VALPARAISO, Ind. –  A book featuring black and white photographs of Northwest Indiana’s industrial and residential landscape that was co-published by Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art and the University of Illinois Press has won national recognition at an annual competition sponsored by the American Association of Museums.

“The Calumet Region: An American Place,” received second place in the 2009 AAM Museum Publications Design Competition for books prepared by museums with budgets of less than $750,000.  First and second place winners will be displayed at the convention center during the 2010 AAM Annual Meeting and Museum Expo in Los Angeles May 23 through 26.

The competition acknowledges excellence in the graphic design of museum publications and drew nearly 700 entries that were produced between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2009. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges that included graphic designers, museum professionals and publishers.

“We are pleased with the second place award,” said Gregg Hertzlieb, editor of the book and director and curator of Valpo’s Brauer Museum of Art. “Last year, we won first place, and we believe future publications in the years to come will win more awards.  We at the museum are proud to develop significant and well-produced publications that lead to a greater understanding of the region we call home.”

Hertzlieb also contributed to the book as did Dr. John Ruff, associate professor of English at Valpo.

“The Calumet Region: An American Place” presents nearly 100 photographs taken by professional architectural photographer, established fine artist, educator and historian Gary Cialdella, who captures the area where he grew up. The book reflects the artist’s vision and the changes the region has experienced through economic shifts and the general effects of time.

In the book, Cialdella provides descriptions and explanations of his working methods, sources of inspiration and life experiences to add even greater richness to his images. “The Calumet Region: An American Place” was designed by The Grillo Group Inc., a Chicago-based design company.

“The design of the book and quality of the photographic reproductions are outstanding,” said Hertzlieb. “Plus, the book raises awareness of a geographical area that is understudied, misunderstood and underappreciated.”

“The Calumet Region: An American Place” is available for purchase at Valpo ArtsMedia (, Valpo’s Bookstore and numerous international book sellers.

A complete list of competition winners is available on the American Association of Museums’ website,, and the competition will be featured in a special section in the July/August issue of Museum magazine.

Last year, a book that accompanied the Brauer Museum of Art’s exhibition of one of the world’s most extensive collections of vintage railroad dining car china won first prize in the AAM Museum Publications Design Competition. “The Christopher Railroad China Collection: The Art of Dining on Rails” chronicled the history of railroad china and was published in conjunction with an exhibit of the same name.

The Grillo Group Inc. also designed “The Christopher Railroad China Collection: The Art of Dining on Rails.”

More information about the Brauer Museum of Art is available online at The Brauer Museum summer hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Admission to the museum and all events is free. Group tours may be arranged by calling (219) 465-7926.