It is now the fourth time that In View gets a first prize from the British Association of Friends of Museums – BafM, This time, though, it shared its first prize with London Transport Museum and its Friends Magazine. The first two awards, also first prize, were not shared.
Dulwich Picture Gallery has received this fine BAfm award many times before. In View in its present format, was created by Ingrid Beazley when she became chair of the Friends in 2005. She upgraded it from a 12 page monochrome newsletter about the Friends, to a full colour, 24 page, magazine about the Gallery exhibitions and Education department achievements, with the Friends events in the back section. She raised sponsorship to cover the costs of this. Having employed Jade Designs initially she edited it with them for the next four years, winning, or being runner up of the best BAfM newsletter award every year. She passed the editorship on to Peter Belchamber, who, using the same format, won the second first prize in 2011. The third prize was won by current Editor Lee Coppack for the 2013 Spring edition.
This year, the jury at BafM was split as two of the judges felt that Dulwich Picture Gallery should have been awarded the first prize on its own while another two voted for London Transport, so therefore they shared first position. The two winners were very different according to the judges who also mentioned that the Gallery was a past winner twice but “In View is unrivalled in combining a stunningly professional appearance with a friendly welcoming tone. It manages to provide members with an extremely high quality magazine without any pomposity. If judging had been based on quality of both content and design alone, the newsletter would have been far and away the winner.”
These are words that delight Lee Coppack, the very able editor of In View and likewise James Alexander, who designed the winning issue and has designed In View since its start. “Of course I am very pleased as I see it as an acknowledgement for all the hard work and enthusiasm from the team, including the contributors, proof readers, event organisers and those in production. I also believe that it acknowledges the value of the newsletter as a tool in both attracting new Friends and retaining old ones. What we aim for when planning the contents is to create a sense of community,” says Lee and stresses that this helps attracting volunteers as well as donors.
The jury also commented in their judgement that In View was very well written, had a cornucopia of material and imaginative use of photos. “It ticks all the boxes and would make a new reader picking it up seriously consider joining – so a good recruiter, too.”
The award was handed over last month in the Gallery by the BAfM regional co-ordinator Kate Kuhn in the presence of James Alexander and Lee Coppack, also present was the proud chairman of The Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery Peter Frost. The diploma now joins the other two on the wall of The Friends office.
This was the last issue that James Alexander designed. It was decided during the beginning of last year that the design and content of the Gallery’s own publication What’s On and The Friends magazine should be co-ordinated in order to avoid duplication of material and it is now in the hands of a specialist firm, Culture Shock, but Lee Coppack is still editor of In View and she like many Friends hope that maybe this year there might be yet another award for the new look In View.