedding Fashions, 1830-1980
    Co-curators: Colleen Callahan, Susan Neill, and Newbie Richardson
    Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio

    No award granted

    American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity
    Curator: Andrew Bolton
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

    Eco-Fashion: Going Green
    Co-curators: Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill
    The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York

    Certificate of Commendation:
    In Mother's Hood: Inuit Packing Dolls of Taloyoak
    Co-curators: Anne Bissonnette and Christina Williamson
    University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

    High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture
    Co-curators: Kevin Jones and Christina Johnson
    FIDM Museum at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles, California

    Reveal or Conceal?
    Curator: Cynthia Cooper
    McCord Museum, Montreal, Quebec Canada

    Certificate of Commendation:
    Gothic: Dark Glamour
    Curator: Valerie Steele
    The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York

    Late 18th & Early 19th-Century Fashion Series
    Curator: Anne Bissonnette
    Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio

    Poiret: King of Fashion
    Co-curators: Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton
    Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Costume Institute, New York, New York

    A Perfect Fit: The Garment Industry and American Jewry
    Curator: Gabriel Goldstein
    Yeshiva University Museum at the Center for Jewish History, New York, New York


    No award granted

    Modesty Died When Clothes Were Born: Costume in the Life and Literature of Mark Twain
    Curator: Lynne Bassett
    Mark Twain House and Museum, Hartford, Connecticut

    Clothes Make the Man;The Language of Clothing
    Curator: Linda Baumgarten
    Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia

    Clothes Make the Man
    Curator: Cynthia Cooper
    McCord Museum, Montreal, Quebec Canada

    Miracles and Mischief: Noh and Kyogen Theater in Japan
    Curator: Sharon Takeda
    Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California

    Fashion Stores of the South: Thalheimers, Miller & Rhoads & Montado's
    Curator: Colleen Callahan
    The Valentine Richmond History Center, Richmond, Virginia

    London Fashion
    Curator: Valerie Steele
    The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, New York