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2013 Marfield Prize

2013 Marfield Prize Winner: Sherill Tippins 

Sherill Tippins

The Arts Club of Washington awarded its Eighth Annual Marfield Prize, National Award for Arts Writing, to author Sherill Tippins for her book, Inside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: 2013). Ms. Tippins was honored at an Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at the Arts Club of Washington. On Wednesday, May 21, 2014, the Arts Club hosted a free public program featuring an interview with Ms. Tippins, who also read from her award-winning book. Additionally, the author presented to public high school art students at School Without Walls while in DC.

Inside the Dream Palace
The Chelsea Hotel, since its founding by a visionary French architect in 1884, has been an icon of American invention: a cultural dynamo and haven for the counterculture, all in one astonishing building. Sherill Tippins, author of the acclaimed February House, delivers a masterful and endlessly entertaining history of the Chelsea and of the successive generations of artists who have cohabited and created there, among them John Sloan, Edgar Lee Masters, Thomas Wolfe, Dylan Thomas, Arthur Miller, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Patti Smith, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol, Sam Shepard, Sid Vicious, and Dee Dee Ramone. Now as legendary as the artists it has housed and the countless creative collaborations it has sparked, the Chelsea has always stood as a mystery as well: Why and how did this hotel become the largest and longest-lived artists’ community in the known world? Inside the Dream Palace is the intimate and definitive story.

Sherill Tippins
Tippins’ previous study of creative community, February House, was granted the LAMBDA Literary Award for Biography and was adapted as a musical for the New York Public Theater. She lives in New York City, where she is currently at work on another history of the arts.

2013 Marfield Prize Finalists:

2013 Finalist Book Covers

Benita EislerThe Red Man’s Bones: George Catlin, Artist and Showman (W.W. Norton & Company)

Witold RybczynskiHow Architecture Works: A Humanist’s Toolkit (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

John Shaw, This Land that I Love: Irving Berlin, Woody Guthrie, and the Story of Two American Anthems (Public Affairs)

Terry TeachoutDuke: A Life of Duke Ellington (Gotham Books)

Sherill TippinsInside the Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Sam WassonFosse (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)


2013 Marfield Prize Judges:

Grace Cavalieri, author,  poet, and producer of “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress” for public radio

Candace Katz, author, former deputy director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and former director of the Education Division at the National Endowment for the Humanities

Wayne Karlin, author of seven novels, three nonfiction books, and a professor at the College of Southern Maryland


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