On November 19, 2019 the Block Museum of Art was honored to receive an award of “Superior Achievement in Best Practices” for its exhibition Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa from the Illinois Association of Museums. Karen E. Everingham, President of the Illinois Association of Museums Board of Directors presented the award to Kathleen Bickford Berzock, The Block’s Associate Director of Curatorial Affairs and the curator of Caravans of Gold, during the concluding ceremony of the IAM Annual Conference in Normal, Illinois.
The IAM’s Awards of Distinction recognize achievements and excellence in the museum field. The Superior Achievement Award recognizes achievements that are models for the profession and reach a greater audience than is normally reached by the nominating institution.
“We are grateful for this recognition by our peer institutions across Illinois. In creating this exhibition, the Block Museum and its partners sought to bring an important story about medieval Africa into the mainstream, invite visitors to experience the power of material fragments to connect us with the past, and model best practices for deep working relationships between museums and institutions in Africa and North America.”Kathleen Bickford Berzock, curator of Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time
The Illinois Association of Museums provides advocacy, promotes best practices, and fosters the exchange of ideas for the Illinois museum community. IAM supports the work of the American Alliance of Museums, the American Association of State and Local History, the Association of Midwest Museums, and various other local and regional museum networks across Illinois. IAM seeks to collaborate with all museum professional groups to promote best practices around the state.