New Jersey Association of Museums

John Cotton Dana Award


Every other year, members are invited to submit nominations for the prestigious John Cotton Dana Award.  Mr. Dana, who founded the Newark Museum in 1909, was a pioneer in his belief that museums should strive to become a stronger and more enriching presence in people’s lives.  His progressive philosophy regarding the educational and community service roles of museums still holds true today. 

Since the inception of the Dana Award in 1989, the list of its recipients has come to represent New Jersey’s outstanding professionals who have made significant contributions to the growth and development of its museums.


The Dana Award is presented at the NJAM Annual Meeting.

Image: Gail Stavitsky, 2015 Dana Award Winner, with Katie Witzig, NJAM Board Member.





1989                                                                              Founding Museums:

The Montclair Art Museum

The Newark Museum

Princeton Art Museum

New Jersey State Museum


1990                                                                              Mr. Sam Miller

1991                                                                              Ms. Ann Fabbri

1992                                                                              Mr. John Petersen

1993                                                                              Ms. Nancy B. Gay

1994                                                                              Ms. Cynthia Koch

1995                                                                              Mr. Daniel Reibel

1996                                                                              Ms. Leah Sloshberg

1997                                                                              Mr. Zoltan Buki

1998                                                                              Dr. B. Michael Zuckerman

1999                                                                              Mr. Barry Taylor

2000                                                                              Ms. Gail Stern

2001                                                                              Ms. Sara Riviera Cureton

2002                                                                              Ms. Mary Sue Sweeney Price

2003                                                                              Dr. Emlyn H. Koster

2004                                                                              Ms. Rebecca A. Buck

2005                                                                              Mr. James F. Turk, Ph. D.

2006                                                                              Mr. Ulysses Dietz

2007                                                                              Ms. Twig Johnson

2008                                                                              Mr. Steve Miller

2009                                                                              Ms. Ann Marie Miller

2010                                                                              Mr. Peter Watson

2011*                                                                           Ms. Michelle Ortwein

2013                                              Ms. Claudia Ocello

2015                                              Dr. Gail Stavitsky


*In 2011, NJAM voted to make the award biennial.                                             

New Jersey Association of Museums, c/o Montclair Art Museum, 3 S. Mountain Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

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