Call for Nominations: 2019 Brendan Gill Prize

October 22, 2018

We invite our MAS members to submit nominations for the 30th annual Brendan Gill Prize. The 2019 Gill Prize, an endowed cash award, is given each year to the creator of a specific work, a book, essay, musical composition, play, painting, sculpture, architectural design, film, or choreographic piece that best captures the spirit and energy of New York City. Whether the nominated individual or group is well-known or just emerging, the goal of the Gill Prize is to draw attention to the varieties of artistic experience that enrich urban life.

All submissions must have been completed and produced between January 1 and December 31, 2018. The prize is not awarded for a body of work or lifetime achievement. The 2019 Prize will be presented at Celebrating the City, MAS’s annual awards evening, to be held this spring.

Nominate Online

logo for the Brendan Gill Prize

The selection of the winner is made by the Brendan Gill jury, an esteemed group of eight people all intimately involved in the arts and literature of the city.

Please submit entries to MAS by December 14, 2018, through email to If preferred, hard copies with background material can be mailed to MAS, 488 Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10022, attention Phyllis Cohen.

Thank you for sharing your suggestions with us. For more information, please check or call 212.935.3960, ext. 1224.

Past recipients of the Brendan Gill Prize:

2018 – Julia Wertz for Tenements, Towers & Trash, An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City
2018 – Melissa Rachleff for Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965
2017 – Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly- Shapiro for Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas
2017 – Mathew “Levee” Chavez for “Subway Therapy”
2016 – Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alex Lacamoire, Thomas Kail, and Andy Blankenbuehler for Hamilton: An American Musical
2016 – Frederick Wiseman for Inside Jackson Heights
2015 – Kara Walker for A Subtlety, Or the Marvelous Sugar Baby; an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.
2014 – Michael Kimmelman for his New York Times articles on Penn Station
2013 – Louis Kahn (posthumously) for Four Freedoms Park
2011 – John Morse for Curbside Haiku
2010 – Michael Van Valkenburgh for Brooklyn Bridge Park
2009 – Mike and Doug Starn for See it change, see it split
2008 – Sufjan Stevens for the BQE
2007 – Sarah Jones for Bridge & Tunnel
2006 – Christo and Jeanne-Claude for The Gates, Central Park
2005 – Yoshio Taniguchi and the new Museum of Modern Art
2004 – Adrian Nicole LeBlanc for Random Family and
2004 – Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan for Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in New America
2003 – John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian LaVerdiere, Paul Marantz, and Paul Myoda for the Tribute in Light
2002 – Tod Williams Billie Tsien and Associates for the American Folk Art Museum
2002 – Alice Rose George, Gilles Peress, Michael Shulan, and Charles Traub for the Here is New York exhibit
2001 – Christopher Wheeldon for the choreography in Mercurial Manoeuvers
Honorable Mention to the MTA Arts for Transit for Want of a Nail in the 81st Street/Museum of Natural History subway station
2000 – Mauren Hackett for the landscape design of Herald and Greeley Square Parks
Honorable Mentions to Allison Prete for the documentary film Lavender Lake: Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal, and John Kuo Wie Tchen for the book New York before Chinatown
1999 – Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace for Gotham (Book)
Honorable Mention to Phillip Lopate for Writing New York: A Literary Anthology
1998 – Frederick Fisher for P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (Architecture)
Honorable Mentions to Susan Tunick and Peter Mauss for the book Terra Cotta Skyline, and Milo Mottola for the Riverbank State Park Carousel
1997 – George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover for Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk (Musical)
1996 – Hugh Hardy for the restoration of the New York Victory Theatre (Architecture)
1995 – Louis Malle and André Gregory for Vanya on 42nd Street (Film)
1994 – Ang Lee for The Wedding Banquet (Film)
1993 – Joseph Mitchell for Up in the Old Hotel (Book)
1992 – John Yau and Bill Barrette for Big City Primer: Reading New York at the End of the
Twentieth Century (Book)
1991 – David Hammons for High Falutin’ (Sculpture)
1990 – Gran Fury for Kissing Doesn’t Kill; Greed and Indifference Do (Poster)
1989 – Kevin Roche for the Central Park Zoo (Architecture)
1988 – Rudolph Burckhardt for a film series at the Museum of Modern Art

children play on the shore near the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Giles Ashford.

MAS is proud to fight alongside you for a city where growth is balanced and character endures.